Hannah Goss proudly displays the Horse Of The Year Trophy with Cheryl Goss looking on.
You might’ve been justified in believing that everyone at Summerhill would’ve had their tongues on the floor, gasping for breath after the events of last week, but their was none of that in the air come Saturday morning with the anticipation of the KZN Racing Awards which took place at Greyville that evening.
Several busloads departed the farm as the twilight came on, and were greeted by an excellent performance by Keat’s Drift, who had to make up a fair bit of leeway in the sticky going in the Michaelmas Handicap, to register his first Black type performance.
Shortly afterwards, the awards got under way, and while we were not quite as prolific as the Mike de Kock Racing yard, our outfit had more than its usual share at what’s largely a racing affair, as opposed to a breeding evening. As part owners of one of the best horses we’ve been associated with, IMBONGI, we were lucky enough to make the cut when the title of Three Year Old Colt Of The Year came up, and then, in what turned out to be a wonderful surprise, to be there for the honour of Horse Of The Year, with the same fellow. No doubt, his admirers remembered not only his spectacular victory over Russian Sage in the KZN Guineas, but also his “drilling” of three previous Equus Award winners, including a Horse Of The Year in Pocket Power, in the Drill Hall Stakes.
This was a fine accolade for a horse who’d been on the boil for 12 full months by the end of last season, and who’d run his heart out for Ronnie Napier, Michael Fleischer, Owen Liebrandt, Barry Clements and ourselves, not to mention the team at Mike de Kock Racing, who managed him so superbly.
He leaves today for Dubai, and we’re ever hopeful he’ll pick up where he left off last season, in which event he’ll have more news to share with his adversaries in the desert.