Tutuzela and Garth Puller
Tutuzela and Garth Puller

Tutuzela has a cuppa with Garth Puller

(Photo : David Thiselton)

“Clairwood’s most loved Racehorse”

David Thiselton Gold Circle
David Thiselton Gold Circle

David Thiselton

Gold CircleTutuzela is probably Clairwood’s most loved Racehorse, although it would seem that he doesn’t realise he was bred primarily to perform at high speeds.

While most racehorses are fraught with high energy and are eager to get back to their boxes after a workout, Tutuzela is happy for his trainer, Garth Puller, to first pop in at the track’s little clubhouse for a chat or a cup of tea or even just to take shelter from the rain. Tutuzela doesn’t bat an eyelid as Puller rides him around the clubhouse and onto the paved area where trainers and jockeys enjoy their tea.

He can even be left unattended and usually partakes in refreshments with a cup of water and a bunch of grass. Jockeys, trainers and the work force all know him and he will get a few friendly greetings during the day. The eight-year-old gelding won one race over 2400m as a four-year-old and was retired as a one-time winner about a year later; but that doesn’t tell the full story of his worth.

He is used to accompany difficult horses down the start on racedays and is also used for the same purpose at morning workouts. “He works up to four times a day,” said Puller. “I will use him and then another trainer might ask if he can borrow him. Not once has he pressed back his ears or refused to co-operate. He is just the most lovely natured horse and would not be capable of harming anybody or anything. He is able to have a calming influence on the most nervous of horses. He is also used to accompany nervous horses during practise or qualifying sessions at the starting stalls as they are required to jump in pairs or as a threesome.”

Tutuzela is such an easy ride that he is the perfect for the newcomer to workriding. He has, therefore, been used to introduce every apprentice for the last five years or so who is making his or her first visit to the Clairwood racing tracks.

Visitors love him too as young kids are able to sit on Tutuzela and if Puller mounts behind them he is able to canter obediently around the ring with the toddler holding the rein.

Tutuzela, who was bred and named by Champion Breeders, Summerhill Stud, has an appropriate name as it is a Zulu word referring to the action of a mother lying her baby on his or her stomach and massaging his or her back.

Extract from The Sunday Tribune