1979 Richelieu Guineas Finish – A Thriller!

Trevor Smith remembers all of those 40 years ago

What a great topic to chat about during lockdown!

SP reader, Trevor Smith writes that his memory of a great finish was the 1979 Richelieu Guineas – a cracker of a race!

The Cape Hope Horatius and the visitor Bold Tropic played their part.

We were family friends of the Caiettas (owner of Horatius) at the time and I remember being told that because of a bad draw in the race, the late trainer Lenny Taylor got his hands on a fire station bell and taught his pretender to jump smartly when he rang that bell.

Bold Tropic

Bold Tropic wins the 1979 Cape Guineas

With Kenny Michel in the irons he got across from the 16/16 draw  – the draw in those days was normally the kiss of death at Milnerton.

Horatius jumped like a rocket and settled in along the rail but could not withstand the rattling finish of the ‘Tropic’,  even though he was made to fight all the way to the line.

On a side note my father owned Blessing Tune, with apprentice Robbie Sham in the irons, a runner in the 1977 (dead heating) Gold Cup.

Ed – see the Milkovitch Moments

Blessing Tune finished 5th less than ¾ of length behind the winners.

Interestingly enough he owned his horse in partnership with his business partner at the time. Mannie Dos Santos – later of Off to War and Captain Al fame.

he race on that day was delayed at the start and even though my folks were in Durban to watch the race , the rest of us stayed home and watched on Telly.

I think my sister’s fiancé at the time finished his packet of Rothmans before the race started.

Great memories of a great race.

Thanks Trevor! If you would like to submit a few of your own racing memories, however vivid or minor, we’d love to publish them. Please email [email protected]

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