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RUDRA dominates Steinhoff Summer Cup

rudra winning summer cupRudra with Kevin Shea aboard
(Mike de Kock Racing)

Saturday’s R2million Steinhoff International Summer Cup saw the Mike de Kock / Kevin Shea Group 1 juggernaut deliver once again with 3-1 favourite, Rudra, taking the day’s spoils in dominant fashion.

Jimmy Lithgow writes in The Times that the four-year-old Parade Leader (Kingmambo) colt, who runs for the partnership of Tony Moodley, trainer Mike de Kock, Chris Gerber, Ferdie Ladeira and rugby commentator Paul Bayvel, raced clear after cruising into the lead at the 300m marker.

It was a fourth Summer Cup victory for Kevin Shea, who has had a tremendous year, winning on several continents on Mike de Kock’s horses. But this was his easiest victory in this prestigious race. Rudra was Mike de Kock’s eighth winner in the Summer Cup.

While Mike de Kock was doubtful after the race whether Rudra could beat the mighty Pocket Power in the J&B Met early next year, there is no denying that the horse is a class act.

Settled towards the back of the field, with second-favourite Smart Banker in his slipstream, Rudra travelled easily. Kevin Shea allowed stable companion Equal Image, also racing in Tony Moodley’s colours, to take the lead, with Speed Of Gold, Membrado, Eddington and Senor Versace well placed.

Prince Asad made a move at the top of the straight but once Rudra was given his head, there was no doubting the result.

French jockey Christophe Soumillon, deputising for the injured Anton Marcus, worked hard on Smart Banker on the outside as the field reached the 200m mark and had to take evasive action as one of the leaders fell back.

Smart Banker, who beat Rudra in the recent Victory Moon Stakes, ran on stoutly to finish as Kevin Shea looked back for the opposition and eased up short of the line.

Smart Banker’s stable companion, Senor Versace, ran on well for third, with Prince Asad fading slightly at the finish to take fourth.

Earlier, Christophe Soumillon, rated by many as the best rider in the world, rode superbly to win the Grade 2 Dingaans on Charles Laird’s inexperienced New Zealand-bred colt, Oracy.

This smashing individual must be one for next year’s Vodacom Durban July short list as he was having only his second race.

While Kevin Shea was the star of the show on Rudra, Christophe Soumillon demonstrated the dedication it takes to become one of the world’s top jockeys, spending hours in the past couple of days pounding the tennis courts at Sun City in a sweat suit to take off the weight needed to make the ride on Smart Banker.

A good crowd turned out to watch the feature events, as well as the four-race international jockeys’ contest.

But superstar Italian Frankie Dettori, Ireland’s Mick Kinane, Australian Damien Oliver, India’s Mallesh Narredu, England’s Darryl Holland and France’s Belgian-born Christophe Soumillon had no answer to the powerful South African team, even though Darryl Holland gave the visitors a good start by winning the first of the four competition races and also won the Grade 2 Merchants aboard trainer Joey Ramsden’s Something Else.

By the last of the four races, the South Africans had established an unassailable lead, courtesy of victories by Karl Neisius and Piere Strydom, but man-of- the-moment Kevin Shea provided the clincher in the ninth race, winning on Alec Laird’s Urban Reason.

The South Africans won by 60 points, scoring 179 to the Rest of the World’s 119.

Mark Khan, the South African captain, won the bronze saddle as the highest-scoring individual jockey.




MICK KINANE : "MALESH NARREDU could be the Secret Weapon"

mick kinaneMick Kinane
(Hong Kong Jockey Club)

Malesh Narredu, champion jockey of India, could very well be the International Team’s “secret weapon” in Saturday’s International Jockeys’ Challenge between South Africa and the “Rest of the World” at Turffontein.

David Mollet writes in the Business Day that this is the view of world-renowned rider Mick Kinane, who is the oldest and most experienced jockey in the international team. “I have ridden against Malesh and he’s a really talented guy - his record in his home country speaks for itself,” said Mick Kinane.

