Michael Ross, a former member of the pedigree department of that great dinosaur of the horse racing world, the British Bloodstock Agency, reminded us this week of Winston Churchill's flirtation with our sport, and the word “flirtation” is used advisedly.
Saturday's J&B Met race meeting was as good a day's racing as we've witnessed recently, and while the margin of his heroics on Saturday might suggest that Futura is head and shoulders above his own generation, it's worth remembering that Legislate was missing and that the recent Highveld Triple Crown winner Louis The King, hot off his own sparkling victory in the Sansui Summer Cup (Gr.1), just didn't turn up.
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.
Remember Barley from Darley, he of the riveting lecture on Sheikh Mohammed's pre-training programme in Australia. At last year's Winter School, Barley Ward-Thomas delivered a paper on what the Darley operation Down Under had done to address the consequences of losing to the commercial market a horse like Pierro, described by Australia's top trainer, Gai Waterhouse as the best two-year-old she'd ever trained.
It’s getting hot in the kitchen, and the ambient temperature at Summerhill for today and tomorrow is in parallel mode. It’s something of a tribute to the power of the internet, that we’ve had interest expressed in tomorrow’s Emperors Palace Summer Ready To Run Sale from as far afield as Cyprus and Ethiopia (of all places), Zambia, Kenya and Mauritius, obviously on the strength of what they’ve seen of the gallops.
Following the Emperors Palace Summer Ready To Run Sale on Tuesday, 24th February at the School of Equine Management Excellence, we will be auctioning well-known KZN stallions Mullins Bay, Solskjaer and Way West.
There are some things in life that are simple arithmetic, even in the bewildering sport of horseracing. We all know that the odds of finding a winner were set to confound us, but when you're saving as much as a hundred grand, there can be no doubt about the logic.
We all know the deep history of high achievers sold off Summerhill, and that buying off the farm in February saves a hundred grand. What we've forgotten though, is that nineteen (30%) of the catalogue hold tickets for the 16 slots in the R2.5 million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup.