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Turffontein Honours A Legend

First off at 12h45

Today’s Turffontein feature race honours the memory of one of the greatest horses to grace the turf in this country.

Despite his 20 wins from 24 lifetime starts, SA Champion 2yo and 3yo titles and dual Horse Of The Year accolades, Sea Cottage is probably most famously remembered as the favourite that was shot three weeks before the 1966 Durban July Handicap.

Sea Cottage

Sea Cottage on parade in 1986

Approaching that year’s race with 11 wins from 12 starts, he a ‘racing certainty’.  Bookmaker Sonny Chislett stood to lose his shirt if the horse won and in conjunction with Monaco Club proprietor Monty Labuschagne, hatched a plan to ‘stop’ the colt.

Local henchman Johnny Nel was hired and on the morning of 10 June 1966, he took aim from a concrete shelter on the Blue Lagoon bridge, hitting the star  in the hindquarter.

With the bullet lodged beyond the reach of veterinary instruments, there was not much that could be done, but the horse made such a remarkable recovery, that he resumed training and took his place in the July field three weeks later.  Sea Cottage put up a courageous effort but, badly hampered at the 400m mark, he finished something of an unlucky 4th.

Sea Cottage

Sea Cottage – 1966 Queen’s Plate pic

When Sea Cottage returned to the scene of his defeat at Hollywoodbets Greyville as a 4yo on 1 July 1967, he was set to concede his nearest market rival, the year younger Jollify, nearly two stone.  But he wore the youngster down and got up to dead-heat in what is still the most talked about finish to the great race.

The Gr3 Sea Cottage Stakes heads a nine race programme on the Turffontein inside track – the first is off at 12h45.

The going is recorded as good to soft.

Get your racecard here

The false rail is set at 2m on the back straight to 5m on the bend with a 6m spur at the 500m mark.

All the Hollywoodbets betting here

The weather is forecast as mostly cloudy with a 60% chance of showers.

First timer / rested horses comments:


3 RED ADMIRAL J A Soma: Bad draw, should need the run

14 SUNNY SIDE UP P A Peter: Could place


9 LIL GREEN GRETNA D Nieuwenhuizen: Will be green


2 ELUSIVE BUTTERFLY M N Houdalakis: No comment given


6 STELLAR MOTION C Dawson: Will need the run

7 16:15 – SEA COTTAGE STAKES (Grade 3)

8 PAX ROMANA P A Peter: Could place

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8 comments on “Turffontein Honours A Legend

  1. Seattle Slew says:

    Sea Cottage was before my time, but as a kid I used to hear my elders speaking in awe of this equine phenomenon. This was a horse who won the Cape Derby when it was run over 2400m, then came to Greyville a few months later to beat a crack field of sprinters over 1200m. Sadly, SA’s racing heritage is not very well documented but I have read everything I could get my hands on about this remarkable horse. After speaking to many knowledgeable racing folk over the years, I believe (to the extent that it is possible to compare across generations) that he is simply the greatest racehorse to have graced the South African turf. At a time when racing is in such turmoil, it would be great for the powers that be to remember that champion racehorses are the best tonic for the sport, and promoting this aspect is a far better strategy than all the other kinds of gimmickry that we see.


    My quartet race 5 …from Odessa

    [1, 5, 6, 10]/[1, 5, 6, 10]/[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10]/[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10]

    1. Editor says:

      Easy game, some days
      R4304 dividend


    My quartet race 7 …from Odessa

    RACE 7
    25-Jan-2020 16:15
    [4]/[1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10]/[1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10]/[1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]

    1. Editor says:

      You should stay in Odessa

  4. Harold says:

    I agree with with Seattle Slew. Having read about and heard from punters long gone now, Sea Cottage is the greatest horse to ever grace our racetracks. Consider this – he raced with a bullet in his hindquarters. Do It Again loses form when bitten by a tick.

  5. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Hollywoodbets Scottsville definitely ON this time. Rain gauge shows 60mm + for past week, it’ll be zero overnight

    Expected 35 deg for Sunday, late afternoon showers predicted..

    But nice cold beers in The White Horse restaurant, lunches from R60 with a finish line view. See you there ….

    1. Editor says:

      Sounds good Cecil
      Thanks for scene set!
      Geniet 🙂

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