LET’s make Wednesday, ‘Let’s Go To The Archives’ day, for some memories and maybe even a few laughs.

Down there is a lovely photo of a group of trainers domiciled in the old Transvaal, taken in the foyer at the wonderful Newmarket Racecourse, Alberton around 1984, an interesting year in world history:

-Bruce Springsteen released his 7th album, Born In The USA.
-The United States researchers announced their discovery of the AIDS virus.
-Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic made its inaugural flight.
-Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister Of India, is assassinated by her two security guards in New Delhi.
-Crack Cocaine, a smokeable form of the drug, is first introduced into Los Angeles.
-Pieter Willem Botha is inaugurated as the first Executive State President of South Africa.
-Severe religious and political indoctrination of White South African males, akin to abusive crime, takes place at ‘Veld Schools’ across South Africa.
-Cricketer AB De Villiers is born.



On to our band of horseman, snapped 32 years ago: You would have guessed perhaps all of their names by now. It is said that between Cliffie Otto (left), James Goodman (back), Spike Lerena (front) and Johnny Nicholson (far right), more coups were landed between 1980 and 1984 than on the entire continent of Africa before and since then. (Strangely though, in those days most of us could still back winners, quite often). Tobie Spies (middle), the old yardmaster, never took a punt and the late Dr HR “Crocky” du Preez didn’t actually train horses himself, he treated the lame and sick steeds with medicine, love and big doses of laughter.


  1. That’s my Dad Spike Lerena….a true gentleman and still an amazing race horse trainer!
    The good old days!!