Your Captain was bone idle last week but hopefully this week I will keep you more informed, particularly as the National 2yo Sale lies ahead.
It was quite a busy week last week which affected my ability to blog. We attended the Cape Breeders and Racing Association Cape Racing Awards dinner which was held at Nooitgedacht in Stellenbosch.
It was a truly memorable evening, presented by Rouvaun Smit and Vicky Minott and went extremely well. Variety Club picked up a number of awards which made us all extremely proud. We are all missing him desperately at home and hope he is enjoying life in Mauritius with his bucket and spade. It was also great to see Red Ray pick up the award for Male Juvenile of the Year. He has had a long break on a farm in Natal but is now back in the stables, working on the treadmill and starting to look the part. I cannot wait to get him back to Cape Town but that will have to wait until the weather starts to improve here.
The advantages of keeping him in Durban during their wonderful winter climate (except for the last few days) are there for all to see. We will also probably bring back a number of our better 3 yr old fillies which have also been on holiday at Annette Dawes’ farm.
Back to the awards dinner and it is hard to believe, I know, but I regard myself as extremely limited on the dance floor. My wife made the most of my lead-footedness by taking Dean Kannemeyer for many, many spins around the dance floor. In fact, they probably did more laps than the Stig has done in 15 years of Top Gear episodes. Whilst Dean is not known for his huffing and puffing, she certainly had him with his tongue hanging out (I’m not sure if this is because of my wife’s outfit or Dean’s supreme efforts on the dance floor). Anyway, I am pleased that she enjoyed the evening, as did everyone else. It really was a great evening. Another highlight of the evening was when Rodney Dunn received a well-deserved acknowledgement for service to the racing industry. He has worked tirelessly to look after the welfare of the racehorse and has raised millions for charity. Racing was ok for us this weekend. I was not expecting too much and the horses performed admirably. However, it is time to get back on the winning trail and hopefully we can soon start pulling out runners that are capable of winning. We had a fantastic year last year in the form of feature races but the bread and butter horses let us down. Time to pull our finger out. Whilst the ladies celebrated Ladies Day at Kenilworth, the boys were left to watch sport and drink a few shandies in the box.
Finchie, Tommy V (my long-suffering attorney and friend) and I had a great time talking mostly about nothing. However, the one thing significant thing that did come out of it whilst watching the cricket, was when the Australian cricketers were offered bad light whilst they appeared to be batting extremely well. I was a) upset for the crowd and b) amazed that whilst scoring runs relatively easily, they made that decision.
I know we are now talking after the event but at the time both Finchie and I thought the decision was suicidal. It is amazing how many times it happens that when sides are batting well, they take the bad light and when they come back the next day, they collapse like a pack of cards. This is exactly what happened this time and Finchie and I were right on the money. I am sure the England team could not believe their luck as they had had a long, tiring day on the field. This happens time and again and I suppose the next time it happens I will be pontificating with someone else and talking the same rubbish.
Our new stable assistant, Ross Kieswetter, has had quite a serious shoulder op and we wish him a speedy recovery. We are already missing having him round the yard as he is full of fun and questions. I am not quite sure how much Colonel Avo is missing him as his ears are burning with all the questions – Ross has an extremely enquiring mind and is not afraid to ask. It is wonderful to have such an enquiring mind from someone who could ultimately become an extremely serious player in the racing world. This is your Captain signing off on 12th August, heading off to some dance lessons.
Cape Racing Awards 2012/13
Juvenile Male of the Year: RED RAY
Juvenile Filly of the Year: HAPPY VALENTINE
3 Year Old Male of the Year: CAPETOWN NOIR
3 Year Old Filly of the Year: ALL IS SECRET
Older Male of the Year: VARIETY CLUB
Older Female of the Year: THUNDER DANCE
Champion Sprinter of the Year: WHAT A WINTER
Champion Middle Distance of the Year: VARIETY CLUB
Champion Stayer of the Year: JEPPE’S REEF
Champion Trainer: JUSTIN SNAITH
Champion Jockey: BERNARD FAYD’HERBE
Special Achievement: JUSTIN SNAITH
Cape Breeders Awards 2012/13
Champion 2 Year Old Colt: KOCHKA (DANIKA STUD)
Champion 2 Year Old Filly: ALONG CAME POLLY (VARSFONTEIN STUD)
Champion 3 Year Old Colt: VERCINGETORIX (KLAWERVLEI STUD)
Champion 3 Year Old Filly: CHERRY ON THE TOP (MAURITZFONTEIN STUD)
Champion Older Male: VARIETY CLUB (BEAUMONT STUD)
Champion Older Female: THUNDER DANCE (KLAWERVLEI STUD)
Champion Sprinter: WHAT A WINTER (DAYTONA STUD)
Middle Distance: VARIETY CLUB (BEAUMONT STUD)
Stayer of the Year: JEPPE’S REEF (DRAKENSTEIN STUD)
Broodmare of the Year: AKINFEET (LAMMERSKRAAL STUD)
Outstanding New Stallion: JUDPOT (VARSFONTEIN STUD)
International Horse Of The Year: SHEA SHEA (KLAWERVLEI STUD)
Outstanding Breeder: HIGHLANDS FARM STUD
Outstanding Service To Racing: RODNEY DUNN