In what has been a tough decision for his connections, Gr1-winning Cape 3yo Cousin Casey will be scratched from the 2023 Hollywoodbets Durban July.
Making the announcement on Tuesday afternoon, trainer Glen Kotzen said that it was felt that in the collective best interests of their smart horse and the racing public, the son of Vercingetorix will not race again this Champions Season and will be given a few months off at the magnificent Woodhill Estate in Paarl.
“I must stress that there is no injury or any direct health issues with Cousin Casey. His blood picture is fine. He’s emptying the manger. But even though just running a matter of lengths off them prior to Saturday, when he overraced in the Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge, he just has not been at the top of his game this season up in KZN, and has not matched anything near his sparkling form of the Cape summer,” added a disappointed Glen Kotzen.
He said that the team and owner Ravi Naidoo had sat down and weighed up the fact that the Gr1 and dual Gr2 winning Cousin Casey is a valuable and very special horse, and that his performances were his way of asking for time off.
“He has a tremendous following and we know how good he is. If he is not ready to do his best, then we’d rather ease off and bring him back for greater things in the Cape summer. We feel for the public who have backed him into the Hollywoodbets Durban July. But when dealing with flesh and blood, these unforeseen occurrences are a reality.”
Glen Kotzen, who won the Durban July in 2009 with Big City Life, said that his yard was not at its best at the moment.
“The wheel turns and we are just not firing on all cylinders as a stable either at the moment. It’s tough to accept it, but we have too many good owners and great horses not to bounce back. We will make it our goal to bring Cousin Casey back in 2024 for a tilt at the Hollywoodbets Durban July,” concluded Kotzen.
- Media release by Woodhill Racing on Tuesday 13 June 2023.