Long-time horseracing enthusiast Raj Singh was recently encouraged back into ownership by owner-breeder Allan Peters.
The offshoot is his daughter Yukta is now involved and her horse Evening Primrose looks promising having finished third in the Grade 2 Wilgerbosdrift SA Oaks.
Raj’s father was a 25c punter and Raj himself started having a flutter at the age of 16.
He began attended racing at Greyville at the age of 20.
He owned his first horse in partnership with Allan Peters and the latter’s brother some twenty years ago and this Johnny Dawson-trained horse won two races.
Allan Peters, who has been involved in racing most of his life, later began breeding and is currently a shareholder in Willow Magic.
Allan, Raj and Graham Palmer have formed a partnership and between them Raj said they own about 20 to 25 horses in training, mainly with Gareth van Zyl and some with Paul Peter.
They had owned a couple of one and two-time winners but then decided to refresh the string.
Raj thus described the horses the partnership now own as “brand new”. There are a lot of two-year-olds to look forward to.
They have a Klawervlei Stud-bred Gimmethegreenlight colt who is a half-brother to dual Grade 1 winner Edict Of Nantes and Raj is particularly looking forward to that one.
There is a particularly good story behind the promising Evening Primrose, who is a big and rangy three-year-old daughter of Flower Alley.
Raj gave Gareth a budget for the National Yearling Sale two years ago with the instruction to find a horse who could win the Hollywoodbets Durban July.
Gareth managed to land the Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein Stud-bred Evening Primrose for R280,000.
Raj then gave the big horse to his daughter Yukta for her 21st birthday.
He told Gareth he would like it if the big filly won first time out but as a backward type Gareth had to tell him the disappointing news that this one had little chance of winning on debut.
Lo and behold she came out and won first time out over 1600m on the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly last October, much to Gareth’s surprise.
S’Manga Khumalo gave her plenty of time to find herself and her big stride carried her to victory.
Yukta was not there as she was studying in Cape Town.
She is a horsewoman in her own right having ridden since her childhood and she was there to see Evening Primrose win her third start over 1900m on the poly.
This was the second winner she had felt part of because Raj had named one of his previous runner’s after her, Yukta’s Dance (Count Dubois). This horse won one race for Gareth van Zyl.
Evening Primrose escaped any punishment for her SA Oaks third place and remained on an 81 merit rating.
She has suffered a minor setback since and will not be taking part in the Grade 1 Woolavington 2000.
However, off that rating Van Zyl expects the connections to have a lot of fun with her next season as she should start coming into her own.
The bug has bitten for Raj since he returned to ownership.
He is thoroughly enjoying visiting the training tracks in the morning and the racecourses following his horses.
Super Agra (Visionaire) is doing well for the partnership. He has won four races, one for Van Zyl and three for Paul Peter.
Double Magic is by Willow magic and this Paul Peter-trained gelding has a win and three places in five starts so should also win more races.
The partnership’s two-year-olds should start coming out soon and as with all owners of unraced horses there is a lot for the connections to dream about.
Picture: Raj Singh at Summerveld to watch his Gareth van Zyl-trained horses working.