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Government ‘Silent’ – De Kock

'Nothing to look forward to...'

Multiple champion trainer Mike de Kock tells veteran broadcaster Andrew Bensley about the frustrations of the lockdown and the way that the racing industry is handling it.

He feels that the industry is not getting a fair deal with ‘thumbsuck’ policies applied by an indecisive government and says that many are under pressure.

But listen to the interview on Soundcloud

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87 comments on “Government ‘Silent’ – De Kock

  1. reddyd says:

    Racing SA, may you rest in peace

  2. Barry Irwin says:

    Now that SA racing has reached rock bottom it can be reborn if Mary Slack and her daughters choose the right mix of professionals to restructure the sport and not take the easy route of simply bringing on board their pals. They must resist the temptation to make it yet another “old boys (or in this case girls) club” and pick the best people for the jobs. The reluctance to stand up to the Markus Jooste (*edited) Family is a stain on all of South African racing and the only way to erase that black mark is to strive to do the right thing. South African racing is not going to disappear. South Africa is the rainbow nation and the mix of professionals must reflect this reality. A bunch of old white guys with European heritage is not going to cut it anymore.

  3. Grant says:

    Scary thoughts.

  4. Praga says:

    But I’m sure our racing will be better than Ngong’s

  5. B D Steele says:

    Yes Mr Irwin and in no time at all it will be just as well run as our SOE .i wonder if it perhaps skipped your mind that an old white man with a colonial heritage money is been used to keep up racing in South Africa.Get your own house in order before advising us

  6. Namsat says:

    If that’s the comments from the big man himself then
    Not much hope, even considering leaving SA.
    If racing does not commence early June then we
    Heading for some dark days I’d say

  7. Eugene says:

    Make no mistake this interview and the ugly comments of Mike de Kock about our government will be brought to the attention of Minister Patel and Minister Dlamini-Zuma. Mike de Kock is supposed to be an ambassador for the sport. He should keep his negative and self centred comments to himself. He should be thinking of horse racing and its future. He should be diplomatic in these sensitive times. There are many other businesses and industries suffering like horse racing. We are not special. You do not see the other businesses and industries publically slating our government, telling the rest of the world that we have thumbsuck and illogical policies. The arrogance of the man has no bounds. IMO Mike de Kock has ruined the chances of horse racing getting any special dispensation from government to have racing start earlier than expected. Instead of standing on the fence and whining like a hurt child who thinks that he is the most important person around, Mike de Kock should do what he has been threatening to do. SA horse racing will live without him. No one is indespensible. There are many many good trainers waiting in the wings to prove themselves with good horses and get the opportunities he has been gifted with.


    Excellent summation, Eugene.

    You see the bigger picture, along with Barry Irwin.

  9. jai says:

    ngongs and turf at 15/10 joint favourites take your pic .turf trained by mike de kock..

  10. Mac Naidoo says:

    The broadcaster asked all right questions and mdk fell hook line and sinker. I cannot believe this interview. A well respected trainer cannot defend his own countrys policies.


    What a bloody cheek by Mike de Kock.

    The Government is currently grappling with the issue of getting our toddlers & young pupils back to school coupled with the utilization or safe operation of school feeding schemes.

    This to lighten the weekly grocery load of households of the masses who send up 3 kids to school.

    But what Sporting Post Bloggers have to read is the sensationalized statements made by our so-called leaders in the South African Racing Industry that horses will be euthanized because owners in this privileged sport will stop paying training fees.

    Well, whoop-de-doo to those who collaborated that report to Government about their hard-times.

    Put racing’s hard-times into context to South Africa’s overall stuffed-up economy, and that before Covid 19.

    Mr. Mike de Kock, after making that observation, you can then start moaning.

    Did anybody at the RA or NHA think about legislating an emergency levy for extraordinary circumstances ?

    There are, however, loads of rules in the Constitution of RA that have successfully been transgressed in the past, so why not a Emergency Fund ?

    The actions of racing administrators in South Africa & the silence of too many stakeholders over the past 20 years have screwed racing 9 ways to Sunday.

  12. Grant says:

    Gary player world renowned ambassador. Has he any influence on any of the people making decisions. As Breeder surely he has a vested interest. For the love of this game someone must be able to get through.

  13. PC says:

    Well.said Barry. Instead of trying to build a bridge we tend to destroy relationships. Governments are an integral part of most industries and the only way to solve the issue is through engagement. It seems the new is taking of from where the PG left it

  14. Boete says:

    Mdk comments are from a frustrated point of you must also understand the comment about schools just to give you some info from an educator who must report for duty on the 25 but no permit delieved school not sanitised no ppe so Mr mdk the gov is lip service with no delivery so don’t hold your breath for racing to start from a clever punter who just gave up punting after 30 yrs tanx to lockdown

  15. Denzil says:

    Well said Mr. Barry Erwin.

    As for Mike De Kock, degrading one’s country is as low as anybody can go ….and will not contributing towards the restarting of racing. MDK has ruined the chances of horse racing getting any special dispensation from government to have racing start any sooner.

    MDK should do what he has been threatening, he is not indispensable. Now that he has a foothold in AUS, he thinks he can make vile comments about our country. I have news for you Mr. MDK AUS will soon, no longer be the land of milk and honey…. after the Chinese have put them in their place.., then where will you run to.

