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Bushfires and Bridles – A Royal Checklist

L'Ormarins Queen's Plate - Stipes report

While the Kenilworth Saturday Pick 6 pool rocketed to over R6,5 million against a conservative projection of R4 million, the delay of over 22 minutes to the start of the R1,5 million Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, billed as the race of the season, and the subsequent below-par showing of boom 4yo Hawwaam, left a sour aftertaste for many.

Vardy storms ahead to win the big one (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

A nearby bush-fire and multiple equipment failures were at the root of the delay which did nobody any favours.

We have quoted below from the official Stipes report and really cannot apportion blame in any direction for an unanticipated sequence of issues – unless our readers know better?

TWIST OF FATE cast his left front shoe on his way to the start, which was replaced, causing a delay.

The bridle on DO IT AGAIN broke and had to be replaced.

The bridle on HAWWAAM slipped off and had to be refitted.

The right front shoe on PACK LEADER was cast twice and had to be replaced.

The start was substantially delayed due to TWIST OF FATE (A Domeyer) casting his left front shoe on route to the start, PACK LEADER (M Winnaar) casting his right front shoe on two separate occasions at the start, the bridle of DO IT AGAIN (R Fourie) breaking and having to be replaced at the start, the bridle on HAWWAAM (A Marcus) slipping and having to be refitted and a bush fire in close proximity to Kenilworth Racecourse, which created concerns regarding visibility on the course.

In view of the above report, the bridle of DO IT AGAIN (R Fourie) was inspected by the Board and was found to be of a suitable quality and condition.

In view of the performance of DO IT AGAIN (R Fourie), the veterinary surgeon was requested to examine this gelding.

In view of the performance of SOQRAT (AUS) (C Murray), the veterinary surgeon was requested to examine this colt.

In view of the performance of CROWN TOWERS (AUS) (B Fayd’Herbe), the veterinary surgeon was requested to examine this gelding.

DO IT AGAIN (R Fourie) and HAWWAAM (A Marcus) were difficult to settle in the early and middle stages.

At the 800m, HAWWAAM (A Marcus) shifted out off the heels of RAINBOW BRIDGE (G Lerena).

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22 comments on “Bushfires and Bridles – A Royal Checklist

  1. Rudy Moodley says:

    Based on what happened at the start of the Queensplate 2020, what happened was a dirty disgrace to SA horse racing.Shoes being re-fitted, bridles breaking etc.The trainer of any horse that feels his horse is compromised due to its nature like temperament, should be given the option to remove his horse from the race via scatching.This protects the integrity of the horse and the fairness to the horse racing fraternity.As usual, the poor punting public, the largest contributor to the sport of kings, have no option and get their betting funds absolutely wasted due to the fact that the racing fraternity has no clause to allow this intervention. This is not the best practice in most first world countries.The world racing fraternity now realises how the tab funds/ coffers thar are offered completely disabled

  2. Garrick Bergh says:

    South Africa is often quite quick to claim ‘world class’ status in any number of areas. But in the following instances there is no dispute that we lead the world :

    Equipment Failures
    Starting Stall Malfunctions
    Shoe spreading
    Horses Bolting
    Horses Breaking Through The Stalls

    I normally confine myself to following UK racing and the incidents listed above are a rarity there despite the actual volume of racing being about treble that of South Africa. I often watch ia amazement when a field of up to 40 runners is loaded faster than we can load 10.

    A month or so ago I started jotting down each incident of shoe spreading and horses bolting. I soon gave up when I realised there would be nothing more than the usual clucking and excuses offered but no investigation or action.

    The mere fact that SA tends to reload horses that break through the pens says it all. In the UK it almost always results in an immediate scratching of the offender.

  3. MGram says:

    I did my money in cold blood. This Hawwaam is a tea leaf, any delay and he is toast. Shown in both the July and now Queens Plate. I hope that for the Met every horse will be properly inspected before going to post as all it takes to beat Hawwaam is a delay. Well played Cape trainers and jocks you showed the Vaalies how to be beaten before the atarting stalls opened.

  4. Art says:

    MGRAM my sentiments exactly.The racing authorities need to up their game.

  5. Roy Naidoo says:

    Garrick Bergh. Agree. My thoughts exactly as well. While it’s to be expected such things take place it seems to occur that much more frequently in South Africa.

  6. Leon Lotz says:

    It is not the trainers fault when a horse spread a shoe,nothing to do with first world and SA seventh world. These things happen.When horses are going down to the start the jockey will sometimes pull the head to the side and just taking a hold of the horse to prevent a horse from running away to the start.Horses shake their heads going down etc.Look at what the legs are doing.Horses will always spread shoes.Do yourself a favour and walk n training track and see how many shoes are lying in the track. This happens all over the world and I saw it it myself in Aus and the USA.

