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Vaughan Marshall

Vaughan Marshall

Vaughan Marshall

VAUGHAN MARSHALL, after a relatively quiet period, is now back to the great form he showed in the late 90’s. Right now he has some top horses, with more to come, and in Sunday’s Betting World Derby at Clairwood he gives his horse, TRIBAL DANCE a good winning chance. Down the years Vaughan has gained the reputation of being a trainer who brings his horses out early to win many of the ‘baby races’. He recently finished first and third in a Grade 1 at Scottsville with two outstanding fillies, ALL IS SECRET and VALDIVIA, respectively.  Vaughan is a quiet, thoughtful, man who not only has a passion for horseracing and training but also enjoys watching sport and sipping the odd glass of wine. A real all-rounder would probably describe him best. When WINNING FORM caught up with him, he made no secret of the fact that he expects a big run form TOP SELLER in the upcoming July.

What is your name and age? Vaughan Hawkins Marshall, 60 years old.

What is your star sign and birthdate?  Leo, 11th August 1951.

Where were you born? Empangeni, Zululand in KZN.

Where do you live? Atlantic Beach Golf Estate, Melkbosstrand in Cape Town.

Tell us about your family? I have two ‘children’, Katherine – 36 years, Stephen – 34 years and a wonderful partner Jennifer Jones.

Do you have a ‘nickname’?  VHM.

Favourite food?  Sushi.

Favourite drink?  Sauvignon Blanc – Klein Roosboom.

Favourite music?  Music that makes people happy!

Favourite sport?  All sport.

Favourite soccer team?  Manchester United.

Favourite holiday destination? Somewhere relaxing, where there’s some time for some fishing!

You have been training for over 30 years. Right now you are having one of your best seasons ever, especially with your juveniles. What do you put this down to? To say this is one of my best seasons is not really true, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 were also great seasons!  I was beaten by David Payne, on three occasions by 2 winners & beat him by 1 in the KZN, trainers log over those years. This is all down to, hard work, choosing my buys wisely, and general team work plays a huge role.

One of your stalwart patrons and long-time friend, Roy Eckstein, sadly passed away recently. It must be bitter sweet for you when one of his horses wins any race for you. TALES OF BRAVERY won the Gr 2 Drill Hall Stakes shortly after his passing. Was the son of Kahal specially prepared to pay tribute to Roy?  Not particularly for that race, but I had discussed the season with Roy. Fortunately, so far the results have evolved as we had planned.

Which of his other horses do you think will achieve success in his memory?  TRIBAL DANCE, TWITTER and a young horse RED ICE. They are smart horses, but don’t discount TOP SELLER.

TALES OF BRAVERY is a real stalwart in your stable. He looks almost certain to take his place in the upcoming July but still has to prove he stays beyond nine furlongs. Do you think he will see out the trip, bearing in mind he flopped in the Met? If you re-look at the running of the 2012 Met, you will see who suffered the most interference in the closing stages. He will not disgrace himself in the July, and I am sure Felix Coetzee will give him a peach of a ride.

The current Vodacom July favourite is JACKSON who is very well handicapped on official merit ratings. You have obviously seen him in the flesh. What do you think of him? JACKSON is very well handicapped and a good horse, but beware the July has many pitfalls, and maybe, TOP SELLER, will be one of them!

DUBAI GINA has been withdrawn from the Betting World Oaks. What happened? Unfortunately, she bruised a tendon and won’t be taking any part in the Betting World Oaks on Sunday.

In the colt’s equivalent, the Betting World Derby, you send out the recent East Cape Derby winner, TRIBAL DANCE. He has finished third twice behind Jackson and was runner-up behind champion miler VARIETY CLUB in the Winter Guineas. How has his preparation gone and what chance do you give him in this race?  He has done very well and shown good improvement, but in all races we need luck. He has a good draw, so I am expecting a good run.

Which horses do you make your main dangers? SHOGUNNAR.

TOP SELLER has only had two runs this year and was put away after a successful Gauteng raid last season. What issues does he have and are you happy with his preparation leading-up to the Vodacom July? Thankfully, no issues. His long-term aim has been the Vodacom July.  His preparation has gone extremely well and I am confident that he will put up a very good performance, especially for our great friend Roy!

You are extremely fortunate to have two top class juvenile fillies in ALL IS SECRET and VALDIVIA. They recently met in the Allan Robertson at Scottsville where the former triumphed. How are they doing and will they be contesting the 1400m race on July day? Yes, they have both been nominated, the draw plays a big part!  In Cape Town, I have 3 fillies which are in the same class.

ALL IS SECRET is destined for the top. How fitting is it to train a potential champion, after having great success with her mother, Secret Of Victoria and her father, Captain Al? She is an amazing filly. I feel a great sense of pride having trained her mother and father!

What did you make of the ride on VALDIVIA? Was it the stable’s plan to drop her slightly off the pace in the early stages and were you disappointed that she lost her 100% record? Not really, but you have to look at the state of the racecourse on the day.  It was a disgrace, a day of speed and the course was watered and had long grass. What were they trying to prove!

You openly said that ALL IS SECRET had been beating VALDIVIA in work, but which of the two did you expect to win? That is not quite true, they worked together on 2 occasions, and never galloped against each other. I just wish the scribes would talk to us instead of listening to hearsay.

With all the success you have recently enjoyed, has the stable acquired any new owners? We have been very blessed with loyal owners and friends, Messrs Ralphs, Jooste, Truter and the late Roy Eckstein and many smaller owners have been the backbone of the stable for many years.

Do you travel to Australia, or any other countries, in search of new stock or are you content to buy what is available in South Africa?  No, I don’t. I feel our bloodstock is very competitive.

You have said before that Captain Al, Silvano, Var and Kabool are your favourite stallions. Mention a few others that can be added to that list?  Yes they are, when they start failing me, I will look for others. Black Minnaloushe and Tiger Dance are others to keep an eye on.

For many years you trained in KZN but didn’t take long to make your mark on the Cape scene. Have you had any regrets about relocating to the Cape?  No not at all!  I love the Cape, it has so much to offer, I do miss family and the KZN winters, but I am now a Capetonian!

How many yearlings did you purchase at the National Yearling Sales and what was your top price?  We enjoyed good sales. The most expensive purchase was R500 000 at the Cape Yearling Sale.

After the yearling sales you generally send your babies to Charles Koster in Beaufort West. How long do they stay there before joining your stable? I generally like them to stay there until August, having experienced a good winter!!

South Africa has a new rugby coach and some new faces in the squad. How do you think they will fare against England and do you think we can win the Tri-Nation Series? I think they will do very well. I was impressed with the way they finished off the Test in Durban last week.

You are firmly established in the Cape. Are you a Stormers supporter or do you still have a soft spot for The Sharks?  I am still, very much a Sharks and Dolphins supporter.

You are in a great spot to taste the wines. What colour wine do you prefer and do you have a favourite wine?  I enjoy all good wines, but a good Sauvignon Blanc is great! Fryers Cove & Altydgedacht and Klein Roosboom, Sauvignon Blanc’s are special! We are so lucky in this country to have wonderful choices.

What would you say if asked how to encourage people to come racing again as they used to when you started out? I wish I knew! Racing is still a wonderful spectacle. Maybe live entertainment might help. When you see what a wonderful job was done by The Rising Sun at Clairwood, we have hope! It takes a lot of effort, drive and enthusiasm, maybe that is what has been lacking over the last couple of years. Stand-out days are, Avontuur Fillies Guineas, L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, Rising Sun Gold Challenge, and of course the J & B Met and Vodacom Durban July, to name a few! We have a marketable product, it just takes effort from all industry players.







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