THERE won’t be a glittering awards function for them this year – Covid-19 hype has seen to that – but South African racing’s champions for the 2019/20 season have been crowned and their achievements were remarkable, all the same.

Sean Tarry retained the National Trainers Championship, winning it for a fifth time. He saddled 120 winners and his runners recorded stake earnings of R14,535,985, roughly R3-million clear of Justin Snaith and a further million back to Mike de Kock.

Alan Greeff, who dominated Port Elizabeth racing, saddled 169 winners for a 19,1% strike rate, the highest in the land.

Tarry told Turf Talk: “Winning a championship is good, two is better but for me five is really a milestone in my career. I think it takes some doing and I have my loyal owners and my staff to thank for it, Chris van Niekerk in particular. He hasn’t wavered throughout this tough year.”
Van Niekerk held on to win his second successive National Owners title by just over R100,000 from Mario Ferreira, with St John Gray in third.

of Ikigai, Shango, Cirillo, Caralluma and Golden Belle, who will all be there next season. We have some nice young colts, too, I’ve had to geld a few who haven’t made the required early progress but they will improve, we’ll be competitive again in the new season. Chris bought three at last week’s National Yearling Sale, I also got a nice Silvano colt from Antony Beck and Andreas Jacobs, and bought two myself which I will be syndicating to the right owners.”

Tarry will celebrate his 52nd birthday tomorrow.

Tireless worker Warren Kennedy lifted his first National Jockeys Title with 209 winners from 1165 rides for an excellent strike rate of 17.9% – Anton Marcus still holds his own there with a 24.2% strike rate last season. Greg Cheyne was second with 147 winners and Keagan De Melo enjoyed a top term in third with 101 winners.

Kennedy, in a conversation with Michele Wing of Racing News Social TV, commented: “At the beginning of the season I decided I wanted the title and I announced it, I put it out there. I received amazing support, including from my home stable, Gavin van Zyl, who has played a big part in my career.

“Gavin has been amazing, also allowing me to travel up and down from Durban to Gauteng. I rode a lot of winners upcountry but I made it a priority to sleep at home in Durban every night, to say good night to our new-born baby, the other wonderful highlight of my year.”

Kennedy said his only aim in 2020/21 was to retain his title. “I’m not taking a break, I want to hit the ground running!”

One rival Kennedy will have to contend with is 18year-old Luke Ferraris, who won his second Champion Apprentice award with 81 winners, ahead of Dennis Schwarz’ 45. Ferraris has set his sights on a third, as he only comes out of his time in the lat
ter part of next year.

Ferraris said: “I want to win the apprentice’s title again but I will be going for the National Title too. I believe I can do it, I have the support from trainers and I’m confident.”

It will be interesting to see how travelling, or in fact non-travelling during Covid-19, will affect the championship in the new season, as jockeys are still regarded as non-essentials who can only travel to another centre once a month with special permission from Nkosi Dla-Vee-Ni Moodley19 of the R7-milion-amonth-in-overheads National Horseracing Authority.

Kennedy and Ferraris will be asking, ‘Would a desire to win the National Title qualify for a permitted second move every month?’

Joe Gwingwizha, with 12 winners and a 31% strike rate, won his second National Work Riders Title, edging out Thsepiso Matsoele, who rode 10 winners.

John Koster’s Klawervlei Stud, who relinquished the National Breeders Title to Wilgerbosdrift/ Mauritzfontein last season, regained the honours with 152 winners and R20,038-million in stakes earned by their graduates, some R800,000 clear of last year’s champions.

Koster said: “Last year, when Mary and Jessica won the title, I thought we’d be hard pressed to win it again, because they are great breeders, a truly formidable outfit. So we are very happy to be at the top again.

“Our main earner was One World, whose SunMet win helped a lot and made him South Africa’s top-earning horse of the year, and our runners also took 959 places, in several black-type contests, which is a testimony to the consistency of Klawervlei-breds.

“For next season, we all await good news from the top. I am always positive, we have no other choice. We have a good team steering the ship, and Adrian Todd and SAEHP is close to pulling the

Tarry said that, barring the departure of Monique Mansour to Australia, his team remained the same, with assistants Shylock Mtwesi and Andries Nzongo still at his right hand. “I have replaced Monique with Evan Lerena, who has proven to be very capable.”

