WELCOME to Turf Talk, our new website dedicated to horse racing and breeding and being launched today, Friday, 10 June 2016.

So who is Turf Talk and what are we about? Are there not enough racing websites to satisfy the needs of readers?

Well, imagine for a moment that we all live in a big city, for argument’s sake let’s call it Racing City, the global residence of all things racing, including the racing media.  Racing City has any number of suburbs, all connected by the massive media highway, and among them the relatively small South African Village.

Now, take a stroll down the main street of Racing Village South Africa to look around.  There are all sorts of media outlets here. More or less in the middle of the street there is a Big Company, there are machines inside with conveyor belts rolling out basic news and race information for all, packaged for each suburb.

Some way down the road is an Independent, professional media house, not as big but with more sophisticated conveyor belts and a well-qualified team greasing the machinery. They are prominent, the leaders of the pack, and they get plenty of feedback from customers.

There is an interesting Street Market just off Town Square. It’s quite colourful and on the noisy side here, some buying and selling going on and if you have enough time to browse the array of stalls you’ll be in the know, you’ll have a fair idea of what’s going on here in Racing Village South Africa.


Oh, there’s a side street too, leafy and green, an upmarket avenue where some entrepreneurial upstarts are building High Rises.  Bloodstock agents, insurance and accounts firms occupy the existing offices on the block. Plenty of cash changes hands here.

Just around the corner there is a busier street, not the safest in town as a few petty thieves and muggers have been seen here at times, also the village idiot. At the end of this block, a strip once occupied until the proprietor was bull-dozed out of town there now stands a pub, a popular Bar and Grill where the blue-collars go for a Pie and Gravy.  It’s quite smoky in here sometimes, and it gets quite loud when the dop starts flowing.

Here at the bar and grill, the locals put up a boxing ring towards the back of the building near the ablution blocks so the loudest of them can have it out on occasion, they can punch each other and blood can fly until they pass out of sheer exhaustion.

A few roads down, towards the river, there are beautiful farms where bloodstock is raised and training centres where they are trained for the racetracks. There are not as many feet in their reception areas as there used to be, but they’re carrying on with the task at hand, keeping racing’s engine room going.

When we at Turf Talk took a walk around town we found an empty stand in a quiet, peaceful street – we’ve leased the land and we’ve built a Coffee Shop here. Look, the sign is up! The walls need painting still and we have to decorate them with some good art, but we have some of the best coffee already brewing and the aroma of freshly baked pastries is coming from the kitchen.

SA’s Racing Village is not the most harmonious place in Racing City, but we’re setting up here to welcome all. Our patch of land was easily reserved and we’ve had several hearty welcomes from early passersby. We’re really relaxed, there won’t be any arguments under our roof and once we’ve done all the decorations and alterations this will be the best place to come for a cuppa, every day.

See there, behind the coffee tables is a cigar lounge with comfy leather seats and some Cognac for those who find themselves here at the cocktail hour. The reading matter at hand is of top quality too. We can’t throw in a massage just yet but wow, it’s warm and friendly already. Invite your friends!

Here’s to bringing you some good reading!

Charl Pretorius

Cotswold Cottages (P Cristensen Art)