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Tributes Paid To Chris Saunders

Invermooi Stud produced the champions

Scenic Invermooi Estate

The jockeys are wearing black armbands at Hollywoodbets Greyville this afternoon in honour of former Gold Circle chairman Chris Saunders who passed away last night after a long illness.

Saunders was a passionate racing man and his Invermooi Stud farm produced many a champion.

Saunders was also a former chairman of the Tongaat Hulett group.

In late 1962, one of the most significant incidents ever to take place in the South African sugar industry occurred when Guy Hulett decided to put in a take-over bid for Natal Estates, a company owned by the Campbell family, which itself had played a long and important role in the sugar industry.

In a long and bitter stock exchange battle, Hulett was successful in his bid, but no sooner had he acquired Natal Estates, when his own company, Sir J L Hulett & Sons, was taken over by a consortium of the C G Smith Group and the Tongaat Sugar Company.

The company name was retained but the Hulett family largely disappeared from the business and the guiding hand became that of Chris Saunders, who was one of the major players in the successful acquisition of Huletts. He succeeded Ross Armstrong and became Chairman of both Huletts and Tongaat.

Condolences are extended to the Saunders family from Gold Circle and the Sporting Post.

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9 comments on “Tributes Paid To Chris Saunders

  1. Selwyn Elk says:

    Some 10 years ago I sat with the late Chris Saunders at a Gold Circle Chairman’s dinner and we reminisced about the years gone by, one of the finest gentleman I have had the privilege of meeting.We spoke about his July winners, Jollify( John Gorton) and Naval Escort( Alan “Snowy” Reid) amongst some other of his top division horses he owned including Embassy, Haiti, Bahrain, Spondulics and Battle Ship to mention just a few.At one time in the early 70’s his horses could have made up a July field of there own. A true gentleman that will be sadly missed by all- Rest In Peace my friend.

  2. Donald Bradshaw says:

    I wonder if we will ever see those famous silks of white , red stars , green cap again on South African race courses ?

  3. barry dunnett says:

    Those colours were indeed prolific. And many great horses wore them, as Selwyn stated. They were great days in South African racing. A gentleman that made a huge impact.

  4. David McGillivray says:

    My condolences to the family. He was indeed a wonderful man and true gentleman. May he RIP

  5. David McGillivray says:

    My condolences to the family. Mr Saunders was a wonderful racing man and a true gentleman. He will be sadly missed. May he RIP.

  6. Martin le Roux says:

    RIP Chris Saunders. So difficult to find the new racing hierarchy whose only motivation is a love for the game. Still think he should have given the son of Roberto namely Into the Sun who did so well competing with Slewpendous more opportunities.

  7. Noel Gleeson Gorton says:

    He changed my life! John Gorton RIP

  8. Gary Turf says:

    I remember his top filly Do A Dance that won the Alan Robertson,trained by Aubrey Roberts.

  9. Ravi Govender says:

    My Dad, the late Mr Ramsamy Govender worked for Mr Chris Saunders as a Gardener. He had to retire and we had to move after my Dad was injured in a MVA. My siblings and i were born in Herrwood, Tongaat (where the Saunders family lived) and have very fond memories of the growing up there. We were well taken care of my Saunders Family. May his soul rest in peace. ravi govender on behalf of the Govender family.

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