  16. Chris Evans says:

    I read the comments before I listened to the interview and played it expecting to hear something completley different.I heard zero ugly comments only hard facts.Why to be people waste their time writing toxic comments more or less ridiculing one of most respected and succesful trainers when all he is doing is letting the world know the facts.If the government do not like what he says then so be it.Do people want him to lie and say the government is doing a great job.Not letting racing run behind close doors on a definite date is nearly as ludicrous as not being allowed to buy smokes and I am a massive anti smoking person.I could go on but this is not a political platform.

  17. Noel says:

    Thank you @Chris Evan’s, I think those who posted negative comments should be ashamed of themselves. MDK has excelled at the highest level of international racing and has given so much to racing south africa and has been an exceplanary ambassador to our country.Yet when he says what so many of us are actually feeling, he is ostracised. These types, clearly dont see the actual seriousness that befalls this industry if we dont get racing behind close doors by month end. I suppose those people would all just find a new industry to sit and post comments on yet contribute nothing and would probably never give our beloved horse racing a second thought if it was non existent. Much like the management of phumelela.

  18. Patrick says:

    I fully agree Mike must start respecting the head of state our president who are really concerned about the well-being of the nation of South Africa. The well-being of the nation is far more higher and important than racing. Mike needs to apologise for what he said wrongfully about our government. Infact punters should walk open eyes when taking bets. How many times did Hawaam one of the best horse’s trained by Mike disappointed the punters at a price of 11/10. The very same horse train by Mike De Kock can probably disappoint the punters again in the July Handicap.

  19. Neil Van Vuuren says:

    I think I must have listened to a different interview than those to berated amike de stock. From my understanding, what he is seeking is clarity from government on when racing can commence again, should all the protocols be followed.

    Everyone, and I mean everyone involved in racing is always talking about trainers needing to be open and transparent be it with regards to their horses well being or anything material that could affect the punter. So when he is transparent in saying he and others have no “program” for their horses as there is no target date he is being criticized.

    Anyone who disagrees with his statement on some of the nonsense policies being passed clearly has a VERY large set of 360 degree blinkers on.

    I personally feel his interview was honest and forthright, explaining to punters internationally where we stood prior to Covid with respect to Phumelela and business rescue, governments support for racing and the 100000 odd people it supports (again info punters need to know, be it local or international).

    Humans are by nature target orientated and if you keep shifting the goal posts or in this case removing them, it is inevitable that the players are going to look elsewhere to play.

    Lastly I sincerely hope the Oppenheimer’s can wield some sort of magic and ensure the right people are put into the right positions. It has always been something that has fascinated me and hopefully someone can explain or answer this question…how does a sport that has some of the countries highest earners and most prominent business owners and leaders in its ranks, get run into the ground without someone/s stepping up to the plate?

  20. Shanil says:

    if any of us were in governments position right now we would probally make far more mistakes than them. People what is happening is unprecedented. Europe and USA lost more lives with no action taken by their passive governments. Every decision taken might result in more deaths and a collapse of our health Care system. I like the idea of people like Gary Player who is a real gentleman and well respected to engage government.

  21. Gloria Adams says:

    If you compare South Africa to the rest of the world, you have to give credit to our leaders.

    As soon as a world pandemic was declared WHO they declared a national state of disaster and took measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    At the time the national disaster was declared South Africa had less than 100 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

    By the time South Africa had introduced lockdown measures, coronavirus had already been around for 4 months and decimated Wuhan, China. The disease was spreading at an exponential rate. Europe and most first first world countries had soaring infection numbers and the death rates were increasing by substantial numbers. Hospitals could not cater for the sick and infected and mortuaries were overloaded.

    South Africa’s circumstances are different to the rest of the world. We have a very different socio economic climate. We have a high poverty rate, high number of HIV sufferers and Tuberculosis is prominent. There are many areas in South Africa that are because of the demographics breeding grounds for the corona virus.

    By acting as swiftly as they have, our leaders have saved lives and arrested coronavirus as best as they
    could. They should be commended and not criticized.

    While the numbers of infected cases in Europe are dropping, the numbers in South Africa are rising and rising at a frightening rate.

    Because horse racing is taking place behind closed doors in other racing jurisdictions does not make it right that South Africa should follow. Each country and their circumstances are different.

    FACT: Presently, there are more countries in the world that do not have closed door racing than do.

    If economics and personalities had to be put aside, South Africa would receive a gold medal for the steps it has taken to prevent the scurge of the coronavirus. I doubt that there is any other country in the world that has acted as swiftly as South Africa. I take heart in the fact that our leaders care about lives.

    When I heard the Mike de Kock interview, his disappointment shone through. Mike was being interviewed about horse racing in South Africa and the effects of the coronavirus. He is seen as one of the ambassadors of South African racing. He gave his personal views but expressed them as views of the horse racing industry in South Africa. He said that Phumelela had a bad relationship with government and alluded to this as being a reason why horse racing was not getting the ear of our leaders. I am sure that his interview will get to the ears of our leaders. He has done exactly what he was bemoaning about and made it more difficult for horse racing to get the ear of our leaders.

    Mike de Kock is a race horse trainer. He is not a scientist. He is not an expert in corona virus. He knows very little about what is happening around South Africa. He has no right to criticise our leaders in public without giving reasons and relying on facts to support his criticism. He lives and works in a bubble. I trust our leaders. Mike de Kock should resign all his positions and apologise to our leaders. His public views represent everything that horse racing has been trying to rid of itself since 1994.

