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Deez Dyanand

Tellytrack's MAN From DurBAN!

Deez Dayanand

BIG IN DURBAN! Deez Dayanand

The congenial and likeable Deez Dayanand is the public face of KZN horseracing and the blood, sweat and tears behind the ever popular Charity Turf Challenge. The energetic Tellytrack presenter admits that he is sick for the game and is widely regarded as having few peers when it comes to playing an apolitical goodwill ambassador for the sport wherever he goes.

What is your name and age?

Deez Dayanand and 42 years young!

Where do you live

It used to be Pietermaritzburg, my place of birth and where I lived all my life, until October 2013 when I moved to Durban.

Tell us about your family

I am married to Dr Soraya Naidoo. Mother-in-law Soundhree lives with us. My mum Meera, younger sister Ashy and younger brother Prashant live in Pietermaritzburg.

How did your love of horseracing come about?

Through my late dad, Ramjee. He loved the horses and it’s sad that he never got to see me on TV. As a kid, I always played the July with him and fondly remember choosing the likes of Lightning Shot, Politician, Over The Air and Gondolier.

Does your wife share your passion for the game?

She is my esteemed critique!

Was there any particular personality who influenced you to make racing your full time business?

My wife. At home Tellytrack is on 24/7 and when she heard this advert come on for a presenter on the channel, she insisted I should apply and just to please her I did. The rest is history.

What current positions do you hold within racing?

Tellytrack presenter and employed at Racing South Africa t/a South African Equine Trade Council.

When did you start full time interviewing on the racecourse?


Did you find interviewing trainers, jockeys and owners stressful to start with?

I did not know a soul in the racing game. The very same people I idolised I now had to interview. I was given training but nothing can prepare you enough for LIVE television. At first everything was so new to me and gradually getting to know the personalities and given more time in front of the camera, one grows confident and these days I’m more relaxed and at ease with the job.

How much influence have your peers in the racing presenting world had on you or have you tried to do it in your own way?

Every presenter has got his/her own style. Through an arduous audition process, I was eventually chosen for the job by Martin Locke and have him to thank for changing my life.

Deez Dayanand with ABC's Dave Scott

Deez with ABC’s Dave Scott

What is, for you, the most difficult part of being an on course presenter?

Besides tipping winners…. everything else usually runs smoothly.

Do you ever get nervous before interviewing a very important personality?

No…the only time you get nervous is when technically there is complete loss of communication with the producer.

Do you prepare for a race meeting when you are working with serious form study or do you simply wing it?

You be the judge!

Have you had any nasty experiences in racing?

Never… from inception the racing community have been supportive and constructive criticism is valued.

Where would you class yourself in the punting hierarchy?

Sick for the game!

Are all of your family as interested in racing as you are?

When I’m around they have little choice.

Are most of your friends connected to racing?


Which is your favourite betting spot?

It will have to be on-course otherwise in front of my telly at home.

In all honesty do you make a profit from punting?

Let’s say… I try as much as possible to play with my winnings. The bigger you win/lose should NEVER be the bigger you play… that’s a recipe for disaster!

What is your preferred way to celebrate a big win?

It used to be a night of partying but these days I’m far more conservative.

Do you know anyone who makes a living from punting and, if so, what sort of bets does he take?

Many…you have met them…those guys that NEVER EVER lose and their Ferrari is ALWAYS parked at home!

You appear to know every owner, trainer and jockey by first name in KZN. You must find a day at the races quite draining?

Not at all, I love my job and enjoy meeting and chatting with people that share my passion for horse-racing.

You have become close up and personal with some of the big names in South African racing. Have any of these personalities had a really big influence on you in racing and in your daily life?

Through racing I have been fortunate to meet many kind people locally and internationally and it will be wrong for me to single out a few …there are far too many to mention and I thank them all.

You are known to love Mauritius racing and have been a hit there amongst the punting fraternity. Do you enjoy the racing vibe there?

Absolutely, a MUST for racing fans!

Racing South Africa

Racing South Africa

Racing and politics go hand in hand. Do you find yourself getting involved?

I LOVE the sport of horseracing and leave politics to the politicians.

Apart from racing what else are you really passionate about?


What do you do on an off day?

Usually on the golf course or at home with the family, more often than not channel 239 is a must.

The Charity Turf Challenge (CTC) has proven popular again. Does it take up a lot of time and where is your own entry standing on the log?

Without the support of racing fans there will be no competition and the CTC competition has significantly grown over the years. I enjoy managing the competition and the staff of Racing South Africa cannot enter. A big THANK YOU to the sponsor Gold Circle and I must also acknowledge the Sporting Post, African Betting Clan, Tellytrack, Computaform, Formgrids, Betting World, Winning Ways and My Stable Info for assisting in promoting the 2014 Charity Turf Challenge.

What in your opinion sets KZN racing apart from the rest of the country?

Champions Season and the Vodacom Durban July.

There is a perception that the Indian population simply love their horseracing. True?


From what you have observed of racing do you think the game is straight?

Yes, rough results are expected and fancied horses will get beat. It is the nature of this highly competitive game.

Alexander wins the Clairwood on 14-05-11

Alexander is Deez’ Gold Cup selection

Which is the best horse you have seen in South Africa?

Horse Chestnut.

Who will win the Gold Cup next weekend?

Alexander. The 4 year old son of Dynasty has had the perfect prep and has been cleverly placed coming into the race with 52,5kg.

Who do you reckon would be the first choice for SA Horse Of The Year?


What is your philosophy on the racing game?

Why hope, wish and wait for that white ball to fall on your favourite number when you can make a calculated wager? After all, horseracing is “The Intelligent Bet”.

What’s your motto?

Life is like an ice-cream, enjoy it before it melts!






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