20 Years Ago: Sands of Time – June 1991


June 2 – 8

Interviewed before the Epsom Derby, an unusually confident Michael Roberts bites the dust on Mystiko in the race itself. The grey 2000 Guineas winner is in the lead for about 1800m, simply cantering, then goes out like a light for lack of staying power. The important Derby victory goes to Generous, who wins by five lengths. Generous is by Caerleon, and comes from the same female line as the famous filly Tryptich.

Between the ages of two-and-a-half and four-and-a-half a horse exfoliates 24 deciduous teeth. “Problems of Woolf teeth, retained deciduous teeth, mall-occlusions and poor mastication, lead to lack of stamina and performance, which can be controlled with regular dental care and maintenance, giving horses a far greater chance of reaching their full potential”. This according to one Gary Singh Khakhian, an equine dentist from Chadwell St Mary, who advertises in Pacemaker, and who further states “Individually Tailored Programmes A Speciality”.

Opens up a whole new avenue of excuses for owners!

Star Effort’s Race figure goes up by 14 points after her narrow win in the Fillies Guineas over Piece of Pie and Pullitzer Prize. Her figure spectacularly increases from from 43 to 57 (heaven knows what happened to Piece of Pie and Pullitzer Prize, who came into the Guineas with Race figures of 25 and 26 respectively).

Star Effort celebrates this new status with a credible win over the colts in the Daily News 2000 at Greyville. Her superb turn of foot is back with a vengeance, and she takes care of long-time leader Surprise Attack in a matter of strides. Spook And Diesel races three-wide the whole way, but manages to keep going for third, silencing the critics who doubted his stamina. There must be some doubt as to the overall value of the form, though, as the fourth horse Boss Baccus is beaten not more than a length.

JUNE 9 – 15

Rothmans July hopeful Rakeen, an exceedingly well-bred son of Northern Dancer, bites the dust in a slow run mile at Turffontein. His connections remain hopeful that he’ll make the final field.

Gosforth Park stewards consider a proposal to lift and relay turf from the 700m mark on the far bend to the 400m mark in the straight. The project will cost a shade under R2 million, and should take four months to complete. The need to re-lay the track comes as a result of drainage problems above the underpass to the infield. The project, if it is given the go-ahead, will be carried out in two phases to allow racing to continue.

The Gosforth Park club is considering mixing netlon into the base soil. Netlon, which consists of rectangles of nylon mesh, is expected to strengthen the turf and improve drainage.

The stewards of the Natal Local Executive of the Jockey Club send a communication to the Natal OTA, showing how much the Jockey Club is out of touch with reality. This is what chairman of the Local Executive, Dr Drummond, has to say: “It has been brought to the notice of the LE that certain persons are approaching trainers regarding the form and chances of horses in their stables despite the fact that they themselves do not have horses with that trainer. The LE have discussed this matter at length and are of the opinion that only the connections of the horse have the right to this confidential information. Seeking information from trainers in this manner is considered undesirable and the LE request that their opininion is conveyed to the members of the Natal OTA”.

It seems Dr Drummond and his fellow LE-members might appreciate a return to the Rules of Racing that were introduced by the British Jockey Club in April 1858, and where Rule 23. reads: “If any person shall be detected in watching a trial, or shall be proved to have employed any person to watch a trial, he shall be served with a notice to keep off the (Newmarket) Heath; and if in the employment of any Member of the Club or of any groom or rider employed by any Member of the Club, he shall be dismissed from his service, and not again employed.”

Perhaps Natal MEC Peter Miller would like to have a word in Dr Drummond’s ear about which century we are in, about who funds whom, and about who is entitled to what information?

Results of tests done on the horse Rip Curl show that this animal in all probability died as a result of African Horse Sickness. When this possibility was first mooted some weeks ago, scathing comments were made. Will those comments be publicly retracted now that the facts are known?

