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There Is Life After Training Racehorses…

Youngest Summer Cup trainer takes to the skies

The last visitor to win the Summer Cup was Strategic News, an AUS$40 000 Magic Millions bargain buy who had been based in Johannesburg for many months prior to his big race success and jumped unfancied after an ordinary Victory Moon effort.

His then Summerveld-based trainer Dylan Cunha, at just 28 years of age, ranks as the youngest handler to win the Cup in the 21st century. Glyn Schofield, now based in Australia, rode the winner.

Interestingly, the then very youthful 24-year-old Mike de Kock won his first Summer Cup in 1989.

While his Dad Luis is still involved – he has a runner at Scottsville on Sunday – Dylan handed his trainer’s licence in during May 2010 and went flying.after seven years in the trainers’ ranks.

The stable saddled 95 winners from 1 569 runners from 27 February 2004.

His last winner was Danger Point in a 2500m Maiden Plate at Clairwood on 21 April 2010.

Dylan Cunha (right) gets ready for takeoff with his colleague in the cockpit of a Mango Airlines boeing

In a letter to the industry at the time of his departure, Cunha cited a lack of support at the yearling sales, the high cost of purchases in relation to stakes, escalating costs of operations and the difficulty competing with larger stables as some of his reasons for quitting.

“I would like to thank all my patrons who have become friends for their loyal support over the past 7 years. For a small stable we experienced many high’s which included winning the Group 1 Summer Cup and many other winners. I wish you all the best for the future and pledge my continued support and advice which may be required concerning any of the horses,’’ he wrote.

Now resident in Umhlali Beach, First Officer Cunha flies the Mango Airlines Boeing 737’s on our domestic routes.

Luis told the Sporting Post that Dylan has never lost his passion for horseracing and follows the local and UK results with interest.

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3 comments on “There Is Life After Training Racehorses…

  1. Sarvan says:

    Sadly this is a reality that many ‘smaller’ stables are going to experience. I have a very good friend who has saddled a Met winner who deserves so much more i.t.o yearlings. Some patrons, and understandably so too as it’s their choice, just don’t support the ‘smaller’ stables. I think you are on a hiding to nothing if a Summer Cup winner as Dylan and a Met winner like my good friend can get the support they deserve. They’ve proven themselves with grade one winners so many some of our bigger owners need to have some faith and trust in the abilities and give them er kans.

  2. Loyo says:

    The general standard of SA trainers is very high but unfortunately only the “bigger” trainers get the real support. Fair enough they deserve their success but I like the Hong Kong model…a maximum of 40 horses per trainer…that way everybody gets a chance at life.

  3. Sean Taylor says:

    Well done Dylan! Who would of thought sitting next to you in high School me being a flight attendant & you a pilot.. success Mr ✈️

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