The one thing about the horseracing business, is that the wheels grind on, no matter where you are, seven days a week, twelve months of the year.The one thing about the horseracing business, is that the wheels grind on, no matter where you are, seven days a week, twelve months of the year.
We recently received a letter from Lynn Atkinson, a regular (and certainly amongst our favourites) correspondent and follower of our blog, and decided that its publication was a wonderful opportunity to share Lynn's latest memoirs, which were described by Mick as "moving"; we're quite sure our readers will agree.
There’s an old saying that “you can take a man out of Africa, but you can’t take Africa out of a man.” It’s grown up around the exotic beauty of this continent, its sounds, its scents, its people, its animals, and as much as anything, its atmosphere.
This past weekend, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, called a general election, obviously seeking a reaffirmation of the mandate he obtained two years ago for his radical new economic plan, popularly referred to as “Abenomics”. There can only be one strategic purpose behind a snap election in these circumstances, and that is to get the support of the populace before the substantial majority you enjoyed last time, whittles away altogether.
When Sebueng trotted up by 2.5 at Greyville towards the end of last week, we should’ve known something was cooking. This coming weekend the former Premier of KZN, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, hosts an old-style country race meeting at his farm near Pietermaritzburg’s Table Mountain, and we’d already agreed with His Majesty King Letsie that Saturday would be the filly’s swansong, notwithstanding Michael Roberts’ misgivings about testing her over this fresh patch of naked veldt.
Your arrival at the racecourse in this Indian Ocean paradise is greeted by a grand statue of King Edward VII, erected no doubt to continue the appeasement of the local French settlers, whose government had been displaced by the British.
Ian Player passed away last night and we are all the poorer for it. People like him leave gaping holes behind them, and somehow we never quite get to fill them again. I know he would chide me for comparing him with Nelson Mandela, but the truth is, he was to the animal and floral kingdoms what Madiba was to humanity.
Someone out there somewhere, is intent on upsetting the rhythms and routines of Summerhill. We have broad shoulders here, and we know that when you're at the top of the pile, scandal comes with the territory. However, there are those whose politics are such that whatever they can do to disrupt the spirit and direction of this place, they will do it.
You’d think in the wake of a sale of over a 100 lots and all of its attendant comings-and-goings (not to mention the politics!) there’d be a bit of respite for Team Summerhill. Not a word of it: the next lot for the Emperors Palace Summer Ready To Run Sale are already in and grabbing the attentions of Michael Booysen, Thabani Nzimande, Tarryn Liebenberg and co
Champions are multi-faceted creatures. One of the prime ingredients in our nine years at the mountain top, was the Ready To Run Sale. Now, the Summer Ready To Run Sale on the farm is gaining momentum, too.
All systems are definitely “go” at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale, with day one witnessing the fall of a record set at the 2013 version of same. Until last night, the highest price ever paid for a yearling on public auction in South Africa was R3.25 million, the titleholders being Adriaan van Vuuren and trainer Mike Azzie. While we all know that the buzz of the auction ring, competition amongst the high-rollers and more importantly, an appreciation for the thoroughbred, have an inexplicable effect on the highest bid, bystanders still looked on in a awe as newcomer Piet Du Toit, went up to R5.2million for the Maine Chance-consigned Dynasty colt out of unraced Lomitas mare, Shina.
With the Magic Millions raceday taking center stage on the Gold Coast Saturday afternoon, the sales action shifted to the evening, and was highlighted by vibrant trade and a new sale topper; a Sepoy colt secured by Spendthrift Farm for A$1.2 million.