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Robyn’s In The Hood!

Meteoric - there could be something in that name!

Another lady trainer has taken the plunge and is facing the challenges of a male-dominated industry.

Turffontein trainer Robyn Klaasen’s first winner was lost in the hurly burly of the Hollywoodbets Durban July week. But for new trainer Robyn, Meteoric’s low-key FM 67 Handicap victory at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Monday 27 June felt like winning the big race!

Young Jeff Syster rode the 50-1 shot, who was saddled at Hollywoodbets Greyville by national log-leading trainer Paul Peter. Meteoric’s owner Joshua Peter is Robyn’s partner.

Jeff Syster brings Meteoric home for Robyn Klaasen (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

We asked her how it felt to break the ice early.

“It’s not that early! I took my licence out in November last year actually, butbabies take time. But I do feel like a huge pressure has been lifted and I can breathe… for a little while. I’ve had a couple of places and some really good runs. But it’s never enough until you get that winner!”

She says she unfortunately couldn’t be there as she had one horse going up for Hollywoodbets Durban July day and to be at the yard.

“But Paul has been incredible throughout my journey and I think it was quite a special moment for all of us – my first winner, owned by Josh Peter, and saddled by his Dad. It was also Joshua’s birthday on Sunday 26 June, which made it even better,” Robyn tells the Sporting Post as she reflects back on her icebreaking win.

Watch the race replay here:

Robyn has 25 boxes at Turffontein, but only twelve are occupied – and then mostly by youngsters. She is happy to start slowly but says that she would really like to get them filled though if anyone is interested.

“When I started I made the decision to commence with babies as it’s hard to pick up decent horses in training – people don’t sell the ones that they think will win. So it has taken a little while to get going as I didn’t want to push the ones that weren’t read,  just for the sake of having runners – as tempting as it was! But it is slowly starting to pay off and I’m very excited for what’s to come,” she adds.

Robyn says that from the moment she stepped into a racing yard, she knew that it was what she wanted.

Robyn loves her horses!

“To me there is nothing better than a thoroughbred athlete. It is the absolute epitome of what a horse is capable of and being the one who gets to figure them out and get them to their peak is just so incredible to me.  My Australia trip had to be cut short unfortunately due to covid, and when I got back there was just nothing I wanted to do more than this. Despite the downfall of Phumelela and the uncertainty of racing’s future, I took a leap of faith and decided to give it a go. I didn’t want to be 60 and regret not doing the one thing I wanted to do so badly!” she laughs.

“My dad and Uncle have been so incredibly supportive and they own half the yard, then Josh has a few shares and I have 2 horses from ‘The Poets Corner Syndicate’. Mike Moroney has also been incredibly supportive and he was actually my first owner. I was spelling a horse for him on our farm and I mentioned to him that I was looking at taking out my licence- without hesitation he immediately said he would support me and he kept his word!” she adds proudly.

Robyn grew up on a plot and had horses from a very young age. The middle of two sisters, and the only ‘horsey’ person in the family, she started riding young.

“I was fortunate enough to receive a R1 500 ticket horse from my parents soon after I started riding and I have been around the wonderful creatures ever since. My sisters and I all started riding together, but I was the only one who carried on with it. I was the only horsey person in the family. I did mainly showjumping and polocrosse, but always loved racing. After school I studied Equine Science which I started at TUT but then completed it through a University in England as they had a better programme. I met Ashleigh Hughes through Brandon Bailey when he worked for Gary Alexander. At the time, Ashleigh was running Snaith’s Joburg yard at Turffontein and she very kindly let me hang around and help out until a position opened up at the Alexander Yard – which is where I started. After that I worked for Sean Tarry, then Paul Peter and then did a couple months in Australia with Tony Gollan,” she explains.

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4 comments on “Robyn’s In The Hood!

  1. George Croucher says:

    Well Done Robyn #FirstOfMany

  2. Frankie Zackey says:

    Frankie Zackey…. Not to shabby to have recorded her 2nd winner in a short space of time… Nice win Robyn i think Johnny Dogs will win a few races for the yard …. I see the other 12 or 13 boxes that are available filling up soon… Keep up the hard work.. GL

  3. Theodore John Roelofsz says:

    The ladies are making BIG SPLASHES…Rachel, Robyn, Candice… to name ONLY THE TIP OF THE TSUNAMI…
    Well done…!!!

  4. Umesh Indurjeeth says:

    Well done Robyn

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