Click above to watch Igugu winning the Ipi Tombe Challenge (Gr2)…
(Photo : JC Photos - Footage : Tellytrack)
HIGHVELD RACING AWARDS
19 May 2012
We all know that the KZN Champions’ season is the most glamourous three months of the racing year, but we know too, that the Highveld Spring and Autumn seasons are the toughest of the lot. Year after year, the award for the nations’ champion trainer inevitably falls to a Highveld trainer, and it was no different in 2012. That means it’s consistently the most competitive environment in South African racing, and that makes the title of Highveld Champion Breeder all the more noteworthy.
When Catherine Hartley made her way to the podium on Friday evening, she was fetching Summerhill’s third consecutive Champion Breeders award, not only a landmark occasion for us, but also a “first” as far as breeders’ prizes go. No farm in the history of the Highveld Awards had hitherto earned the title three times in a row. There were no major Group One victories in Gauteng from the likes of Igugu or Pierre Jourdan this year, but there was a string of Group successes from Smanjemanje, Extra Zero, Checcetti and Mannequin as well as Igugu and Pierre Jourdan, to advertise the class of our graduates. We never take these things for granted, and we have our horses and our people to thank for it.
By contrast, the trainers’ award has fallen to Mike de Kock on any number of occasions, and Saturday was the same old story.