Joey’s Jooste July Joy

Ramsden opens his account and makes it a hat-trick for Cape trainers

VDJ New Stake_520

Urban legend has it that Milnerton trainer and now top Vodacom client Joey Ramsden sent his major owner Markus Jooste a cheeky ‘please call me’ shortly after a thrilling finish crowned a spectacular climax to the 2016 R4,25 million Gr1 Vodacom Durban July at Greyville on Saturday.

VDJ fin 2016

Piere Strydom steers The Conglomerate to a sensational win

Away on business in the USA, Jooste wasn’t exactly complaining as the news filtered through that Joey had just realised the internationally renowned entrepeneur’s dream of seeing his silks carried to victory for the first time in Africa’s greatest horseracing event.

Joey In Control. Never afraid to speak his mind and one of the great characters of the game

Joey Ramsden – happy day

A probable unlikely combination in terms of their individual cultural backgrounds, the British-born Ramsden has proven to be Jooste’s most successful trainer ever – and he put the cherry on the top of that highly sought after title by delivering the goods in royal fashion – with a 4yo longshot bred in Australia.

The former Cape champion conditioner had been vocal all week that, whatever happened, he was privileged to enjoy the services of two of South Africa’s most accomplished jockeys.

And while his relationship with the genius Piere Strydom has been rocky at times, it was the polished 50 year old who produced the magic from the supposed ‘killer’ draw of 18, to register his fourth win in the prestigious clash.

There was some poetic justice for the evergreen Strydom, registering another win 20 years after his opening success, after the multiple SA Champion had stuck loyally to his commitment, having been offered a host of good alternate rides.

Strydom got The Conglomerate across from his wide draw to track Dynamic, It’s My Turn and Ten Gun Salute and he came into the straight five lengths adrift.

He went past It’s My Turn in a matter of strides and once Strydom got him straightened and in full flight there was no stopping the combination.

Marinaresco Winter Guineas

Marinaresco – gutsy second from too far back

The Conglomerate won full of running to beat a storming late effort from miles back from 3yo Marinaresco by 0,25 lengths in a time 133,50 secs.

Punta Arenas had won the consolation July a few hours earlier in a time of 133,81 secs.

Strydom once again proved to be the nemesis of young Grant Van Niekerk, in a flashback to 2012 when he got the better of the Capetonian – who is half his age – when Pomodoro beat Smanjemanje.

Gold Challenge winner Mac De Lago also stayed on well for third a further 2 lengths back, with the game always prominent Investec Cape Derby winner It’s My Turn back in fourth.

The much maligned ‘hometown’ inclusion Saratoga Dancer came on late to vindicate the July panel’s decision, in a great run for fifth, a head back.

He finished in front of the fancied 3yo filly Bela-Bela, who failed to kick in the straight and just shaded her stablemate, SA Guineas winner Black Arthur.

Piere Strydom - another cracking ride

Piere Strydom – another cracking ride

Sean Tarry’s well supported topweight French Navy ran eleventh and 3,95 lengths back after failing to give his customary late kick.

He was a nose in front of the long-time pacemaker Dynamic, on whom 18yo apprentice Lyle Hewitson did a fine job from the front.

Triple Crown winner Abashiri found things tough and he finished with only five horses behind him.

The winner’s stablemate St Tropez, which many felt was the stable elect as the choice of first call rider Anton Marcus, ran second last – ten lengths ahead of Dean Kannemeyer’s Solid Speed, who ran last, thus foiling a bid to give the Power King combination a historic double.

The son of Dynasty appeared to go wrong in running and his rider Stuart Randolph was pushing from the 1000m marker already.

It was Ramsden’s first win in the race and Strydom’s fourth after London News (1996), Trademark (2001) and Pomodoro (2012). He had pulled the same draw crunching feat on Pomodoro, who also jumped from the wide gate.

Smanjemanje – nose 2nd in the July 2012

2012 flashback – Strydom on Pomodoro beats Van Niekerk on Smanjemanje

The Conglomerate was the fifth horse to win from the extreme draw in the last 25 years after Flaming Rock (1991), Classic Flag (1998), Dynasty (2003) and Pomodoro (2012).

And what of all the drama and long faces at the July barrier draw ceremony?

What do the supposed ‘bad draws’ really mean?

They just don’t seem to work as excuses any more, frankly.

In fact the Greyville draw bogey, compounded apparently through the narrowing of the track, was firmly kicked into touch as the top five ran from draws. 18,17, 14, 12 and 16!

Ingrid & Markus Jooste - dominant force in SA racing

Ingrid & Markus Jooste – dominant force in SA racing

With her husband away on business in the USA, co-owner Ingrid Jooste was on hand to accept the trophy together with Mayfair Speculators’ Racing Manager Derek Brugman, from our State President, Jacob Zuma.

In his typically charismatic style, winning trainer Joey Ramsden performed an elaborate bow and almost kissed the floor in front of a smiling Zuma.

Winless in over a year since his storming victory in the 2015 Gr2 KRA Guineas, The Conglomerate has now earned a healthy total of R3 425 325 with his sixth win and four places from 17 starts.

Lonhro (Octagonal-Shadea)

Eye of the eagle!

The Conglomerate was bred by D R Fleming and purchased on the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale for A$160 000.

The winner is by the Octagonal stallion Lonhro out of the six-time winning Canny Lad mare, Republic Lass – an Oaks winner.

So a great day all round for the winners – but not necessarily for the many punters who saw the fancied runners fall by the wayside.


Gr1 Vodacom Durban July  (SAf-Gr1)

Greyville, South Africa, July 2, R4.25 million, 2200m, turf, good, 2.13.05

1 – THE CONGLOMERATE (AUS), 55.5, br g 4, Lonhro (AUS) – Republic Lass (AUS) by Canny Lad (AUS). Owner Mrs I Jooste & Mr M J Jooste; Breeder bred in Australia; trainer J Ramsden; jockey P Strydom
2 – Marinaresco (SAF), 55.5, b g 3, Silvano (GER) – Gay Fortuna (SAF) by Fort Wood (USA)
3 – Mac De Lago (AUS), 59.5, b g 4, Encosta De Lago (AUS) – Macavelli Miss (AUS) by Vettori (IRE)
Margins: 0.25, 2.00, 0.10

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