Interestingly, Malesh Narredu has won exactly the same number of jockey titles - 11 - as former South African champion Michael Muis Roberts, who will be the manager of the South African side on Saturday.

Malesh Narredu’s big race wins include 115 graded races, 41 Group One events and 53 classics. These include 11 derbies and India’s Triple Crown.

Nevertheless, even that record is dwarfed by that of 49-year-old Mick Kinane, who can boast more than 160 Gr1 victories all over the world including the Melbourne Cup on Dermot Weld’s stayer, Vintage Crop.

“That will always remain one of the great moments in my career as it was the first success by an international rider in Australia’s most important race,” said Mick Kinane.

The much admired Irishman said he was delighted to be back in South Africa after riding in the last International Challenge here 22 years ago.

Australia is represented in Saturday’s international team by Damien Oliver, who knows all about Cup day at Melbourne. He has won the marathon race twice and remains the only apprentice to have won the AJC Derby, Australia’s premier three-year-old race.

Malesh Narredu’s rides in the four international races are Chariots of Fire for Geoff Woodruff, Acheron for Sean Tarry, Twilights Rush for Ormond Ferraris and Single Minded for Stuart Pettigrew. While Chariots of Fire may battle against the likes of stable companion Kingdom Come and KZN raider Citizen Dante, Twilights Rush is a decent sort on his day and could have a say in the finish of the 1600m Lufthansa Handicap.

Mick Kinane’s four mounts in the international races are Keat’s Drift for Charles Laird, Sunny Jim for Geoff Woodruff, Flight Queen for Dennis Drier and Battle Hero for Paul Matchett.

Although Flight Queen has to concede weight all round in the Racing Association Handicap, she has an each-way chance but it seems likely she could find one too smart for her in Frankie Dettori’s mount, On The Bluff.

Frankie Dettori will be the big attraction at the city track as he is arguably the best known jockey in the sport. His affable attitude and big race successes have kept him in the media spotlight for the past two decades.”




christophe soumillonChristophe Soumillon
(Hong Kong Jockey Club)

Saturday’s Steinhoff Summer Cup meeting sees the re-inauguration of the Jockey’s International concept, this time in “Test Match” format as they take on the cream of South Africa’s best, and it’s likely to be as great an attraction as the main event at Turffontein. The four-race International Jockeys’ Challenge is led by South Africa’s champion jockey, Mark Khan, and an international team which includes the irrepressible Frankie Dettori.

Twelve of the world’s top jockeys will be in action, with the visiting contingent including France’s flamboyant Christophe Soumillon, cool Irishman Mick Kinane, Australian legend Damien Oliver, top English jockey Darryl Holland and Indian champion Mallesh Narredu.

The South African team comprises Piere Strydom, Kevin Shea, Mark Khan, Weichong Mawing, Karl Neisius, and Anton Marcus, with Anthony Delpech as the reserve. All have been awarded Proteas colours, as has team manager Michael Roberts.



CARTIER RACING AWARDS 2008 : Nominations Revealed

yeatsYeats, brother to Summerhill Stud’s Solskjaer

The nominations for this year’s Cartier Racing Awards, European horseracing’s equivalent of The Oscars, have been announced. The highly-coveted Awards will be presented during a glittering ceremony before an invited audience at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on the evening of Monday, 17th November.

The Cartier Racing Awards are now in their 18th year and celebrate the champions of the Turf, plus one person who will receive the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award Of Merit. The eight horse awards are determined by points earned in Pattern races (40%) combined with the opinions of a panel of racing journalists chaired by Brough Scott (40%) plus votes from readers of the Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph (20%), a system which accurately rewards supreme excellence.

