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Gareth van Zyl and family after winning the Gr 1 Brentford FC Garden Province Stakes with She’s A Keeper last season (Picture: Candiese Lenferna Photography).


Summerveld trainer Gareth van Zyl will open a satellite yard in Cape Town next month, but he eventually hopes to officially be a Cape trainer.

Asked whether his main yard would be in Cape Town, the reigning KZN Champion Trainer said, “In time yes. Well, that’s the goal, we will see how it goes, but that’s the vision.”
He continued, “We will grow the Cape Town yard as we go. I have got horses already waiting for me there and we will be taking horses that will be competitive and building a string. I am not sure of the numbers exactly and it is going to depend on the support of clients as well.”
Gareth, asked what his reasons for wanting to relocate were, replied, “The way racing has been rejuvenated by the Greg Bortz and Hollywoodbets takeover. They have injected more stakes and have incentives and I also enjoy the racing experience there, it is very customer friendly.”
Talking about the strength of the opposition in Cape Town and whether it was harder to win there, Van Zyl replied, “That’s the perception, but we did alright there with our string in the season and I think if we take the right horses for the right races we will do alright. I think it’s tougher in the higher divisions, but we’ll be competitive.” 
The strength in South African racing lies in Cape Town and a few big yards dominate , but Van Zyl is a relatively young trainer and has time on his side.
His ultimate goal is to become one of the big yards in Cape Town.   
Van Zyl has two runners in the World Pool Gold Cup and although he feels the weight structure for the race is “absurd”, he fancies Gr 3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup winner Sea Master ahead of Fight Song.
The bottom weight for the Gold Cup was raised to 54kg last year and the weights are also compressed which gives the top weighted runners a double advantage.
“It makes no sense to me,” said Van Zyl. “We are well out at the weights.”
Five-year-old Master Of My Fate gelding Sea Master finished a 6,10 length ninth in the Gr 2 Splashout 2200 last time and Van Zyl said, “From a wide draw we took our medicine and it didn’t suit him with the slow pace, so I think there is more merit in that run than what the margin suggests.”
He said about five-year-old Noble Tune gelding Fight Song, “He proved he sees out the trip (2,80 length second in the Gr 2 DSTV Gold Vase over 3000m) and he is a horse with a turn of foot, but he is a temperamental horse.”
Interestingly, Van Zyl won the Gold Cup three years ago with a five-year-old Noble Tune gelding, Paths Of Victory, although the race did take place in August that year so the latter would have been nearly a year younger than what Fight Song is now.
Paths Of Victory started at 40/1 and was given a great ride by S’Manga Khumalo.
Fight Song is 17/1 in the Gold Cup ante-post market with Hollywoodbets and Sea Master is 20/1.
Van Zyl said his most interesting other runner on the day would be Money Heist, who recently returned from much needed gelding with a good 0,30 length second in the Non-Black Type SABC Durban Dash over the too sharp 1100m on Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge day. He is entered in the Listed Tabgold Darley Arabian over 1600m.