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Brett Crawford

Brett Crawford

Brett Crawford

Brett Crawford first became an assistant trainer at the tender age of 17. He is a quietly spoken serious man who goes about his business very professionally. About 2 years ago Brett’s training association with Mrs Sabine Plattner came to an end. They had plenty of success together and, for many trainers, it could have been an end to their training career. Since then, however, Brett has been busy rebuilding and, as he freely admits, the support of family and friends has been invaluable in this process. At the moment he has Jackson in his yard and the Dynasty colt could accelerate Brett’s return to the top trainer ranks. He has both the talent and ambition to do just that and we at Winning Form, and all involved in racing, will be watching his progress with keen anticipation.

What is your name and age?   Brett Crawford and I am 40yrs old.

What is your star sign and birthdate? I am a Virgo born on  the 7th September 1971.

Where do you live? Melkbosstrand, CapeTown.

Where was your birthplace? I was born in Harare.

Do you have a ‘nickname’? No.

What is your favourite food? I love steak.

What is your favourite drink? With a laugh Brett said, “Green Tractor, not

the horse, but the drink, which is Vodka and Crème Soda.”

Which is your favourite sport? To watch, it is rugby and to take part in, cycling.

Which is your favourite soccer team? Liverpool.

Tell us about your family? My wife is Jill and I have 4 children Cameron, Cody, James and Sarah.

Where are your stables? Philippi Training Centre.

How many horses do you currently have in your yard? 60.

Discuss the team in your stable?  Assistant-Barry Donnelly, head grooms Spider and Sibusiso, plus 24 grooms.

Tell us about your first winner as a trainer? It was National Beaut, in September 2001, and it won over the Kenilworth 1000m.

You have taken your 2nd lease in life as a trainer brilliantly. What helped you keep the faith? When you have the support of family, friends and owners the way I do, it makes it a lot easier.

Describe the feeling of being back in the game you have so much passion for? Well, l never really left the game. I just rebuilt and it’s made me appreciate every success a lot more.

You appear to have a really bright sort in Jackson. How highly do you rate him and what are your tentative plans for him? He’s a lovely colt and I do rate him. One step at a time. His next start will be in a normal handicap, or plate race, once we race at Kenilworth again.

Apart from Jackson which other horses can be followed in the season? Thunder Dance.

Discuss your background in racing? After I left school I worked as a stable employee to Brian Muscutt, Neil Bruss  and Shane Rankin in Zimbabwe. In 1989, at the age of 19, I moved to Johannesburg where I joined the Mike de Kock yard. After 2 years I moved to Cape Town and became assistant trainer to Peter Muscutt. In 1993 I joined Eric

Sands and had the pleasure of working with one of South Africa’s best sprinters, Flobayou. I was with Eric for 4 years. In 1997 I moved to the Drier stable in Durban.  In the just over 4 years I was with him, I learnt invaluable lessons in the art of training a thoroughbred. In 2001 I became private trainer to Mrs Sabine Plattner. In the 8 years I trained for her I had 30 graded winners, including 7 Gr 1 races. In October 2009 Crawford Racing was formed…

You and Karis Teetan have teamed up with much success. Tell us about the partnership? It is important to have a stable jockey. He is very dedicated, talented, a natural lightweight and is strong in a finish, plus he’s young and willing to learn.

With the Cape season getting into full swing which horses, other than your own, do you think will make a big impact? Igugu and Ebony Flyer. There are a lot of up and coming three-year-olds in the Cape.

The Cape season is now gearing up –  Tell us about your horses running this weekend? Race 1: DUPONT CIRCLE has fair form and will run a much better race with his tongue tied down. Race 2: SAILAWAY will need the run. Race 5: SUPER MODEL is doing very well and I am expecting a big run. Race 6: RESPECTABLE LADY will be very happy to be back at Kenilworth as she did not enjoy Durbanville.

Do you believe that the Cape should also have a sand track? No. In my opinion I think a polytrack is the better option.

Do you have horses which you feel would do much better on sand than on the turf? Yes. I think all yards have horses which would prefer an alternative racing surface.

How important do you think it is for trainers to have a treadmill and a swimming pool? I believe both are great advantages to have in a yard. They serve different purposes but are both well worth having.

Do you have any of these aids? Not at the moment.

What other advances have been made for trainers to get to a horse’s full potential? Training is a fine balance between fitness, soundness and keeping a horse’s mind positive. We take our horses to the beach for the latter.

Is it likely that a new track will be built in the Cape in the near future? I cannot see this happening. I think they will just upgrade the current centres.

What effect will it have on Cape Town racing if a new track and training facility is built? It can only be great for racing, especially a polytrack, which I believe would make for better racing, especially in the winter months.

Racing in SA, and elsewhere in the world, is going through a hard time. What suggestions could you make to get the racegoers back to the track and to follow horseracing as they once did? I think the press needs to play a bigger role.  The more information we can supply to the public the more the turnovers will grow. In Hong Kong they have more press at the track in the morning than we have on a feature race day.

Which has been the most memorable and exciting day you have had in racing thus far? Winning the Met with Angus will always be very special.

Do you have a sponsor and how important do you think it is for a trainer to be sponsored? Yes, my bank manager!!!

Do you ever advise friends or family to have a bet when the horse you train has a really big chance? Yes-when the right horse comes around.

What is your philosophy on the racing game? Educate the public as much as possible. The more information out there the more transparent the industry becomes. With all the electronic media today it has made the world a small place.

Outside of racing what is your biggest passion? Mountain biking.

How do you celebrate a big win? Dinner with friends and family is enough for me.



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