  22. Deven says:

    Mr Mike de kock don’t forget we’re you began your training career, just because you’re a super star now and you can move to Australia and start training it does not give you the rights to vent your frustration when a well respected trainer like you can promote the sport. Which ever country you go to there will always be issues.
    Please consider other people’s feelings and lives because people are dying out there with no jobs, no food. This is a difficult situation for everyone rich or poor. We expect better from you. People look up to you as a father and trainer.

  23. FJC says:

    Racing’s submission to Government was floored because gambling is not allowed in L4 and L3. It should have been highlighted that the sport would continue only. Also there would be more than 50 people required on a race day to ensure operations run smoothly.

  24. Graham Clarke says:

    Not to perturbed about comments and thoughts
    We need to start racing as soon as possible

  25. Lushan says:

    Is there another podcast that some of you have listened to? Because I cannot understand some of the comments made. Mike De Kock is a very smart man and calls a spade a spade… he didn’t reach the heights he has reached by being a mugg.I believe what he is saying is the ugly reality that South African racing finds itself in. In my opinion, I agree no one is indespensible but losing mdk to Australia is a gain to Australia and a big loss to the South African racing fraternity.

  26. Singing boy says:

    Mike is correct in his assessment, he’s not asking for anything other than clarity, something which in any first world country would be forthcoming.

    This, however, is not a first world country, and horseracing is receiving as much attention as it deserves given its context within the far more pressing issues facing government.

    Those affected should have realised this early on

    As for Barry’s comments about race, how about simply getting the best and most passionate people available, surely that will yield better results than Affirmative action, as if there’s not enough evidence already that such a policy is highly counter productive over the long term. .

    Those earning a living from horseracing in this country should lower their expectations from government but at the same time use this episode as a lesson as to what and how things need to be done, going forward , to better safeguard their interests and prevent such a re occurrence.

  27. Dave Other says:

    I cannot agree with most of the comments commending the government’s handling of matters. The collateral damage already suffered is great and I would rein that in (no pun intended) as soon as possible.
    The fuss created regarding the current and even expected death toll is beyond me unless such a fuss was made historically about people losing their lives to all manner of things. Everything here just suits and plays into the hands of the ruling cabal (including other government, WHO responses). Yes, I am anti govt. but not necessarily anti ANC.
    I’m no big MdK fan but ffs, let him tell it like it is.
    Let’s hope racing can thrive (ok, at least recover a bit) soonest

  28. JessK says:

    As respected and successful, Mike de Kock is, people are getting tired of the big egos and double standards.
    What a lot of people don’t seem to understand is that de Kock does not see his future income emanating from training horses in South Africa.
    His entire business strategy is based on exporting horses to other countries.
    That is why he laments so much about the export protocols being unfair.
    When the export protocols are removed, we will see Mike de Kock and a few others (he is closely aligned with in SA) becoming the biggest money spinners in horse racing.
    The removal of the export protocols will only benefit a few. The argument that it will give jobs to many is a nonsense argument. To this end, any and every business that opens in SA will create jobs.

  29. malperumal says:

    When u speak on your own behalf that you can say it as it is cos you are the only one to lose. When u are entrusted to represent an industry then you need to tone your responses and have diplomacy cos there is alot at stake.
    If you dont have those skills then dont represent the industry.

  30. Speedyvar says:

    Mike De Kock, remember when ‘phantom warriors’ could not enjoy a certain amount of clarity in their lives,when they wanted your explanation about your favourite runners running below par?
    Did you not say you do not owe anyone an explanation?
    Did you also not say to others that moaned about racing,”–If racing is so bad,why are you still around?Why don’t you do us all a favour and get out?
    Should the same rule apply to folk who talk of Thumbsuck policies applied by an indecisive government?
    should they get out?
    And finally, do you still believe in your motto,–Suspicion haunts the guilty
    But finally,finally,would you say this relates to you,–My message to the consistently bitter, obstructive commentators, who often suggest skulduggery in the South African government is, ‘If South Africa is so bad, why are you still around? Why don’t you do us all a favour and get out?’”

    Fare thee well.

  31. joao says:

    The reality of this matter is that it completely unprecedented. Anyone is dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t and that includes the government. So what if they announced “racing starts on the 3 august” that statement will only be true if indeed racing does start on that date. If suddenly there is a spike in deaths (heaven forbid) and they have to delay the date they will be accused of misleading us.

    When this virus broke out The IRC rang one of our trainers and asked for the horses to be put on basic walking feed and bedding until further notice. We were told this is not possible and that racing will start soon. 5 weeks later another call resulted in horses been relocated to a spelling farm at half price until further notice.

    for me the WHOLE industry has also not really watched the news and realised these are indeed unprecedented global times. people are going to make mistakes. government and scientists are going to get it wrong and WE (racing) should have had a more prudent attitude to our near term future. We should have “had a break” ( you having one now anyway) we should have looked inwards towards US and started making savings to protect owners and therefore protect horses lives.

    I know its not easy but a self made plan is sometimes better than a potential plan made by others.

    Some stables are giving 10% discount its not enough. Horses should be cared for at the very minimum with the absolute basics and the racing should be huge to the owner and perhaps then we could have saved more owners and lives.

    and before someone tells me that “we really thought” we would be racing sooner rather than later
    let me answer

    “you know what thought did?”

  32. Brian says:

    MDK was right, period!

