Another fellow who has been around some time now is Jack Molefe, and like most of the team in the Ready to Run, he has a gift for young horses. It is probably worth mentioning that race riding and the education of young horses are as far apart as disciplines as Budweiser and bread, requiring very diverse sets of skills, and the Zulus’ propensity for patience, their instinctive understanding of stock, and their wonderfully sensitive hands are prime assets in the education of youngsters. Our business is not like that of race riders, about strategy, tactics, split-second response, and understanding pace, nor the vigour required of a race rider, but rather that of operating inside the head of the animal, understanding its idiosyncrasies, its temperament, and above all, knowing the brittleness which goes with the mind and body of a young adolescent, and the empathy to deal with it.
Jack Molefe is one of those fellows who understands this, and was one of the first to identify the marvelous talents of the filly that eventually wound up a National Champion from the Ready to Run, Icy Air. She won just about, every thing worth winning in her year including the Fillies Classic, the Woolhavington, and the Oaks (all Gr.1) and was an unlucky half length second in the J&B Met, one of the big three of South African racing. Jack was her regular companion, and she was a lithe-like, waif of a filly, born as late as the 16th December, but obviously talented. Jack put his “finger” on her almost from the start, and recommended her to our big mate in Perth, Dr. Barry Clements and to local trainer, Gary Alexander, and these two were the final protagonists in the bid to secure her.
This year, Jack has put his fingers on two less obvious individuals, the one a little more apparent than the other. His choice of the colts by Slew The Red out of the West Man mare My Lady Furness, from one of the best old Odessa family, that of Party Time, from which descends Muhtafal’s Group One ace, Let’s Rock n’ Roll. This chap is really on the move, as he was a little backward foal, and he improves with every passing week, so there’s no knowing where the end will come.
Jack’s choice of the fillies is another from Requiem’s first crop, an old Sheikh Hamdan family that includes the Champion Hong Kong runner, River Warden. This filly’s dam is by Muhtafal, and the granddam is by the International Chef de Race Riverman, so there’s classic class on the page.