NOVEMBER 2 – 8
At Newmarket, the Foveros filly Rose Dancer scores her fourth win. First prize in a competition run by Five Roses, the three-parts sister to Aquanaut has now won her fortunate owners over R80.000 in stakes. The tea company still pays all bills.
Sheikh Mohammed, who bought a half interest in champion Arazi privately from Alan Paulson for a reported $9 million prior to the 1991 Breeders Cup Juvenile, buys out Paulson’s share in the colt. The price is thought to be below the figure Sheik Mohammed paid Paulson last year. Arazi will enter stud in 1993 at the Sheik’s Dalham Stud near Newmarket, UK, and stand at a fee of about $30.000.
Paulson made a mint out of Arazi, after buying him for $350.000 as a weanling. He tried to sell him at the Keeneland Yearling sales, but with the right price not materialising was forced to buy the colt back at $300.000.
Arazi was sent to France where he won 6 of his seven races at 2, before taking part in the Breeders Cup Juvenile. He won that race so impressively that bookmakers made him favourite both for the Epsom and Kentucky Derby, and the press in its usual frenzy went way overboard in assessing Arazi’s ability.
Arazi had knee chips removed before the start of his 3yo season. He won a Gr2 in the spring in France before travelling to the US for the Kentucky Derby. Arazi ran a disappointing eigth, his cigar smoking trainer Boutin stating that he hadn’t have enough time to prepare the horse properly for the campaign his owners desired him to follow. Arazi came back to France, raced three times for one Gr2 win. He returned to the US for the Breeders Cup Mile (on turf), and finished eleventh.
Arazi, who is by Blushing Groom out of a Northern Dancer mare, retires with 8 wins from 14 starts, and earnings of $1.3 million.
The second year of the Cartier Awards is announced in Pacemaker. There are some controversial selections, although not quite as eccentric as in 1991.
User Friendly, a filly with four Gr1 wins and whose only defeat was a close second in the Arc, is unanimously named Horse of the Year, as well as Best 3yo Filly. The only other horse to score in the poll for Horse of the Year was Rodrigo de Triano.
Lester Piggot receives the special Cartier Award of Merit. Now in his 57th year, Piggot scored eight Gr1 victories, which in Europe was topped only by Pat Eddery.
Race timing takes on a new dimension, when a claiming stakes at Kenilworth is won by the horse Handsome Heir, who sets a new course record (1.35.8).
There’s not much of an early pace in the Gr2 Bloodline Fillies Championship over 1400m at Kenilworth, where 12/1 shot Epaulette comes with a tremendous run to beat Hancock Park. The 22/10 favourite Fulfillment made much of the slow pace, but seemed to have problems in cornering coming into the straight and faded. Early favourite Fov’s Dancer finishes third, this after breaking loose at the start and cantering back to the parade ring.
The R350.000 Gr1 Germiston November handicap results in a last stride victory for Natal visitor Unaware. The 4yo son of Northern Guest beats fellow Natal raider Averof’s Loot and his own stable companion Senor Santa. The well supported Secret Rites again runs one of his inexplicable races and trails in last.
NOVEMBER 9 – 15
Michael Roberts officially wins the British champion jockey title as the curtain falls on the current season at the Folkestone meeting.
Roberts has an amazing tally of 206 winners from 1068 rides, and becomes Britain’s oldest first-time champion jockey. Pat Eddery finishes in second with 178 wins from 732 starts, ahead of third placed Willie Carson with a mere 125 winners from 856 mounts. Only five other jockeys pass the 100-win mark, none of them with more than 110.
Richard Hannon is champion trainer with earnings of œ1.7 million. Hannon saddled 147 winners.
Thursday’s racemeeting at the Vaal is postponed when the track is waterlogged.
A day later Fairview (PE) cancels its scheduled meeting for the same reason.
Two former Rothmans July winners fill the first two places in the R60.000 Diadem Stakes over 1200m at Kenilworth. San Carlos cut out a very fast pace, but was caught short of the post by Flaming Rock and Spanish Galliard who both flew up from behind. This was Irish-bred Flaming Rock’s 14th win. Race favourite Signor Amigo raced too far off the pace after being squeezed early and never got a blow in.
Zimbabwe racing celebrates its centenary, with invited guests from around the world. The first meeting was held in May 1892 in Salisbury, less than two years after the arrival of the Pioneer settlers column. Four British jockeys (including new champion Roberts) will compete with three South African jockeys against the local contingent.
At a centenary banquet two days earlier, Circle The Sun is voted Horse of the Year.
