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Champions Cup

Hokko Tarumae Aces Champions Cup

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Hokko Tarumae Aces Champions Cup

Making his third appearance in the race formerly known as the G1 Japan Cup Dirt and having finished third on each of his two prior attempts at Hanshin Racecourse, Hokko Tarumae (Jpn) (King Kamehameha - Madam Cherokee, by Cherokee Run) finally got over the hump with a narrow, yet comfortable and sentimental, victory in the G1 Champions Cup Sunday at Chukyo Racecourse.

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ELAN PROPERTY GROUP GOLD CUP : HORSERACING'S MARATHON

The Dean Kannemeyer-trained Hot Ticket is favoured to win his first Group 1 race in Saturday’s eLan Property Group Gold Cup at Greyville.

Hot Ticket is the only one of Kannemeyer’s team of three horses entered for the Champions meeting that is not a Grade 1 winner but the trainer expects that to change in Saturday’s 3200m feature.

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MASTER PLAN : CHAMPIONS CUP 2012

Master Plan - Champions Cup
Master Plan - Champions Cup

Master Plan wins the Champions Cup (Gr1)

(Photo : Gold Circle - Footage : Tellytrack)

CHAMPIONS CUP (Grade 1)

Greyville, Turf, 1800m

28 July 2012

FINAL RESULTS

#

LBH

Horse

Kg

MR

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

0.00

MASTER PLAN

56.5

103

8

M Yeni

Greg Ennion

2

0.05

BLACK WING

57.5

106

5

K Teetan

Brett Crawford

3

1.55

SOLO TRAVELLER

59.0

106

2

A Delpech

Mike de Kock

4

2.80

TALES OF BRAVERY

59.0

112

10

M Byleveld

Vaughan Marshall

5

4.05

CASTLETHORPE (AUS)

57.5

112

4

R Danielson

Mike Bass

6

4.55

CHESALON

59.0

110

3

B Fayd’Herbe

Mike Bass

7

6.05

WHITELINE FEVER

56.0

103

7

A Marcus

Sean Tarry

8

6.80

PIERRE JOURDAN

60.0

112

9

R Fradd

Gary Alexander

9

11.30

GOLD ONYX (NZ)

58.0

106

6

P Strydom

Sean Tarry

10

14.05

BUY AND SELL

57.5

96

1

B Lerena

SEan Tarry

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OUT TO LUNCH WITH MIKE MAKAAB AND JULIE ALEXANDER

Julie Alexander and Mike Makaab
Julie Alexander and Mike Makaab

Julie Alexander and Mike Makaab

(Photo : Linda Norval)

“The home of Good Conversation,

Fine Wine and Classic Horses”

It’s well known that Summerhill is the most visited stud farm on the continent. Of the order of 70 to 80 people (including those who fix our plumbing, our lights etc.), sign in at our gates on a daily basis, which amounts to somewhere between 30,000 and 35,000 visitors a year.

Among this week’s celebrities enjoying the fruits of South Africa’s top restaurant, Hartford House, were past Orlando Pirates coach, Mike Makaab (he steered them to several championships) and well-known television presenter, Julie Alexander.

Mike is, of course, a member of the team that recently bought Pierre Jourdan, one of the fancied entries for this weekends’ Champions Cup (Gr1).

Hartford House Logo
Hartford House Logo

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DOWN TO THE WIRE

South African Breeders Championship
South African Breeders Championship

SOUTH AFRICAN RACING SEASON

1 August 2011 - 31 July 2012

Who would have thought a youngster like Gavin Lerena could come and snag a Championship from two world-class riders like Anton Marcus and Anthony Delpech? It’s a tribute to the work of the team at the South African Jockey Academy near Summerveld, that we’ve just received the news from Hong Kong of Dougie White’s continued dominance of their championship (this was the nineteenth year in the last twenty, that a South African has earned what must surely be one of the most sought-after jockeys titles in the world). And win or lose in the next couple of days, Lerena’s rise to prominence is another signal to anyone who will listen, that all is well with the quality of rider emerging from what has to be the most successful academy anywhere in the world.