  33. Michael Jacobs says:

    I can sense the frustration and concern from Mr Mike de Kock, and one cannot blame him.

    All MDK is asking for is a DATE! Based on the alert levels implemented by the govt, surely the industry can be told that racing will start in level 2 or level 1 or 1st July or end July? A DATE to work towards! This industry works with animals not machines! Animals have to be fed, exercised, trained and looked after. Animals cannot stand in a box forever waiting to die. This govt needs to understand this. The govt does not respect sectors, industries or the economy. Govt should be engaging, why not involve more ministers, instead of the 3 stooges only! (Patel, Dlamini-Zuma and Cele). Surely the minister of Sport can be engaged about the racing industry, why must the industry be ignored. Govt is supposed to work for the people, but not this govt!

    I agree 100% with MDK on the way this govt has treated the various industries and even the citizens! More people should voice their disgruntlement. Why hasn’t Mrs Slack and Mrs Rupert approached the govt, their families contributed more than 2 Billion to the Solidarity fund!

  34. Noel says:

    Everyone seems to be throwing tantrums and wanting to talk about the Mdk interview, yet no one seems to ask for actual feedback information from our racing authorities. So I would like then ask again for further feedback from Mr Moodley with regards to racing possibilities . Yesterday, Ed, was kind enough to provide a unconfirmed report of inspections taking place at our facilities. Where is our Mr Moodley in all of this. Another one who is simply provided with sheltered employment. Yet people want to throw tantrums over the Mdk interview. He at least raised his frustrations and concerns publicly. Why not ask the questions with people like Vee Moodley, to simply provide daily feedback, seeing that he was the one, who said there was progress being made and that our application was on top of the pile. If he responded people wouldn’t have to be as frustrated and upset when they are actually provided with proper information. As far as I’m concerned he is another who can simply hand in his resignation. Useless is a kind word.

  35. Frankie says:

    Frankie Zackey…
    Gloria I’m praying it gets to the leaders in Tommy Hotspur time…When last have you visited a shopping centre ? one would think that every store has a opening or closing down sale..After doing a bit of research and getting a answer back I was not surprised,,i sent a message out to over 800 of my contacts and asking them to send my message to their contacts and so on asking them if they’ve heard of any family or friend that has had the Virus or if they’ve been in contact with someone that’s has the Virus and the answer was NO…I’M now starting to believe this virus is alot of BS I’m hoping you reading this Gloria,,if i do a quick calculation in my head,,by me sending my message out I would say I’ve touched base with about 300 thousand people,, not 1 person has had the virus or has been in contact with a person that has had the Virus…We Need To Race…thousands will be losing jobs,, their are people starving out their and lets not forget our *HORSES* that are being euthanasia daily..We Need To Race…Gloria please you need to make sure the leaders get my message…Please hurry

  36. Cecil Pienaar says:

    MdK, good luck in Aus, look out for my brother in law Pieter de Klerk. 10 yrs later he is now a wintgat Aussie, he talks a bit like this dude that interviewed you.

    Pity Racing and Govt didn’t have a better relationship. Yet they’re so much alike, especially in the good times, then you hear f*kk*l. Now, the going is real bad, what do you expect them to be rushed.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love racing and want it back as well soonest, for all, especially the ones that make a living from and depend on it.

    But Sir Mike, when us keyboard warriors made noises, even recent, we were called Negative and other fancy words from you and other industry big shots.

    My heart goes out to smaller trainers that do not have Sheikh’s and ‘uitlanders’ in their stables. If you are frustrated, imagine how they feel… Stressed out !

    I do look fwd to Part 2 of David Safi talking to James G

    Have a Good Day all. 👍

  37. Frankie says:

    Frankie Zackey…
    MJ what makes you believe that the Slacks haven’t been to Government ? it’s in their own interest to do so.. we dealing with Racing people now MJ,, they’ll do everything in their power to get racing going

  38. Mister G . says:

    Well said MDK. All we want is clarity . The industry has gone beyond the call of duty in respect to social distancing and hygiene with regards covid19. The government is not in touch with business that grinds out employment and taxes etc. Do the decision makers not realise that over one hundred thousand jobs are at stake ?!
    I am a small owner and breeder and very shortly I will make a decision on my future in racing which will affect a number of persons their jobs . There are none so blind as those that refuse to see !!
    I am fully behind MOD with their efforts to straighten this industry out , failing which there is no future .

    To all the (*edited) critics , get back to your dark corners where you belong !!

  39. Cameron James says:

    Watch the Governor of New York , Mr. Andrew Cuomo, now heres a person whose a real leader!

    He, since the outbreak began, has briefed the city daily and timeously with his leadership qualities shining through. His briefings are to the point and concise and hes not afraid to share the uneasy truths of this pandemic. His mission statement, save lives before politics or self enrichment.

    Now is it so difficult for someone on the NHA platform to keep the public informed and updated of the progress of the efforts with government to restart the industry?

    Is there a public relations officer in the employ of the NHA?

    One last thing, which im finding hard to understand, how did everyone in racing allow it come to this? The operators have failed the industry, Period.

    A question i have to ask, why did the Openheimers rescue Phumelea and eventually having to take on the debt created by this greedy bunch? Couldn’t they have sought to introduce a new operator for horseracing or consolidated with Gold Circle and have one unified operator?

    Just my thoughts….

