Happy 69th, GP!

Still enjoying a 15 hour work day!

After Chris Snaith hit the 70 mark running on Wednesday, another homegrown Cape legend celebrates his 69th today.

SA champion jockey in the 1978/79 season and now a leading KZN trainer, the Hollywoodbets-sponsored Garth Puller is going strong and was at the Summerveld grindstone when the Sporting Post spoke to him earlier today.

Garth Puller

With 54 years of horseracing hard yards under the belt, much of it at the top level, Garth still works a 15 hour day and after being crowned the inaugural winner of the Hollywoodbets Sizzling Summer Challenge earlier this year, he conceded that things were looking more positive again after the lockdown restrictions had been eased.

“I appreciate the Sporting Post calling me today. No time for parties and celebration and we need to work twice as hard to build again after the past five months,” said the man who still misses Clairwood, but values and appreciates the facilities at his Summerveld base.

Still as fit as a fiddle, Garth rode his final winner at his very last race meeting on 27 December 2005 – the same year that the then 54 year old steered Alastor to victory in the Met for Sean Tarry.

Bush Telegraph, Race horse

Bush Telegraph

The man who had his first Met ride in 1970 as a 19yo apprentice on a horse called Sun Tracker for Jackie Bell, was also a breeder in his time and stood the winner of that very Met – Snow Fun – as a stallion at the first farm he owned next to the world famous Broadlands Stud at the foot of Sir Lowry’s Pass.

His first runner as a trainer on 1 August 2012 was also his first winner. Her name was Foreign Gal, and she was owned by his good friend and loyal owner Richard Fitzgerald and ridden by Anton Marcus.

A legend of the SA turf, we wish Garth many more and he and Wendy an enjoyable time of it as they take a short breakaway on the Mozambican border this weekend.

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