The intensity of the rivalry at the top of the Jockey’s log has caught the attention of racing fans to such a degree, they’ve overlooked how tight it is at the top of the Breeder’s log. Nobody owns a monopoly on a championship, even though we’ve had seven in a row, and particularly not when you’re up against the combined muscle of some of the nation’s wealthiest individuals, Markus Jooste, Bernard Kantor and Chris van Niekerk, who with others are the investors at Klawervlei. They run a mighty good show down there, they have an advantage in their number of runners, they have the redoubtable Captain Al and the top-class National Emblem among their proven sires, alongside a battery of outstanding internationally-bred performers, and hanging on hasn’t been easy.

We guess this is what championships should be about, tooth-and-nail affairs that go to the line, and this one is little different. Every penny counts, and while we should never forget, what Mannequin has done in her career in chalking up her twelfth victory Tuesday, she not only brought unbridled joy to Paul Matchett, Pat Magee and JJ van Niekerk, but she also made it that little bit tougher for the opposition, who have a “heat-seeker” on our backsides for the title. We all have a number of entries in the big races on Saturday, and anything can happen. That said, we wouldn’t want to be changing positions with anyone else right now.

While the Gold Cup is obviously the focal point of the day, it is surrounded by three other Group Ones, as well as a stellar card of lesser Stakes races. Clearly, the quality race of the day is the Champions’ Cup, where a number of the prime adversaries from the Vodacom Durban July renew their rivalry. We have two contenders for the event, the old favourite, Pierre Jourdan, and Black Wing, who was an unfortunate second in a million rand event the week before the July. They seem to have discarded Black Wing as a contender, if the betting is anything to go by, but punters would do well to remember that just over a year ago, Black Wing ran some of the nations’ best three-year-olds very close in the Daily News 2000 (Gr1). While his subsequent form hasn’t quite lived up to that billing, Brett Crawford says he’s in good shape and at his best, none of us should be surprised to see him in the money.

As for PJ, the press seem to think he’s the third best in at the weights, despite his 60kgs, (Castlethorpe is the best handicapped, with a 2.5kg advantage off the same rating, while Whiteline Fever should only be receiving a kilo at weight-for-age, but instead has 3.5kgs to play with).

PJ’s trainer, Gary Alexander says: “He’s come out of the race well, and at the weights he has a shout. He’s fit and we’ve freshened him up. The main thing is he’s looking good and moving well. If he’s moving well, he’s always dangerous.”

On the July: “He hit his fetlock when he jumped, so it took a stride or two for him to get going and by that stage Robbie (Fradd) had no alternative but to go on the fence behind them.”

In this light, beware of PJ. He was named for one of South Africa’s favourite bubblies, and he might just be ready to fizz.

summerhill stud, south africa
summerhill stud, south africa

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WHERE WERE YOU THAT DAY?

Horseracing
Horseracing

Power In The Blood

(Painter : Rick Timmons)

An appreciation of

the “Higher Things” in life.

Unlike motor racing, when the winner most times, is a foregone conclusion long before the chequered flag, and where “short heads” and “noses” are seldom descriptions for the margin of victory, never a week goes by that horseracing is without the thrill of a punishingly tight finish. The dross and the boredom of a motor engine wailing its way round and round the same old circuit, can never invoke the emotions a great ride and a great horse can for anyone with an appreciation of the “Higher Things” in life.

What inspired these feelings for me was the memory of the finish to the Champions Cup, in the year of the epic duel between Wolf Whistle and Yard Arm, when Strydom and Shea, Olympic class athletes if ever there were any, and horsemen at the world class end of their profession, bumped and bored and bollocked and bit their way to the line. I recall it especially well, because we ran third that day with an unwanted urchin of two sales rings, a millionaire racehorse who’d never missed a cheque in 33 starts, and who could’ve been anyone’s horse for R30,000. His name was Amphitheatre.

In the end, the race went to Wolf Whistle, the first horse owned by a long-time school and varsity pal, Paul Harris, (a fair hooker in his time, and later CEO of First National Bank), and to yet another fellow who had to overcome an education at Maritzburg College, Peter Seargent. That day at Turffontein reminded me again of the appeal of racing. Everything about Wolf Whistle had been so wild and improbable. He had been up against a horse of impregnable talent, a shoe-in for Horse Of The Year. While it turned out to be one of the great battles of all time, my own interest centred as much on the finish, as it did on Amphitheatre. As a five-year-old gelding, he’d been the subject of an enormous offer from Dubai, and I had insisted he take his place in this race as a swansong. In the end, he came out of it with an injury, and that was the end of the deal, a mortal blow to a Zulu farmer who could’ve done with the cash.