  40. First Five Legs says:

    Surprised as to how this forum is being used as a forum for political commentary. It is far too soon to assess the success or otherwise of the governments handling of this crisis, or to make comparisons with other countries. The only pertinent issue is whether SA should be racing. From a racing industry perspective, obviously yes. From a wider perspective of the broader Corona implications, maybe not, To resume behind closed doors with an acceptance to shut up shop again if the predicted still to come surge starts to take a hold within the industry, would seem to be the best that racing can hope for.

  41. Ignatius Fourie says:

    What are you all talking about praising our government?? Even the UN president said SOUTH African government is mis using the lock dow
    n for own personal gains. There own scientists said they are not implementing what was given to them. Look at Australia, alot more cases then South Africa, but racing goes on and thousands of jobs has been saved.
    Mike was only telling the truth, why is this so bad? Should we hide again what’s really going on in the country like everything else? In 6 months time when South Africa has more people dying from hunger then any sickness we will talk again and see if all of you saying it’s fine for racing to have been stopped will still whistle the same tune. There are a certain bunch of you always singing the same song,happy racing hasn’t started yet, please go out to the training centre’s and tell the people working there you are happy they gnne lose their jobs. Cause that’s exactly what you saying.

  42. Speedyvar says:

    Mr.Ed And Mister G— In Rwanda, history shows where talk of cockroaches can lead.
    Calling people cockroaches should not be allowed Mr.Ed.

    1. Editor says:

      Thanks Speedyvar.
      Point taken.
      Removed reference.

  43. Michael Jacobs says:

    Zackey…if the Oppenheimer’s have been to the government, they haven’t been too successful have they? If they cannot even get a tentative redumption date, or at the very least an indication of the government’s position on the racing industry, then tell me again what have they achieved?

  44. Speedyvar says:

    Frankie, hold on there. We have also done research.
    After doing a bit of research and getting a answer back I was not surprised,,i sent a message out to over 800 of my contacts and asking them to send my message to their contacts and so on asking them if they’ve heard of any family or friend that has had Aids or if they’ve been in contact with someone that’s has Aids and the answer was NO…I’M now starting to believe this Aids is a lot of BS I’m hoping you reading this Frankie,,if i do a quick calculation in my head,,by me sending my message out I would say I’ve touched base with about 300 thousand people,, not 1 person has had Aids or has been in contact with a person that has had Aids.
    So we conclude there is no such thing as Aids.

  45. LK says:

    protect owners and therefore protect horses lives.

    oh dear…

  46. Frankie says:

    Frankie Zackey…
    Jacob it’s Mr Zackey to you,, do you understand…if racing is your passion you should be on your knees and thanking the Oppenheimers and Slack Family for saving our game (*edited) ,,you Cape boy’s are something else to quick to talk (*edited)…just remember that it’s because of the Oppenheimers and Slacks that racing will continue,, I’m actually saddened by the fact that not 1 Cape billionaire came to the party…

  47. Pops says:

    Ignatius Fourie,where did you get the story that the UN president says the South African government is using the lock down for its own personal gains?
    United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres has described actions taken by President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government in fighting the spread of the deadly coronavirus as “strong” and “necessary” measures.

    In a TV interview with SABC News on Tuesday, Guterres said while he understood the frustrations expressed by those demanding an immediate reopening of the economy, he believed steps taken by Ramaphosa were correct.

    “One thing is clear – there is no real contradiction between measures taken to prevent the disease and economic recovery. If we let the disease spread, no economic recovery will be possible,” Guterres said.
    ( News24)
    Ignatius, could we see your story about the UN President?

  48. Gman says:

    Let CR run the Country.
    DK can run his stable,stick to what you know and you are most welcome to leave SA.
    Stop talking and start walking you wont be missed.

  49. Taki says:

    I listened to the interview, from the comments it’s obvious there is a lot of jealousy
    of Mike de Kok

  50. Viv says:

    Gloria Adam, I have not heard the recorded interview by horse trainer Mike De Kock and will not waste my time doing so; but reallly enjoyed reading your take on things.
    I would like to remind the key players of the horse racing industry to remind themselves that when the deadly “African horse sickness” virus is present they have a similar lockdown for these lovely animals put in place by the authorities that look after this area.
    It’s strange these horse people can’t realise a sinple truth that this is what our country’s President is merely doing for the people of this country.
    Rocket science I guess……

  51. Sadza says:

    Too many big egos here. Get off your high horse MDK and realise that racing will continue without you when the time is right.

  52. Rian says:

    Punters aren’t jealous of anybody , we glad when there are winners, even if I don’t win I’m glad somebody else has taken his bets and well done
    Listened to the big man and thought maby the Aussie had caught him at a bad time as he stumbled to answer a few times.
    Maybe I just heard wrong, but if you think this Gov, and by the way it’s always been political since Zuma and his cronies, most still MPs have plundered our BELOVED COUNTRY, many times over and left the poor voters poorer without any shame , water still an issue after all this time.
    I had a few small bets that we might start on June 1, but lookes like I’ve done my tom
    But like the Minister of Educ says the measurements are in place
    Let’s hope the racing gets on track and saves our BELOVED Sport and that all measures have been taken to protect all jockeys who might get injured when we race again ( ambulances, Doctors, etc ) in place as well as allocated Hospitals to treat them
    40 days was long hey Cecil, but as JJ used to say on 405, it’s Bad, it’s really Bad
    Stay Safe

  53. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Hey Rian, yes it’s been longgg. I’ve tried a bit of this overseas stuff, but No.I love local is lekker, also miss the English races, but not the jump stuff like a certain William, man that guy is an all-rounder !