Tarry clinched this season’s title without the firepower of the last several seasons and he said: “Maybe we weren’t quite as strong as in recent years but we still had Celtic Sea, who enjoyed another wonderful year and I’m hoping she can stay in training one more season.

“We also had good seasons for the likes of Ikigai, Shango, Cirillo, Caralluma and Golden Belle, who will all be there next season. We have some nice young colts, too, I’ve had to geld a few who haven’t made the required early progress but they will improve, we’ll be competitive again in the new season. Chris bought three at last week’s National Yearling Sale, I also got a nice Silvano colt from Antony Beck and Andreas Jacobs, and bought two myself which I will be syndicating to the right owners.”

Tarry celebrate his 52nd birthday this week.

Tireless worker Warren Kennedy lifted his first National Jockeys Title with 209 winners from 1165 rides for an excellent strike rate of 17.9% – Anton Marcus still holds his own there with a 24.2% strike rate last season. Greg Cheyne was second with 147 winners and Keagan De Melo enjoyed a top term in third with 101 winners.

Kennedy, in a conversation with Michele Wing of Racing News Social TV, commented: “At the beginning of the season I decided I wanted the title and I announced it, I put it out there. I received amazing support, including from my home stable, Gavin van Zyl, who has played a big part in my career.

“Gavin has been amazing, also allowing me to travel up and down from Durban to Gauteng. I rode a lot of winners upcountry but I made it a priority to sleep at home in Durban every night, to say good night to our new-born baby, the other wonderful highlight of my year.”

Kennedy said his only aim in 2020/21 was to retain his title. “I’m not taking a break, I want to hit the ground running!”

One rival Kennedy will have to contend with is 18year-old Luke Ferraris, who won his second Champion Apprentice award with 81 winners, ahead of Dennis Schwarz’ 45. Ferraris has set his sights on a third, as he only comes out of his time in the latter part of next year.

Ferraris said: “I want to win the apprentice’s title again but I will be going for the National Title too. I believe I can do it, I have the support from trainers and I’m confident.”

It will be interesting to see how travelling, or in fact non-travelling during Covid-19, will affect the championship in the new season, as jockeys are still regarded as non-essentials who can only travel to another centre once a month with special permission from Nkosi Dla-Vee-Ni Moodley19 of the R7-milion-amonth-in-overheads National Horseracing Authority.

Kennedy and Ferraris will be asking, ‘Would a desire to win the National Title qualify for a permitted second move every month?’

Joe Gwingwizha, with 12 winners and a 31% strike rate, won his second National Work Riders Title, edging out Thsepiso Matsoele, who rode 10 winners.

John Koster’s Klawervlei Stud, who relinquished the National Breeders Title to Wilgerbosdrift/ Mauritzfontein last season, regained the honours with 152 winners and R20,038-million in stakes earned by their graduates, some R800,000 clear of last year’s champions.

Koster said: “Last year, when Mary and Jessica won the title, I thought we’d be hard pressed to win it again, because they are great breeders, a truly formidable outfit. So we are very happy to be at the top again.

“Our main earner was One World, whose SunMet win helped a lot and made him South Africa’s top-earning horse of the year, and our runners also took 959 places, in several black-type contests, which is a testimony to the consistency of Klawervlei-breds

“For next season, we all await good news from the top. I am always positive, we have no other choice. We have a good team steering the ship, and Adrian Todd and SAEHP is close to pulling the exports through for us. Let’s al hope for the best in 2020/21.”

Koster said he was very impressed by Captain Of All in 2019/21, he produced 38 winners and is going from strength to strength, while Pomodoro is holding his own and William Longsword’s progeny will be making their debuts in the new season. “We have the stallions to be up there again,” he enthused.

Among the stallions, the incredible Silvano bagged his fourth successive National title from the deceased Captain Al and Gimmethegreenlight. Captain Al will be challenging in the new season for champion broodmare sire, a title disputed over the last five seasons by the deceased Jet Master and Fort Wood, Jet Master winning it last season.

Highest on the percentage winners to runners was Pathfork (48.2%) and Oratorio (47.7%), both sires who are making a mark on the industry.

Pic: One World (MJ Byleveld) after the 2020 Sun Met. (Wayne Marks).

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