In the end, the gyrations of the crowd and the pulse of the chase, impaired my vision of the race, but what I did see was the bit that counted, and it was right up close. I saw Wolf Whistle’s eye when he got to Yard Arm’s girth, and he as much as told him “I’ve got you, pal”. As the American novelist, Cormac McCarthy wrote in a slightly different context, it was “a hot globe, and all the world burned in it”. The whips were flaying, elbows were flying, foam spewed from the gladiators’ mouths. In the heat of battle, none of these heroes felt any pain.

It was so obvious, so simple, I thought as I drove away. As our Aussie pal, Les Carlyon, once reminded us, horses and people, are the only things in racing that count. The rest is immaterial. Anyway, if racing were anything more, if it were a matter of business, its interpreter should have been Karl Marx. As a financial proposition, racing is about the re-distribution of incomes. It’s about socialism in a form so natural you’d hardly notice it. Hundreds of millions of Rands are each year supplied by businessmen from Dubai to Durban, by doctors and lawyers, by owners of car dealerships and merchant bankers, and by tax avoiders from all over.

The treasure they contribute is then re-distributed, slowly, a little each month so the trick doesn’t look too obvious, to trainers and jockeys, track riders, farriers, vets, clairvoyants, chiropractors, grooms, the bottlers of magical elixirs, owners of feed stores, horse psychologists and float drivers. When the cycle is over, the working classes have acquired most of the surplus capital of the bourgeois. The cycle then starts again with new players on the supply side, and the same clairvoyants and float drivers on the other side. Someone once said, the horsemen provide the experience, and the owners, the cash. When the cycle is over, the horse people have the cash, and the owners have the experience.

Racing is good sport, great sport when you see a Yard Arm or a Wolf Whistle in this kind of combat. It’s occasionally good business, but not often. Racing is a way of living, and a way of thinking. It has its own language and humour. It’s loaded with danger; physical and financial, and comes with a hint of conspiracy. It doesn’t necessarily build character, but it throws up some great characters. And that’s why, despite the recessions, the stock market crashes, the natural disasters, it survives year-in and year-out. The lure of the big horse and the prospect of grabbing the big one, the irrepressible dream.

Thanks for reminding us, Graeme Hawkins, with your presentation at our Winter School.

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ORBISON : CHAMPIONS CUP VIDEO AND RESULTS

video of orbison winning the champions cup at clairwood racecourse
video of orbison winning the champions cup at clairwood racecourse

Click above to watch the 2010 Champions Cup (Gr1)

(Photo : Gold Circle - Footage : Tellytrack)

R750,000 CHAMPIONS CUP (Grade 1)

Clairwood, 1800m, Turf

3 July 2010

RACE RESULT :

#

LBH

Horse

Kg

MR

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

0.00

ORBISON

54.0

106

1

R Danielson

Herman Brown

2

2.50

GALILEO’S GALAXY (AUS)

54.0

106

10

F Coetzee

Charles Laird

3

3.25

POCKET POWER

60.0

119

11

B Fayd’Herbe

Mike Bass

4

3.75

BOLD SILVANO

55.5

112

9

A Delpech

Mike de Kock

5

6.50

CAPTAIN SCOTT

56.0

105

3

S Randolph

Alec Laird

6

8.00

RED RAKE

56.5

108

7

R Fourie

Michael De Beer

7

8.75

SMART BANKER

60.0

116

6

A Marcus

Charles Laird

8

12.00

RUDRA

57.5

116

4

K Shea

Mike de Kock

9

13.50

NOORDHOEK FLYER (SNL)

56.5

112

2

K Neisius

Dean Kannemeyer

10

14.75

FABIANI

56.5

111

8

P Strydom

Glen Kotzen

11

80.75

DAN DE LAGO

55.0

111

5

P Whitmore

Charles Laird

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POCKET POWER, ROGER FEDERER AND THE CHAMPIONS CUP

pocket power horse
pocket power horse

Pocket Power

(Photo : Gold Circle / Summerhill Stud) 

CHAMPIONS CUP (Gr1)

Clairwood, 1800m, 3 July 2010

Pocket Power finds himself in exactly the same position as six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, who made a surprise exit from the championships in the quarter finals on Wednesday, beaten by Czech Tomas Berdych.

Jack Milner writes that in his post match interview, Federer revealed that he had been suffering from a number of niggling injuries during the course of the tournament, something quite rare for the winner of a record 16 Grand Slams. 