    This is a Nightmare, and not just for racing.
    Let’s hope for June 1 🤞hold onto your tickets.

    Good Night.

  54. Russell Waterston says:

    Good for you Mike say it as you see it.Racing needs to get going they racing overseas.


    Well done for your forthright comments Viv, Rian, Speedyvar,Cameron James, JessK, Gloria Adams, Malperumal, Denzil & Deven.

    This isn’t about how good a trainer Mike de Kock is, your favourite jockeys, who you voted for or your best breakfast cereal.

    Michael de Kock, it’s about recognizing your/our/an individuals place in the midst of a SuperTwister called Covid19.

    In the eye of the vortex, observe the brittle SA infrastructures been torn apart and flung around like a toy house.

    You choose to bitch about thumb-suck policies, lack of clarity and nothing to look forward too.

    Why don’t you switch on your TV and see how the Great Powers have failed with their Covid19 policies.

    Alternatively, could you not use your time & influence & gather up your followers to provide food for our bottom 30 jockeys in the country? They have been struggling way before the onset of Covid19.

    Good Gracious Michael de Kock, pull yourself together man ! … and stand in the queue.


    Goeiemôre Mnr.Pienaar,

    As die regering vir my sê om te spring, dan spring ek

    Jump jump

    Stay safe Sir

  57. Pops says:

    Hi,Cecil and William could you two please do racing a favour.
    You know that book that you received on your 18th birthdays o so many years ago ?The one by Dale Carnegie.The one with the dog eared page that reads—- Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person”
    Can you please get it down from the attic and sent off to the person who is doing negotiations on behalf of South African racing before he jets off to down under..

  58. Donald says:

    I to read the comments before listening to the interview and I must say I was quite taken aback by the vitriol and spite contained in these comments which I got the feeling were due largely out of sheer frustration with the status quo in horse racing in South Africa at present.

    The interview was hosted by an Australian radio personality who asked MdK questions pertainent to the horse racing industry in a concise manner and was answered by MdK in a measured tone of voice that made it clear that he was speaking in his personal capacity and in my view spoke truth to power in a respectful manner to all concerned parties.

    Mdk did in the interview speak of some government decisions being of a ” thumb suck ” nature as this lockdown unfolds and some commentators found this offensive for some reason ?

    To those commentators I ask this simple question and would be very interested to hear your answer ?


    Is this current regulation based on science or ” thumb suck ” ?

  59. Art says:

    I’ve listened to the interview and I’ve read the comments.I will add my full support to MDK .It is time the government took a long hard look at the pending social and economic disaster that the racing industry is facing if they cannot resume operations soon.I am aware of all the other industries but as this subject is about racing I focus only on racing.
    Phumelela has itself to blame for its poor relationship with the govt .If anyone took the time to read Steve Reids links on meetings between the racing honchos and the DTI they will understand what I’m talking about.
    Freedom of speech is not only limited to the haters MDK is also entitled to that privilege!!
    Let’s hope we return to racing soon

  60. Cecil Pienaar says:

    More Se William, lekker dag ou maat

    Morning Pops, 😁 agree and will do

    But in the meantime, my basic advice to Moodley, the Oppenheimers, the Snaiths and others. Let one party talk to Govt. I found a one pager right here on my Fav site –

    ” No Spooks & Ghost Racing actually works ”
    Send this off to Govt for starters

    Have a good day, be safe 👍

  61. Brendan Commins says:

    I really can’t beliebe some of the comments on here. Sycophancyof the highest order. The brown nose award beckons. Anyone who thinks this government is handling this situation well is living in a dream world. They are incredibly incompetent. There is no need for the continuation of this lockdown and the experts agree.

  62. Pottie says:

    Having just had an opportunity to read all of the above comments I find it absolutely absurd that the above key board warriors can honestly sit back , hide behind that 12 inch screen and write the GARBAGE they have about MDK ., Pull yourself toward yourself for gods sake man !! , yes all of you !!

    This is a man that has almost single handily taken on the “ virus “ that is Phumelela and yes our beloved Government who lets be honest have added zero input and quite frankly have zero interest in SA horse racing apart from collecting their monthly “chop “ from the hard earned punters kitty !

    Such a sad state of affairs that you lot condemn a man who has campaigned tirelessly in his crusade to save SA horse racing without renumeration , without this man there would be no “ guardian angels “ waiting in the wings ready to pick up the fragments that once was SA racing.!

    I’m sure he’s pondered throwing in the white towel , jumping on a plane to the sunshine state and living happily ever after , fact is he hasn’t , on the contrary ., from what I’ve heard he’s even more determined to save our beloved racing , now wouldn’t it be nice to know that we were all behind him , especially when you hit one dead end after another in the maze of Government bureaucracy.!

    Common knowledge this man who has done more good for SA racing than anyone In the history of SA racing , you forget about the export protocol campaign that’s been going on for years .,now the “Phumelela pandemic “ plse for once can you stop , sit up and remember your only 7 foot by 7 foot when when you sit behind that little 12 inch screen .

    I for one am 100% behind this man and his team who are relentless in there crusade to keep the grandstand lights on and the hooves of SA racing galloping .!

    FYI , lights and water were turned off at randjesfontein training center today because Phumelela couldn’t pay the account .., and you wonder why this guy might sound just a little agitated ……, really !


