Multiple Northern Cape Champion trainer Cliffie Miller celebrates his 63rd birthday today and his first from his new HQ at Ashburton in KZN.
After 42 years at the Diamond City grindstone, the Hollywoodbets sponsored Cliffie told the Sporting Post that he had adjusted quickly to the ‘countryfied vibe’ of Ashburton and another winner on Wednesday had ensured that he would be enjoying his birthday today!
“Look, I am not so sure I would have adjusted as readily to the corporate fast paced environment of Summerveld. But Ashburton is laid back, the people are nice, my horses are happy, and with 90% of my staff having migrated with me, it’s been a smooth transition in many respects.”
The Kimberley veteran became the first of the Northern Cape closedown class of 2020 to saddle a winner at his new centre when the Hollywood Syndicate’s Chief Officer won at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Monday 20 July.
“I was thrilled that Alraune won on Wednesday at Hollywoodbets Greyville. My horses have been work fit but not necessarily racing fit – and things can only get better as we settle in further.”
Watch his Wednesday winner here
Cliffie admitted that while Muzi Yeni, Lyle Hewitson and Jabu Jacobs had done a great job, he was missing his regular pilots Marco van Rensburg and Calvin Habib.
“The travel restrictions haven’t made it easy and Marco and Calvin know my horses, they know the way I train, and we have excellent working relationships. Let’s hope we can get back to normal soon with the lockdown restrictions so that they can travel.”
He thanked his staunch core of loyal owners.
“They have all been soldiers. I don’t want to single any owners out but the Hollywood Syndicate and Johan Venter from Kimberley have been particularly fantastically supportive.”
And what is he doing on his birthday today?
“Old people enjoy quiet birthdays, you know,” he laughs as he explains that he travelled down yesterday from Ashburton to Kimberley.
“I still have my house there and went to sort out a few things like having my car serviced. Heather (Reddie) is travelling back with me today to KZN and she will stay there for another three weeks. I will just have a cooldrink and a piece of cake and spend it quietly with Heather. Thanks, I do appreciate the call and that you guys remembered. You are not going to tell the whole world are you?”
Have a great one and many happy returns!