The truth is that Federer, despite still retaining his zest for tennis, is getting on and the younger set have raised the bar considerably. 

Pocket Power’s trainer Mike Bass says that his charge still loves his racing, but he is almost eight years old and the competition is becoming tougher. So the champion is now at the crossroads and he will need to prove in Saturday’s Grade 1 Champions Cup over 1800m at Clairwood that he can still give the youngsters a run for their money. 

Everybody knows that if he brings his A-game to Clairwood then the Jet Master gelding will be tough to beat. However, that is no longer a certainty and as this event is a conditions race, he has to give weight to all but Smart Banker. 

Pocket Power’s exploits are legendary. He is one of the greatest horses to ever race in this country and I will be among those cheering for him at the 200m mark. However, jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe will need everything to go according to plan from No 11 draw, and will hope Pocket Power can find his celebrated finishing burst. 

Bass believes Pocket Power has come on from his Gold Challenge run, in which he finished third. “It’s harder to tell as he gets older. But he’s looking well. He’s drawn badly again as he always seems to be at Clairwood. I suppose the effect of the draw will depend on the pace.”

The dangers look to be Mike de Kock’s pairing of Bold Silvano and Rudra. Bold Silvano was not only a fast-finishing second to stablemate Irish Flame in the Daily News 2000, but beat a field of older horses to win the Betting World 1900m at Greyville. He looks ideally distance suited and has just 55.5kg to carry. 

Rudra ran on well in the Gold Challenge over 1600m and will prefer this extra 200m, although he may still need a little further. He gets 2.5kg from both Pocket Power and Smart Banker and Kevin Shea will jump from a No 4 draw. “According to the merit ratings they are both very well in at the weights and they’ve both had very good preps,” said De Kock.

He also said he was not worried about incurring a penalty for the upcoming Vodacom Durban July. “They are well handicapped so if they do win, any merit rating raise given will depend on who they beat. But I don’t believe in being blasé about future Grade 1s. You can out-scheme yourself in this game and you should take what you can get at the time.”

Smart Banker finished a short head off Pocket Power in the Gold Challenge but is better than that run suggests. According to trainer Charles Laird, his charge needed that outing. “I was easy on him after his hard race in testing going in the Champions Challenge at Turffontein. But it’s not going to be easy for him at the weights. Giving a horse like Rudra 2.5kg is going to be very tough. But he’s well.”

I find it difficult to get enthusiastic over the chances of Noordhoek Flyer and believe he is not value at his price, despite all the enthusing of trainer Dean Kannemeyer. He has only taken on three-year-olds and could even battle to beat them in this field. Whatever the excuses he was slammed 3.25 lengths by Bold Silvano in the Daily News and is now 1kg worse off. He is even held by Galileo’s Galaxy on their Guineas run at Kenilworth and Laird has indicated that the Galileo colt could be the stable ace.

“Galileo’s Galaxy came off a long break and needed his last two runs. He is ready for this race and at his best I would not put him far behind the best we have. This is the race we earmarked for him. Anton Marcus is very fit but finds it hard to get down to 54kg these days, so he’s taken the easier option and rides Smart Banker,” explained Laird. 

 FINAL FIELD

#

Horse

Kg

MR

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

POCKET POWER

60.0

119

12

B Fayd’Herbe

Mike Bass

3

SMART BANKER

60.0

116

6

A Marcus

Charles Laird

4

RUDRA

57.5

116

4

K Shea

Mike de Kock

5

NOORDHOEK FLYER (SNL)

56.5

112

2

K Neisius

Dean Kannemeyer

6

FABIANI

56.5

111

9

P Strydom

Glen Kotzen

7

RED RAKE

56.5

108

7

R Fourie

Michael De Beer

8

CAPTAIN SCOTT

56.5

105

3

S Randolph

Alec Laird

9

BOLD SILVANO

55.5

112

10

A Delpech

Mike de Kock

10

DAN DE LAGO (AUS)

55.5

111

5

P Whitmore

Charles Laird

11

GALILEO’S GALAXY (AUS)

54.0

106

11

F Coetzee

Charles Laird

12

ORBISON

54.0

106

1

R Danielson

Herman Brown

Late Scratching

2

BIG CITY LIFE

60.0

118

8

SCRATCHING

Glen Kotzen

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