The Charles Larid Race Meeting
When National Emblem won the John Skeaping Trophy at Turffonteln on Saturday, November 30. 1995, it was one of three winners at the meeting saddled by "newboy" trainer Charles Laird.
On that day the legendary Laird racing dynasty gave notice that another talented and qualified member of the famous racing family had stepped up to the plate. Charles was the son of top Gauteng trainer Russet Laird, nephew at the legendary Whey Laird and cousin of top trainers Alec Laird and Denis Drier. Since the day Charles, or "Charlie" as he is affectionately called, built one of the most successful racing operations in the country, winning 1 755 races at tracks around South Africa of which 30 have been at the highest level.
Charles had a strong and valuable foundation on which to build his training career having gained invaluable experience at a stud farm, with the Thoroughbred Breeders Association and as the handicapper at Turffontien before taking over from father Russell after five years in the yard.
His career record is impressive and apart from winning the Vodacom Durban July with Hunting Tower, he won both the Tsogo Sun Sprint and the Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion four times, the Mercury Sprint twice and the Premier‘s Champion Stakes three times. Top races on the Highveld also fell to his charges while the Western Cape also proved a happy and successful hunting ground. Charles will remain in KwaZulu-Natal - "I really love Natal" and will continue with his daily gym routine and his regular afternoon games of tennis. A man at disciple and impeccable character. Charlie will be sorely missed in South African racing and everyone in the racing industry will wish him a wonderful retirement.
Extract from Gold Circle