The nominations in alphabetical order for this year’s Cartier Horse of the Year Award are as follows:


Duke Of Marmalade


New Approach

Raven’s Pass


Of interest to Summerhill is that YEATS (brother to resident stallion SOLSKJAER), has been nominated in two categories, namely Cartier Stayer and Cartier Older Horse.




international jockey challenge south africaSA vs The World
(Craig Jewell/Barun Patro)

News from Phumelela is that Champion South African jockey for four of the last five seasons, Mark Khan, will captain a vastly talented team of six riders selected to represent South Africa in the International Jockeys’ Challenge on Steinhoff Summer Cup Day at Turffontein on Saturday 29 November.

The other riders are Anton Marcus, Weichong Marwing, Karl Neisius, Kevin Shea and Piere Strydom with Anthony Delpech the official reserve. He will replace any rider unable to fulfill his engagements in the Challenge.

Tex Lerena, chairman of the South African Jockeys’ Association, is one of many people hugely enthusiastic about the Challenge and he believes it will be the experience of a lifetime for the South African jockeys at Turffontein on the day: “The re-introduction of an international jockeys’ challenge after an absence of over 20 years will revitalise the entire horseracing industry, particularly the jockeys. For them it’s a privilege to rub shoulders with legends like Frankie Dettori, Mick Kinane and Damien Oliver and young stars like Ryan Moore and Christophe Soumillon.”

Horseracing and tote betting operator Phumelela handed the responsibility of selecting the South African riders to the National Horseracing Authority (NHA), an autonomous body that regulates the sport and ensures all races are run according to the rules.

The NHA met with representatives of Phumelela and the Racing Association (RA), which represents owners in Phumelela regions, to lay down the criteria for selecting the riders. It was unanimously agreed that the team would be selected on merit according to the following key criteria:

* Placings on the national jockeys’ log over the last five years
* Must hold a South African licence and/or domiciled address in South Africa
* Profile and international achievements

A panel comprising Rob de Kock and Vee Moodley of the NHA, Patrick Davis of Phumelela and RA chairman Larry Wainstein was entrusted with the task of selecting the riders to represent South Africa.

The team chosen brims with talent and experience. Mark Khan has been four times champion of South Africa and once runner-up in the last five years, while former champion jockey Piere Strydom is a household name and has finished in the first three on the national jockeys’ log for the last five seasons.

Anton Marcus has also consistently finished high on the national jockeys’ log in recent years and has enjoyed an ultra-successful year internationally, winning the $5million Dubai Duty Free and the Singapore Airlines Cup on Jay Peg.

Weichong Marwing
and Kevin Shea have enjoyed enormous success, both locally and abroad. Between them they have ridden several winners in recent years at Dubai World Cup, the richest race meeting in the world.

Weichong Marwing is currently riding in Hong Kong, where he rode with great success for several years before becoming stable jockey to trainer Mike de Kock.

Kevin Shea, who is now Mike de Kock’s stable jockey, won the $5million Dubai Sheema Classic on Mike de Kock’s charge Sun Classique at Dubai World Cup earlier this year and is currently riding for the stable in the UK.

Cape-based Karl Neisius has long been regarded as one of the country’s top riders and has performed consistently well on the national jockeys’ table.

It is hoped that the South African riders will be awarded Springbok colours and the NHA has made the necessary application to the relevant bodies. A decision is expected by the middle of October.

The South African jockeys will take on one of the strongest international team of riders yet assembled in the four-race Challenge at the Steinhoff Summer Cup meeting on 29 November.

The international team comprises Frankie Dettori, Mick Kinane, Ryan Moore, Damien Oliver, Christophe Soumillon and Srinath Surender.



SADLER'S WELLS : Has the world ever known his eclipse?

sadler's wellsSadler’s Wells pictured in 2006 with New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Peters

Pedigree Insights by Andrew Caulfield

As last week’s racing represented something of a lull before the storm of major events scheduled for the next few weeks, I hope you’ll forgive me if I look back to September 13. That day’s quartet of Group 1 races provided yet another reminder of the extraordinary talents of Sadler’s Wells, who figured as the sire of one of the Group 1 winners, Septimus, and as the sire of the dams of two others, Music Note and Conduit.