  63. kenny says:

    Barry Irwin, well said Sir.

  64. Michael Jacobs says:

    Mike de Kock is 100% correct about the “thumb-suck policies ” of the government, and to which I would add incompetence, arrogance and brutality. We all have the right in a democratic country to protest and disagree with the government, MDK is exercising his right in his personal capacity, and at least he is getting his message out to an international audience! We sit in our homes and complain about the thuggery of the government and we condone their conduct. I salute Mr Mike de Kock, he was quite diplomatic, the situation is far worse than what he stated!

  65. Pops says:

    Donald,let’s try to help you.There were some strange directives coming from government we have to admit.
    There was the cigarette/zol one,that brought on laughter.
    Then there was the,”You can buy a short sleeved T-shirt as winter clothing as long as you wear it as a undergarment.
    Some asked if you had to sign an affidavit to that affect before leaving Mr. Price with your short sleeve T-shirt.
    The next day you could wear it to do your daily jog without anyone the wiser’.
    But the opened toed shoes.Maybe a minister or government official read this link below and said, here is the research and no thumb suck lets go with it.
    If we stop our people from buying it, they will not be able to wear it outside. You never know.
    Its the last bullet point that matters.Do not stress. Have a good day.

  66. Donald says:

    Well spoken Pottie and M.J. , hopefully some of the negative posters will reconsider their totally uncalled for attacks on MdK for what was a forthright viewpoint / answers on questions posed to him by the Australian radio interviewer !

    MdK could easily have washed his hands of S.A. horse racing but has attempted to stand up and assist in resolving the serious situation that is now unfolding in respect of this industry ?

  67. Donald says:

    Thanks for the help Pops ! Now I feel even more helpless after reading the link you kindly sent me ?

  68. Pops says:

    Geez Donald,and there we thought we were helping you to have a stress free weekend.You do know its TGIF?
    But suppose ,No good deed goes unpunished.

  69. Martin le Roux says:

    The interview that Mike de Kock participated in made no untoward comments which are not constantly in the public arena. I have never formally met Mr. de Kock but that he would deliberately do anything to harm racing is unthinkable. It would be likely that he was centrally involved in the decision by MOD to commit to their bail out. Racing in RSA owes Mr. de Kock a great appreciation for what he has done to expand the respect that SA racing enjoys internationally. There will always be those who let their envy outstrip their logic. He certainly didn’t have to get involved in this bun fight but chose to do it for the good of racing. He is also in my opinion not a quitter and will be around for hopefully some time to come.

  70. Sherwin says:

    Mr Editor, I find my comments are not making it onto this site. I am not sure if they are being binned or its a problem on my side. If its the former, please indicate your reasons.

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Sherwin
      We don’t appear to have binned any of your comments.
      Your last comment was at 18h22 last evening where you complained about the alleged spreading of fake news by one of our posters. That wasn’t published as we are busy with it and will revert to you.

      Your penultimate comment was on the Geoff Woodruff Cape Town ed – on 20 May at 08h55. That was published.

      Try refresh your browser, maybe.
      Hope that helps.

  71. Errol T says:

    Anyone that thinks it was okay for Mike de Kock to say that our Covid-19 policies are a thumsuck and have no logic, does not understand the obligations of the government and the requirements involved to stem this national disaster.

    When it comes to policy decisions, the government does not need to show that the measures invoked will achieve the objectives of stemming or eradicating the COVID-19 pandemic, it just has to show that the regulations are a rational measure designed to achieve that end.

    Mike de Kock was completely in the wrong. His criticism of the government was uncalled for and sophist. The irony is that when he criticised the government for its policies, his criticism had no logic or rationale. I doubt we will ever hear Mikede Kock trying to justify his criticism as most educated people know that the goverments policies are not a thumsuck and are based on reason.

  72. Taki says:

    Errol , obligations of government?? You must be joking !!!!
    crime so high if you don’t live in a gated suburb there’s a big chance you’ll get
    Murdered , bankrupt post office has had to be replaced by postnet
    Public hospitals are a mess due to corruption, SAA bankrupt, transnet bankrupt,
    Prasa bankrupt, post office bankrupt, Denel bankrupt, Escom
    A mess 500 billion in the red
    These are all monopoly businesses
    It’s like having the only bakery in JHB baking bread and you go broke
    I could go on and on , only people not complaining are too stupid to see what’s
    Going on or are benefiting from the corruption themselves SA one of the most
    Corrupt and violent countries in the world Fact !! And they fudge the statistis

  73. Titania McTaggart says:

    I csn state quite rationally that Errols sophistry is slightly worse than Mike de Kocks interview. I do not have to provide any proof of my rationality as I think everyone will agree with me. Everything I say is logical and reasonable.

    An Expert and Polymsth.

  74. Calvin Naidoo says:

    All those who think that Mr MDK was wrong in the way he handled the interview, please raise your Right hand….Now Slap yourself.

    All those who think that our government has done a fantastic job in the decision making processes regarding the pandemic….Please raise your left hand…Now slap yourself.

    All those who demand a daily update from Mr Vee Moodley…Raise both your hands up and B#¥CH slap yourself. How dumb are you? If there is no update to be given, what must he update you on?

    LASERFORM – I seriously hope that Mr MDK doesn’t leave our beautiful land. We need him here, because just like how the president is thinking about saving lives, Mr MDK has the ability in saving lives.