Flaming Rock, racing with a bar shoe to protect the hoof of a bruised foot, shows he’s best miler in the land when he wins the Gr1 Schweppes Challenge from Miss Averof. Flaming Rock had earlier in the year won the Gr1 Queens Plate. Favourite Olympic Duel runs a disappointing fifth.

East Cape racing’s CE Mike Tarpey announces the NatFed Interprovincial Championship. This race of R75.000 will be run on 26 July at Fairview. The objective is to attract as many horses as possible from around the country.

JUNE  16 – 22

The listed company Oakfields announces that just over half of its holdings in the thoroughbred horse industry were sold at the May-dispersal sale, which grossed about R5.5 million. The board gives notice of intent to liquidate its overdraft of R800.000, redeem half a million’s worth of preference shares, and “husband the company’s cash holdings for the time being”. Oakfields would continue to breed horses, said financial director Claude Ferrugia, but “will be operating from a cost efficient base”.

As a result, according to Ferrugia, Godfrey Gird “had stepped down as CEO with effect from 1 June”, and Brian Robinson would become executive chairman.

Given that Robinson is an unknown in the horse-world, it is a pity that Oakfields omitted to state who is taking charge of the company’s breeding strategies. Any guesses?

Star Effort and Jungle Warrior are withdrawn at first acceptance for the Rothmans July. Flaming Rock, who is drawn widest of all in the big race, is still in, and quoted at 7/1. Al Mufti (5/1) and Olympic Duel (6/1) are the favourites.

Natal’s MEC for Racing, Peter Miller, issues a statement that children will be allowed to attend the Rothmans July for the first time this year.

In the same statement Miller also discloses that there will in future be greater control to crack down on and prevent illegal betting, as well as the illegal supply and use of prohibited medication.

Jockey Club officials could be granted powers of search and seizure of such illegal money and drugs by special authorisation of the Administrator. These new regulations are to be gazetted before the end of the month.

Ruling Rothmans July favourite Al Mufti manages not more than fourth in the Mainstay Trail. He had a stiff task at the weights in the race, but even so the Millard inmate had started a firm favourite.

The ultra-consistent Rainbow Ride gets his just reward when winning the R1 million (!) Natal Derby, from fellow 20/1 shots Captain Marcus and Boss Baccus. The horse is not a Bloodline candidate, however, and his connections have to forgo the R250.000 added stake. Their R312.000 first prize is all they take home.

Rainbow Ride is the second horse this season to have been eliminated from one Graded race (the SA Derby) only to win another. The other horse to which this happened was Natal Guineas winner State Control, who had been eliminated from the Cape Guineas.

Incredulously, the Natal Derby is still a Grade Two race, despite the fact that it is the third leg of the Bloodline Triple Crown, is worth a million Rand, and has in recent years been won by Rothmans July winners Right Prerogative and Illustrador. Which other Grade One races can boast such credentials, and how silly can the Graded Races committee get?

The SABC, which covers all races on the Topsport sponsored day of the Bloodline Derby, has a rider with a mike on a stick galloping out to interview the winning jockey straight after the race. From this side of the screen the experiment looks outright dangerous and this should be one experiment the SABC will not want to repeat.

Newmarket chairman Joan Ruffel says in an interview on SABC radio that her club is well on its way to introduce night racing. Alterations to the existing stand will be funded by the Club, but additional money will be needed to put up the lighting around the track. Mrs Ruffel is confident that Newmarket’s night racing will be successful, despite the failure of a night racing experiment at the Vaal, where only the straight course was floodlit.

On the question of allowing the under-eighteens at Transvaal racetracks, Mrs Ruffel fully expects that before the year is over the Transvaal will have followed Natal, where the floodgates are opened on July 1st.

Have Your Say - *Please Use Your Name & Surname

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages readers to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that the Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their actual name and surname – no anonymous posts or use of pseudonyms will be accepted. You can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the EditorThe Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Please note that the views that are published are not necessarily those of the Sporting Post.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Popular Posts