Black Wing trained by Paul Gadsby
Black Wing trained by Paul Gadsby

Black Wing

(Photo : Gold Circle)


A horse on the way to the “Tops”

Setting up in business for your own account, particularly in the times we live in, can be daunting. Doing so as a racehorse trainer when prospective owners are bound to have constraints on their discretionary incomes, can be petrifying. At the very least, you need some backing, and especially, you need some luck.

One such man is Paul Gadsby, who’s ridden life (and a few horses) by the seat of his pants, and who branched out recently (for the second time), to train for his own benefit. A hustler of note from way back, Paul has some novel ways of getting going, one of which is creating enough sympathy with the suppliers of horses, (and enough faith or trust with the same people) to enable him to buy horses at the right prices, and on the “never never”. In these circumstances, you obviously need to take a few chances with a few marginal horses, but Paul knows that at Summerhill, you can bring your jockey (or yourself, if you were one, as he was), to test the horses before you put your dough down. Last year this time we had a few horses left over, and Paul arrived to try a couple. One such animal was a big, long backed son of Kahal from an old Summerhill family emanating from the top race filly Final Wonder, the family that gave us SA Classic winner, Last Watch, and the top Joburg filly of the present time, Salutation.

Acceptable specimen that he was, Black Wing did not have the best of “wheels”, but he moved like a good horse, and being the good horseman he was, Paul was able to identify this.

For R50,000 (on extended terms!), he drove off with Black Wing in tow, and the rest, as they so often say, is history. Last night he trotted up for the third time in succession, and he looks like a horse on his way to the “tops”. Where the top bottoms out, nobody knows, but for the time being, Paul Gadsby can dream. Here is a horse who’s defied God’s engineering, and with a bit of luck, he’ll be taking on some of the best of his best contemparies in the KZN Winter season. Who knows, he might even line up for a few Group Ones.