One could be forgiven in the past for wondering whether the unprecedented scale of Sadler’s Wells’ success as a sire would effectively restrict the opportunities available to his broodmare daughters, especially in the rather cramped upper echelons of the Anglo-Irish industry.

After all, he achieved a record 14 Sires’ Championships between 1990 and 2004 and has more than 2,100 foals of racing age, two of which - Galileo and Montjeu - rank among the most successful stallions of recent years.

Any such fears have proved groundless and Sadler’s Wells, the Coolmore giant, appears to be heading for his fourth consecutive championship as a broodmare sire. His daughters already have earnings in excess of GBP3million this year - over GBP1million more than his nearest pursuer, Darshaan - and they have 11 group/graded winners to their credit. As many as six of the 11 have won at the highest level, with Henrythenavigator, Creachadoir, Youmzain and Conduit scoring in Europe and Music Note and Grand Couturier in the U.S.

A noteworthy feature of the 10 mares responsible for these 11 group winners is how few of them made their mark while in training. The exception to the rule is Henrythenavigator’s dam, the Group 1-winning Sequoyah. Of the others, Coastal Path’s dam Coraline gained a minor win from five starts, while Sadima, the dam of Youmzain and Creachadoir, failed to earn black type despite showing fairly useful form.

That leaves us with seven mares. Rather surprisingly, the dams of Music Note, Conduit, Infamous Angel (G2 Lowther Stakes), Patkai (G3 Queen’s Vase) and Campanologist (G2 King Edward VII Stakes) were all unraced. Grand Couturier’s dam Lady Elgar beat only one home on her only appearance and Juno Madonna, dam of dual Group 3 winner Regime, failed to reach the first seven in two small races at Cagnes-sur-Mer.

The clear lesson is that it isn’t safe to ignore any daughter of Sadler’s Wells, largely because their sire always commanded a fee which guaranteed that the vast majority of his mates came from excellent families.

It is the depth of excellence in his daughters’ bloodlines which has often helped convert them from disappointment as a racemare to success story as a broodmare.

Another fine example is Saddler’s Gal, who failed to earn a single penny in nine starts, but who went on to produce the Japanese superstar El Condor Pasa. Several other Group 1 winners, such as American Post, Laverock, Medaaly, Sumati, the Italian Derby winner Morshdi and the Japanese Derby winner Fusaichi Concorde, are also out of unraced or non-winning dams.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News



International Jockeys' Challenge... South Africa vs The World

south african horse racingInternational Jockeys’ Challenge

Freeracer reports that Frankie Dettori and Mick Kinane, two of the biggest names in horseracing, are among the six international jockeys who will clash with South Africa’s top riders in the International Jockeys’ Challenge at the Steinhoff International Summer Cup race meeting at Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg on Saturday 29 November.

The international team contains champions from several countries including the UK, France and Australia. The full team is Frankie Dettori (England), Mick Kinane (Ireland), Ryan Moore (England), Damien Oliver (Australia), Srinath Surender (India) and Christophe Soumillon (France).

Italian-born Frankie Dettori has become a legend in his own lifetime and is the most famous jockey in the world. He is the retained rider for Godolphin, the banner under which the rulers of Dubai race, and has won virtually every major race in the world including the Epsom Derby, the Dubai World Cup, the Breeders’ Cup Turf in the USA, the Japan Cup and the Arc de Triomphe.

Like Frankie Dettori, Irish-born Mick Kinane has long been regarded as one of the best jockeys on the planet and has won the Irish Jockeys’ Championship a record 13 times. He, too, has won major races in a string of countries including the Epsom Derby twice, the Arc de Triomphe, the Belmont Stakes and the Melbourne Cup, Australia’s most famous race,

Ryan Moore was champion apprentice in the UK in 2003 and went on to clinch the British Jockeys’ Championship in 2006, when he booted home 180 winners. Injury put paid to his chances of retaining the title last year, but he currently holds a commanding lead in the race for this year’s UK jockeys’ title.

