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Roy Magner

Roy Magner has been involved with horses his whole life. He makes an interesting observation about where he feels a racecourse should be built and one wonders whether the ‘powers that be’ will take notice. With the form that the Magner stable is currently showing it could be profitable to follow him over the next couple of months.

What is your name and age? Roy Magner, 62 yrs.
Where do you live? Centurion.
Tell us about your family? My mom and father were both born in England and moved to Rhodesia in 1947. My dad was a keen racing man.
Apart from your father, who really instilled in you a love of horses and racing in general, who else had a big influence on you in your early years?  From the age of 6 I rode ponies, show jumping  etc and the love  of horses started then and still exists.
With a life time of experience in training horses is there one horse you won with that stands out above all the rest? Yes, there is one horse that stands out and has a special place in my heart. He was called Strike It Rich. I bought it as a maiden for R1000-00 from Sid Hallan. He went on to win 22 races including 3 Thomas Meikles, 2 Queen Elizabeth Cups, The Castle Tankard and 10 other group races.
You spent many years training at the Vaal racecourse. What made you decide to leave the Vaal and go to Randjiesfontein? The extremely cold weather at the Vaal, the pollution and uncontrollable fly problem.
Do you have a stable jockey and how important do you feel it is to have a stable jockey? We don’t have a stable jockey as I feel different horses suit different jockeys riding style.
The second string to your bow is the selecting of yearlings for overseas clients. How successful has this aspect of your business been? We do have a client in Hong Kong (Mr Chung). Over the years we sent a number of horses to Hong Kong including King Of Spades – 6 wins, Arabian Wager – 6 wins, Tiger Prawn  6 wins and the course record 1200m at Happy Valley. We sold Sweet Sanette  to Mr Chung and she has now won 3 races from 6 starts. They are an important part of our business and hopefully the relationship will continue for years to come.
Is there any chance that you would take a horse, if it is good enough, to race in Dubai or elsewhere? When the opportunity arises and we find a horse good enough to race overseas we will take that route.
Do you ever get nervous before the start of an important race? Yes we do get butterflies in our stomachs before a big race and this is part of the adrenalin rush.
For you personally what has been the most exciting moment of the past year or two? Possibly Phunyuka winning the Emerald Cup
Racing in SA , and around the world, is going through a tough time finding new followers and punters.  Have you any ideas as to how to get racegoers back to the racecourse and how to attract more people to the game? I firmly believe to get people back to the race track we need a racecourse in the North where the majority of owners live. The Vaal is in the Free State and over 100 km from the North and Turffontein is in the middle of Rosettenville in the south.
Are all of your family as interested in racing as you are? No.
Which is your favourite course in SA? Greyville.
If ever you have some time to have a short holiday where do you like to spend it? We don’t ever get time to take a break as this is a 24/7 job but do steal a couple of hours for a game of golf.
What do you enjoy most about being a trainer and being so involved with horses? It’s really rewarding to see the 2 year olds that come and grow and mature into, hopefully, good horses.
Apart from racing what else are you really passionate about? Golf.
Are most of your friends connected to racing? Yes.
As far as I am concerned with the jockeys receiving their commission direct from  Phumelela and with riding fees as good as they are I would like to think the game is straight.

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