The KZN Racing Awards for the 2020/21 season were presented between races at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Monday.
While none of the results were a surprise – they were announced well in advance to facilitate limited attendance – the lifting of the KZN Horse Of The Season award by Vodacom Durban July winner Kommetdieding’s proud owner was a deserved accolade.
The popular son of Elusive Fort, a bargain Klawervlei Farm Sale graduate, has captured the public imagination and ended the season a winner of five of his seven starts.
He is enjoying a much deserved holiday at Soetendal Estate, in advance of the Cape Summer season.
His owner Ashwin Reynolds was accompanied by his wife Rene when receiving the trophy from Gold Circle director, Mayesh Chetty.
Klawervlei Stud, who produced the magnificent Kommetdieding, were crowned champion breeders.
Summerveld conditioner Garth Puller was regional champion trainer for the second consecutive season and thanked Graeme Hawkins, attributing his achievement to ‘luck’.
Hawkins scoffed at the suggestion that Puller got there on luck, and said that Puller’s illustrious history of achievement as a multiple champion jockey and horseman without peer, could not be argued.
Garth, who was accompanied by his partner Wendy Heyns, told the Sporting Post that in terms of pure numbers, he was probably the biggest owner in the region and that nobody quite realised the lot of trainers in keeping the wheels of racing turning.
“I am fortunate to enjoy the support of a dedicated team of hardworking staff, vets, a top farrier and some loyal owners, as well as a top sponsor in Hollywoodbets. I appreciate the award and am thankful for the acknowledgement.”
The veteran said that he was particularly pleased for the Reynolds family and for Harold Crawford and his daughter Michelle Rix, on their big victory in the Vodacom Durban July.
However, on a housekeeping note, the top horseman said that he would prefer to not have had the awards slotted between races.
“It was all a bit rushed, in my opinion. Take the Owner of the year, Gerald Kalil. They have waited two decades to get another top horse – Monastery was their last in 2001 with Darryl Hodgson – and they drive all the way from Joburg for a photograph. It’s been a tough season and last year was a harder lockdown when we enjoyed a more meaningful event that genuinely feted the winners. As I say again, that’s my opinion. But I realise that with covid, things are difficult and thank you to Gold Circle – and a big word of congratulations to all the winners.”
Anthony Delpech accepted the award for the Hollywood Syndicate as Champion Owner. The former multiple champion jockey said that he was proud of the results after their big season and was looking to up the standard further.
“It’s wonderful being a part of a professional winning team and thanks to Owen Heffer who puts his money down for the benefit of racing,” he added.
Champion 2yo Filly
Champion 2yo Colt/Gelding
- GOOD TRAVELLER
Champion 3yo Filly
Champion 3yo Colt/Gelding
- PRAY FOR RAIN
Champion Older Filly/Mare
- SHE’S A KEEPER
Champion Older Male
- PEARL OF ASIA
- PEARL OF ASIA
Champion Middle Distance
- SHE’S A KEEPER
- SILVER HOST
- KYLE STRYDOM
- LYLE HEWITSON
- GARTH PULLER
- HOLLYWOOD SYNDICATE (Nom: A Delpech)
- KLAWERVLEI STUD
Horse of the Season