Belgium-born Christophe Soumillon has been a dominant figure in French racing for years. He was champion apprentice there in 1999 and won the French Jockeys’ Championship in 2003 with 207 winners. His major successes include the Arc de Triomphe, the Breeders’ Cup Turf, the Dubai Duty Free and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in England.

Srinath Surender has won the jockeys’ title in India no fewer than five times and has won virtually all the major races in that country. He has ridden over 900 winners from 2800 rides, including some 40 successes in Macau.

Damien Oliver is a household name in Australia and has won 80 Group 1 races, including the Melbourne Cup  twice, four Caulfield Cups, two Cox Plates and a Golden Slipper to complete the Grand Slam of Australian Racing. He has won the Melbourne Jockeys’ Premiership on seven occasions and ridden with success in New Zealand, Mauritius, Hong Kong, Japan, Ireland and England.

The international riders will compete against South Africa’s best jockeys in a thrilling four-race challenge on Steinhoff Summer Cup day. It will be the first international jockeys’ contest in South Africa in some 20 years and JSE-listed Phumelela, which operates horseracing and/or tote betting in seven of South Africa’s nine provinces, is proud to have been able to secure such a formidable international team.

The riders to represent South Africa will be selected in the near future. Phumelela has asked the National Horseracing Authority, an autonomous national body that is responsible for ensuring that all races are run according to the rules of horseracing, to choose the team.

There will be a draw for mounts in each of the challenge races and the runners will be seeded beforehand in order to equalise the chances of the two teams as much as is possible.

The International Jockeys’ Challenge will be one of the highlights of a glorious afternoon of horseracing action on 29 November. The R2-million Steinhoff Summer Cup, one of the most famous races on the South African racing calendar, is the headline event and is certain to produce a memorable battle between many of the best thoroughbreds in the country.

Several other major races will also be run and there’s no doubt that the afternoon will live up to its billing of “Joburg’s Golden Event”.

“We are excited with the big names we have secured for the international team and are grateful to the Racing Association for their assistance and support,” said Phumelela’s Group CEO Rian du Plessis.

Larry Wainstein, chairman of the Racing Association that represents the interests of racehorse owners in Phumelela in making the International Jockeys’ Challenge a reality and believe that the day will quickly become a mega event on Joburg’s sporting calendar.”

Derrik Matthew, Marketing Executive of Steinhoff International Group Services, said: “It is a privilege to be associated with the Summer Cup - an event which is more than 100 years old. With the initiatives undertaken and the commitment shown by all concerned we are excited that this event will receive the prestigious recognition it deserves and be established as an annual event not to be missed!”

The International Jockeys’ Challenge will incorporate several co-sponsors. Lufthansa has already come on board as the official carrier and will be flying the international jockeys to South Africa “Steinhoff is one of Lufthansa’s leading clients in South Africa and by co-sponsoring this prestigious event we are emphasising our commitment to this partnership” explains Gabriel Leupold, Director Southern Eastern Africa. “With Lufthansa’s extensive international route network feeding into our daily flights from Frankfurt to Johannesburg, we are ideal partners that can add value to the International Jockeys’ Challenge by flying in the jockeys”

Phumelela’s General Manager Marketing and Communications, Robert Garner, said the jockeys’ challenge would capture the imagination of horseracing fans and the general public alike.

“It’s South Africa versus the world and brings international horseracing to our shores, something that has been lacking for years,” said Robert Garner. “Our jockeys have been champions across the globe from Michael Roberts in the UK to Bartie Leisher, Basil Marcus and Douglas Whyte in Hong Kong, and we believe the whole country will get behind our jockeys on the big day.” regulations make it extremely difficult to stage an international horse race in South Africa currently, so instead we have gone for an international jockeys challenge. It should be a fabulous afternoon and we are delighted to be staging the event in conjunction with regions, said: “We are delighted to have been able to assist