  75. Denzil says:

    Well said Mr. Errol T

    Mike De Kock’s comments were totally unnecessary, and that too towards an international audience. Its very disappointing that many people here are agreeing with and supporting his comments, going as far as criticizing and insulting(cockroaches) educated and level headed critique of MDK’s statements. Thumb-suck is the figure of 100 000 that MDK was quoting to the presenter (last week it was 60 000), while government is trying their utmost to make decisions based on the advice of an entire panel of advisors, who are experts in their respective fields

    Others are quoting cliques, such as MDK is a world class trainer, (what does that even mean) anyone that understands and appreciates these magnificent creatures that we call race horses, will know that any trainer is only as good as the horses he has. I mean give a Taxi driver a good horse and he will become a world class trainer (remember Takeover Target). When Aidan O’ Brien was being praised in an interview for his achievements, he said ” these horses perform 80% on their natural God given talent and I am just fortunate to have them in my care”.
    Also has anyone here even compared the interviews of the GOV and MDK, its like “calk and cheese”.

    The fact is, that nobody in the world knows for sure whats going to happen next with this virus, governments can only make informed decisions based on the available data at the time and by interpreting numerical model predictions. Its not has simple as just thumb-sucking a specific date and providing it to you Mr. MDK.

    The best advice I can give you MDK (and the others that are always complaining here), is for you to take the responsibility upon your self for making the best decision for the horses and your business. Mr. Dean Kennemeyer was Wise enough to make a decision weeks ago.

    May God Bless you and the horses and keep you’ll safe and healthy during these tough times.

  76. Frankie says:

    Frankie Zackey…
    Sir Mike De Kock have you ever thought of becoming President? MDK you’ll definitely get my vote ✔💯% ….with the backing of MOD and Frankie Zackey and now Calvin Naidoo and Taki,,how can you possibly miss,,it’s a matter of Horse Chestnut going to Flamingo and having to race in a mixed maiden plate,,no disrespect to Flamingo it’s always been a bread and butter centre for me and many others,, I just love their racing…for all the clevers out there government needs to wake up in Tommy Hotspur time,they need us just as much as we need them…it’s not always Horse Chestnut- a one horse race…

  77. Art says:

    So Denzil considers MDK ‘s figure of 100000 or 60000 jobs as a thumbsuck
    So what? Whether it is 60000 or 100000 either way it shows the ignorance of a person who is out of touch with reality
    While MDK is informing the government what the RACING INDUSTRY stands to lose you get trolls like Denzil querying which one of the two is correct.
    Let me tell you that the retrenchment of just 1 individual is considered a death sentence.MDK is trying to bring this to the attention of a government who remains stubbornly silent despite being given all the motivation by Phumelela weeks ago to try and get the industry up and running.Thats what MDK’s call is all about.Naturally he also speaks for himself as a person who is involved in the industry along with countless others who are / will be affected.
    Then the writer wants to give advice to those on the forum who are always complaining.This is where CALVIN NAIDOO gives the best advice to Denzil those who oppose MDK raise your right hand and slap yourself.

    I would like someone else to explain to Denzil what it means to be a world class trainer as he is clearly on the wrong forum and seems to be affiliated to the SA taxi association.
    Find another forum to troll

  78. Clinton says:

    Hello Mr Frankie, you tell them.

    I also like Flamingo, but will you take Hawwaam there, or is Mr Mike taking him to Aus. I don’t think Hawwaam is a sand horse, and he doesn’t like CT. So only PE and Ntl left. I think he should stay in Gauteng, he wins there, just that PE horse was lucky once …

  79. Cecil Pienaar says:

    😅 oh my….

    Mr Ed, Sterkte, be strong, you obviously busy a lot lately sifting and checking all posts. Seems we have a lot of newcomers and they’re welcome … 😅

    I vote for Racing and look fwd to it restarting 1 Jun …

    Good Day All

  80. Pops says:

    Always had this niggling feeling that Frankie was of Royal blood.And now he has confirmed it.
    He has just bestowed an knighthood upon Mike De Kock.
    Did you a crop in place of a sword in these hard times Mr. Zackey?

  81. Peter says:

    Lol. I fully agree with Calvin Naidoo. Well said.

  82. Art says:

    Who remembers Gert Eyssel wanting to ban bikini’s and us only getting tv from about 1972 onwards.Anything starting to look familiar .Go MDK go !

  83. Denzil says:

    @ Art

    So Art, I wasn’t querying the figures of 100 000 or 60 000 jobs, I was merely rationalizing the theory of “Thumb Suck” and pointing out who was doing the Sucking.

    And please excuse us mortals for trolling on your territory, I didn’t realise that SA Racing was an EXCLUSIVE BOYS CLUB with you as Gatekeeper. Little wonder SA Racing has attracted so much new blood.

    We here in the SA Taxi association will continue to follow and back “Champions” throughout the world. Good luck to you and Mr. “Spook Express” on getting SA Racing restarted.

  84. Rian says:

    Well said Denzil, Spook Express story haunts some, wasn’t it also Mrs Openheimers
    Boring it definately isn’t hey Ed, thx for the posts and posters , kept me sane
    I think our Mayor got it right with Pietermaritzburg

  85. Art says:

    Denzil whatever floats your boat. Please go and open a tipping service for the international winners that you back and dont forget to share with the exclusive boys club all small caps.Ps Looks like someone did not listen to you because I believe racing is starting on 1 june 2020.I Told you MDK IS A CHAMPION.

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