NOVEMBER 16 – 22
Leading classic contender from the Mike de Kock stable, Allied Invasion, leaves the stable after a disagreement between his owners and trainer. The horse is trucked from the Cape to Johannesburg, but dropped off in Colesberg while his owners try to make up their mind whether or not Allied Invasion should contest the Cape classics. Three days later a truck transporting Millard horses to the Cape picks up the now thoroughly confused Allied Invasion. Allied Invasion joins the Millard string in the Cape, leaving his former trainer De Kock with his supposedly second string Stamford Bridge to oppose him.
The unit of betting in the Pick Six is reduced from 50c to 10c in the Cape, and couplings are abolished from all forms of Tote betting.
The reduction in unit price is expected to have a positive effect on turnover in the beleaguered province.
It’s sweet justice for trainer Mike de Kock, when his National Assembly colt Stamford Bridge runs on nicely to take the Gr2 Administrator’s Cup run over a mile at Kenilworth. Stamford Bridge has little trouble holding off the attentions of Court Messenger and Eli’s Truth, giving his enthusiastic owners Bladergroen a much deserved major success at generous odds of 7/1.
Race favourite Gale Rising (17/10) refuses to settle and runs uplaced. The latter had been flown from Johannesburg on the morning of the race and returns that evening. Asked why the horse went back again instead staying on for the Cape Guineas, the horse’s trainer states “I only brought him here to show him the course (for the Guineas)” – which raises some eyebrows, as the Guineas is traditionally run at Milnerton and not Kenilworth.
The new 10 cent Pick Six makes an impact in the Cape, where the pool reaches its highest mark for a long while.
NOVEMBER 23 – 29
The Cape Turf Club drops a bombshell when its scheduled summer campaign is moved from Milnerton to Kenilworth. The change is necessary because of slow recovery of the grass surface in the new straight. Midweek meetings scheduled for Milnerton will instead be run at Durbanville.
The Cape Turf Club is criticised for the lateness at which the decisions to alter the Guineas venue are made. Apparently, several of the Club’s stewards weren’t even aware that there was a problem with the track!
It is the second time in two years that meetings have to be switched to Kenilworth because of track problems.
The change of venue for the Cape Guineas (this year for the first time to be run in December), also means that the Guineas gallops scheduled for the Sunday before the big race, will now not take place. Rumours that the failure of the Milnerton turf were a result of divine intervention because of the proposed Sunday gallops could not be confirmed.
Racing in Hong Kong is suspended indefinitely when an equine flu outbreak spreads to at least 300 horses. The Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club expects the suspension of racing to last until January, which forces cancellation of eight racemeetings, including the prestigious Invitation Cup, highlight of the Hong Kong calendar.
The Greyville racemeeting, at which a team of British riders competes, is beamed live into British betting shops via its SIS channel. The UK-team includes new champion Michael Roberts, and Alex Greaves, the top lady jockey in her country. Greaves is the first woman to ride at Greyville in 21 years. She wins the last leg of the team challenge, making all on the Award of Merit.
A daughter of freshman sire Best By Test wins the Cape Fillies Guineas. Vesta, trained by big-race-ace Darryl Hodgson and easy to back at 8/1, comes with a late run to collar Display Model. The pace in the race is set by Rand-visitor Lupine Lady, a superfast daughter of Wolf Power. This grey filly covers the first 1000m of the race in 59 seconds, fast enough to enable early backmarker Vesta to finish the mile race in 1m36.5s, a new track record. Unfortunately, the course clock is on the blink and records a paltry 1m39.8s, a misinterpretation of pace if ever there was one. Not that this bothers the stewards of the Cape Turf Club much – after all, this is racing at Kenilworth, and it’s clearly not their clock. An attitude which, of course, is entirely symptomatic of the coping problems that beset Cape racing at present.
What’s worse, the officials (and gathered press who rely on official times) thus misinterpreted the excellent performance of second finisher Display Model, the only one of the front runners capable of maintaining the too-fast pace, and now surely a good betting proposition next time out.
In the 2400m Japan Cup, Tokai Teio pleases the home-crowd when he comes with a late run to beat Australian horse Naturalism (appropriately by the proverbial ball-hair). Four-year-old Tokai Teio (nicknamed Tokai Theo in the Pollsmoor TV-room) is the 1991 Japan Derby winner, and boosts his earnings by $1.3 million, his share of the total purse of $3.1 million. The race was watched by an on-course crowd of 168.000, which poses interesting questions about catering and plumbing at the Fuchu track.