  7. Cameron James says:

    Could someone tell me what causes a bridle to break?

    Would that hurt the horse in the process?

    Then would that affect the horse’s performance?

    I’ve watched the replay about 5 times this morning, I still believe this horse DIA needs more ground, and to be critical I see Richard again went for the inside running.

    Also the manner in which he came under pressure, could Justin have misjudged this horse’s fitness. Seems as if he was underdone on the day. Love to hear what the champion trainer says as the 6.25 to 1 is very appealing come Met day.

  8. Mike Miles says:

    MGram. Don’t think Hawwaam is a “tea leaf” but he certainly isn’t the all conquering machine deluded punters are making him out to be. No more than slightly above average is probably a more correct description.

  9. twinkletoes says:

    Have there been any comments from Mike or Matthew de Kock? It’s not just Hawaam who failed but Soqrat, they were expecting a big run from him as well.

  10. Pops says:

    People,the sky has not fallen,the sun has risen from the east and Eskom has promised Stage 6 Load Shedding.So everything is back to normal.Enjoy.

  11. Geoff says:

    How about getting comment from the De Kock stable ? Thanks in advance Mr Editor .

    1. Editor says:

      Will do Geoff

  12. Wayne Fouche says:

    Someone must surely be to blame. Do we have inferior farriers? Are our shoes not up to scratch? OK nothing could be done about the bush fire but all horses breaking through the front of the stalls and bolting should be scratched immediately. And you can kiss goodbye to any horse having a shoe refitted. One in a hundred may win – the rest are generally unsighted. Difficult to understand the bridle breaking.

  13. Cameron James says:

    Ed, while you at it, can you try and get some feedback regarding DIA, bear in mind wherever RB runs DIA is normally ahead or in close attendance.

    Could it be down to the cough he had prior to the QP. Would be great to know. Thanks

  14. Shane says:

    I watch a lot of Hong Kong.,English and Australian racing. Cannot remember ever seeing race been delay because of horses losing shoes only in South Africa. We must have the worst
    ferriers in racing

  15. Cecil Pienaar says:

    CJ, maybe as per your previous post DIA is just not a 1600m horse anymore.

    Take nothing away from Vardy and One World, the younger guns…. Impressive

    DIA proved me wrong before with running and winning fresh from lay offs, even the 2nd run l/o myth?

    I hope all accept for The Met, then we’ll know if RB and DIA had their time…

    But for now, it is Vardy time 👍


    Neither Hawwaam nor Soqrat nor Do It Again cast their shoes once or twice before the start.

    A bridle slipped on Hawwaam can be equated to some of the ladies mascara running/melting due to the warmer weather @ the QP.

    Do It Again’s bridle broke… that would be similar to a ladies brassiere strap breaking in the parade ring.

    Vardy, the horse with the least number of runs & course appearances, should have been affected the most by these earth shattering delays.

    All the horses smelt the smoke, but Vardy, coming from last & most importantly, the widest, by 4 or 5 swept them aside like no other.

    Vardy kicked all and sundries ass’s right across Wetton Rd, into Wynberg Sports Club… this All & sundry been hailed as the best field ever to be assembled for a QP !!

  17. Ivan says:

    During that delay Hawaam was not covered by the cameras or Anton. And I’m sure everyone wanted to see IG he is playing up or what. Why show us shots of the other horses and not the favorite


    Garrick, as you say, in relation to watching the UK races and field sizes as compared to Zuid Afrika,
    you have to ask these questions.

    How many levels of knowledge or understanding of the horse, at the start, are we behind ? Must be 6 levels or stages.

    And the various ‘Flintstone’ equipment & track malfunctions during the year, that’s easy to answer, racing is bankrupt.

  19. Rudy Moodley says:

    Agree fully with Wayne and William.Both Phumelela and Gold Circle have been mis- managed for the last 20 years or so.Both organisations are run like “old boy clubs”. Funds have been lacking to upkeep the Sport of kings.Bookmakers are the chief culprits.They make the most profits in the game and contribute the least to the upkeep.Legislation should be introduced to compel them to contribute more.Maybe, then the turf clubs will be able to employ and pay the properly trained personnel, and maintain the track facilities and equipment adequately.

  20. Navin says:

    Racing in South Africa has become a joke, it’s a reason why punters are turning to casinos. The fat cats sit and have a laugh in their suites,knowing exactly how they are killing the game.

  21. Kuben says:

    To me the delay was created, so that they could unsettle hawaam. Which is not right for racing itself. In this case trainer should have the opinion to scratch this horse. Everyone knows hawaam is difficult horse, Cape Town TRAINERS are scared of HAWAAM

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