herman brown jnr
herman brown jnr

Herman Brown Jnr

(Photo : Summerhill Stud)


One of the most affable families in South African racing is that of the trainers Brown, now in its third generation. One of the stars of this family, is Herman Jnr, most recently renowned for his connectivity with Dubai and Singapore Group 1 hero, Jay Peg.

You couldn’t find a more mild-mannered bloke than Herman whose stamp is all decency. Somehow though, he’s found himself embroiled in a political mudslinging of some proportions in Australia, where he has the Melbourne Cup firmly in his sights and the man bankrolling his raid is making headlines there for all the wrong reasons.

Jeff Zerbst reports that Australia’s Sun-Herald paper led this past weekend with the story of how Chechnyan president, Ramzan Kadyrov, is aiming to win “the race that stops a nation” with the gelding Mourilyan (30-1).

This is seen by some as a very bad thing - the man is accused of being a dictator and a human rights monster. He was even described as the “new Stalin” by a female journalist who only lived for a few weeks after making the comment.

Now the local bleeding hearts are asking for the Prime Minister to step in and block the horse, and another stable runner Bankable (aimed at the Mackinnon Stakes), from racing here. Senator Bob Brown of the Greens doesn’t want Kadyrov coming here either.

“If this nasty character were to get his hands on the Melbourne Cup, it would be the lowest point in Australia’s sporting history,” said Senator Brown.

The other “Brown” in this intriguing sage is Herman, whose dad won countless Gr.1’s in a stellar career in Durban. Brown junior isn’t Mourilyan’s regular trainer - that job falls to England’s Gary Moore - but he is reportedly the handler of these horses when they go overseas.

So here we have the oddest spring prospect in ages - Herman Brown saddling the Melbourne Cup winner for the latterday “Stalin” while local lefties froth at the mouth as they quote dastardly sayings from the winning owner. Like this reported one - “I will be killing as long as I live.”

Bookies, not known to be an ideological species, will be more worried about Kadyrov making a financial killing. His horse has a second placing in the Goodwood Cup to his name and last time out won over 2816m at that track. 30-1 will be a lip-smacking price for the guv’nor.