LARRY NESTADT is a highly successful businessman who likes to fly under the radar. Together with Ian Kantor and Errol Grolman he started Investec Bank which, today, is world renowned. Since then Larry has been involved with many top companies in directorship positions. Larry could be said to be an all-rounder as not only is he heavily involved in business but has vast interests in both horse racing and golf. He has racing colours in five different countries in the world and rates winning the Singapore Classic and the Dubai Duty Free highest amongst his countless winners. Irish Flame did him proud when winning two Group 1’s in South Africa. The son of Dynasty is now back in South Africa to make his mark as a stallion. Larry is also leaving his mark in the golfing world as chairman of the Pro Shop World Of Golf and as the promoter of a Sunshine Tour Tournament and a Glacier Junior Tournament. Although he is not one to talk about it he has also sponsored many a promising young golfer. In Saturday’s R1 million Gauteng Guineas he has both EMERALD APPROACH and CANNON running. He gives them both reasonable chances. We will be following his horses with keen interest this weekend and in the future.
What is your name and age? Larry Nestadt and I am 62.
What is your star sign and birthdate? Libra. My birthdate is 11/10/1950.
Where were you born? Benoni.
Where do you live? Johannesburg.
Tell us about your family? I am married. I have 4 children and 4 grandchildren.
Favourite food? Italian and Sushi.
Favourite drink? Johnny Walker Black.
Favourite sport? Golf and soccer.
Favourite soccer team? Spurs.
Favourite holiday destination? Umhlanga KZN and Sydney, Australia.
What career path did you take after finishing school? Went into finance and insurance.
Your forte’ in life is finance. How did you get into the financial world and what is your relationship with Bernard Kantor? I worked for HCI and 2 friends and I bought their finance company which today is Investec Bank. I co-founded Investec with Bernard’s brother, Ian, and Errol Grolman and have had a good personal and professional relationship with Bernard since the 70’s. I have a strong business relationship with Investec and joint shareholdings in many ventures.
When did Investec Bank officially start? 1976.
What was your role in the company when it started? Executive Director.
How proud did it make you feel when you attended the Investec Derby in England knowing that you had a part in this great event? Very proud,
particularly of Bernard’s vision in securing the sponsorship.
How many companies have you been involved in? Many.
You have been chairman and director of many companies. How have you managed to be so involved in many companies and to understand them all? As an investment banker we are involved with excellent entrepreneurs.
What is your current job and what does the job entail? Executive Chairman of Global Capital.
Despite your very active and involved life with various companies you have managed to become a successful owner in horse racing. When, and how, did your interest in horse racing begin? A lifelong friend, Jeff Shill, who owns The Tawny Syndicate talked me into taking a share in a horse in 1984.
Who was your first trainer and what was the name of the first horse you owned? My first trainer was Roy Howe and my first horse was Tawny Sky. He won first time out and I was hooked.
Which was the first horse you owned that really excited you? Rakeen and his son North by Northwest. He won 2 Gr1’s and we bred him.
You own some horses in partnership with Bernard Kantor and Greg Blank. How and when did this partnership begin? The partnerships developed in my early years of racing.
To date, how many horses are you involved in, in South Africa? Many.
Which is the best horse you have owned to date and mention some of the bigger features that you have won? Irish Flame. Some of the Gr1’s we have won with our horses include The SA Derby, The Daily News 2000, The Premier’s Champion Stakes, The Garden Province, Dubai Duty Free (UAE), The Prix Vermeille (FR), Singapore Classic.
In which countries do you have racing colours? RSA, AUS, USA, UAE and Singapore.
What has been your biggest win overseas? Dubai Duty Free.
Considering your close association with Investec Bank, how keen are you to have a runner in the Investec Derby in England? It would be a dream for Bernard and I to have a runner in the Investec Derby.
Who are your main trainers in South Africa? Mike de Kock and Sean Tarry.
Mike de Kock has trained many of your top horses. How did you become involved with Mike? I started owning horses with Mike soon after he got his trainer’s licence and had our first win with him on 21 January 1999.
Outside of racing one of Mike’s great passions is golf. You are also heavily involved in golf. Do you and Mike often play a round together? Not as often as I would like.
Irish Flame did you proud in South Africa when winning 2 Group 1’s but never really cut-it in Dubai. What was the reason for him under-performing? He did not enjoy the tracks in Dubai but did win a race in England in course record time.
Rather surprisingly, he has returned to South Africa and had a few starts. Whose decision was this and what are your plans for him? The partners decided to bring him back to SA to send him to stud as he is the best son of Dynasty to have raced so far.
Do you have any up and coming young horses that will be ones to follow in the future? I have a number but I’d rather that they do their talking on the race course.
How many horses are currently owned by the Tawny Syndicate? The Tawny Syndicate is an administration company that manages approx. 1500 horses for various owners.
Do you have a horse which you think could be a July contender? Possibly 1 or 2 but we will see how they do in the build up to the race.
How many grade 1 winners have you had as an owner? 19.
Most memorable moment in horseracing? Too many to mention.
Unluckiest moment in horseracing? Young Rake beaten in a photo finish in the Durban July.
How often do you have personal contact with your respective trainers? Fairly often.
Which is your personal favourite stallion currently standing in South Africa? Toreador.
Frankel has to be counted as one of the best horses in recent times. Did you see him race live at the course? No.
You have a wide and diverse interest in racing. Do you ever have a ‘punt’ on one of your horses just for the fun of it? I don’t punt at all.
You are also heavily involved in golf. Tell us about your involvement? I am chairman of the Pro Shop/ World Of Golf Group and the promoter of a Sunshine Tour Tournament and a Glacier Junior Tournament.
Who is your favourite golfer? Gary Player.
What other members of your family are really keen on racing? My son, Jason.
What is your involvement in the horse racing industry? I was a director of the NHA for 8 years and Chairman for 3 years.
The best horse I have seen is…. Makybe Diva, winner of 3 Melbourne Cup races in a row.
You must be excited about Saturday’s R1 million Gauteng Guineas where you have EMERALD APPROACH and CANNON running. How do you rate their chances? They are both still maturing and both need ground. The Guineas is a very tough race and both have reasonable chances without being over optimistic.
How do you rate your other runners on the day?
GLOBAL POWER ran his debut in Durban. After the race it was found that he had a lot of mucous. He is a very nice sort who is highly thought of. I am very interested in this race as he should improve with racing.
LINK MAN: He is running over his best trip. He is very well now and I am hoping he will put his best foot forward. Unfortunately he is a bleeder but if all goes well in the race he has a big chance.
ROCCO’S LUCK: My trainer tells me that he has been crying out for ground so this trip should be ideal for him. I am expecting a decent run from him.
BLUROUTE: She is a very smart filly and I am expecting a big run from her. I think that her and Rocco’s Luck are my two best runners on the day.
The old maxim is, “Behind every successful man is an equally successful woman.” Does this apply to Larry Nestadt? After 37 years, I have to say my wife Cheryl.