Who Was Our Greatest Racehorse Of All Time?

A golden oldie from the deep covid days

Snaith Racing’s beach of gold!

Snaith Racing are running another of their popular polls this week – this time they ask…Who Was SA’s Greatest Racehorse Of All Time?

The Snaith’s suggest that greatness is measured by courage and heart.

While there are many that justify an inclusion, we had to cut the list significantly, from 32 champions to ten – apologies if we overlooked your favourite, say the Snaith Team.

Ed – poll closed.

  • SEA COTTAGE: (1964 – 1967)

He was the first equine athlete inductee into the South African Hall Of Fame in 2019, and was a Champion in each year that he raced (1964-1967). Sea Cottage won 20 of his 24 starts including the Durban July, Queen’s Plate and Guineas. He was a short-priced favourite to win the 1966 Durban July but was shot by gunman Johnny Nel (orchestrated by bookmaker Sonny Chislet). He surprisingly took his place in the July to run an understandably disappointing 4th by his standards. He returned a year later to win the 1967 Durban July. RECORD 24 runs : 20-0-1

Colorado King

Colorado King

  • COLORADO KING (1962 – 1965)

Colorado King won ten races including the Cape Guineas, Cape Derby and the Durban July Handicap. He was later exported to USA where he won 7 races including the Hollywood Gold Cup in 1964 while equalling the world record for nine furlongs. RECORD 41 runs: 17-3-7

Horse Chestnut wins the 1998 Dingaans

Horse Chestnut

  • HORSE CHESTNUT (1997 – 2000)

The champion was bred by Harry Oppenheimer at his Mauritzfontein Stud in Kimberley. His sire Fort Wood was a son of the British champion sire, Sadler’s Wells. He ran 10 times, winning 9 of those races. Notable wins include the Grade 1 J&B Metropolitan Stakes over 2000m by 8¼ lengths, the Grade 1 South African Derby by 10 lengths, and the Grade 1 South African Classic over 1800m by 4 lengths. He was later sent to race in the United States where he won the Grade III Broward Handicap at Gulfstream Park in Florida over 1700m by five and a half lengths and subsequently never raced again through injury. RECORD 10 runs: 9-0-1


  • POLITICIAN (1976 – 1980)

Bred locally by Scott Bros and owned by Michael Javett. Winner of 11 Graded 1 races most under top weight. Winner of 2 Met’s and 2 Queen’s Plates. Horse of the Year 1976-1978. RECORD 31runs: 18-5-4



  • HAWAII (1966 – 1969)

Winner of fifteen races in South Africa and six in America including the Man O’War Handicap at Belmont. Among his wins in the United States was a track record setting performance in the mile-and-a-half Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont Park.[3]. In South Africa he remains the only racehorse to have won all three Guineas staged in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. RECORD 28runs: 21-2-3


  • MOWGLI (1949 – 1953)

Winner of six races of current Group status in twelve weeks. A feat never to be repeated again in equine history. Bred by Summerhill Stud. RECORD 39 runs: 14-4-3

Wolf Power


Bred by Birch Brothers he raced for the Birch Brothers Syndicate. He collected seven Grade 1 trophies in Durban, Joburg and Cape Town including two Queen’s Plates and a J&B Met. .He set four course records and was the first South African runner to race a mile under 1:34. RACE RECORD 31 runs 18-6-0

Pocket Power

Pocket Power

  • POCKET POWER (2007 – 2010)

Equus Champion Horse of the Year 2007 / 2008 / 2009. Winner of 4 Queens Plates and 3 J&B Mets. RECORD 43 runs: 20-10-7

Jet Master

Jet Master

  • JET MASTER (1989 – 2001)

A two-time winner of the Queen’s Plate in 1999 and 2000 respectively, will always be remembered as one of the finest sprinter-milers to grace South African turf. This superstar had known wind issues and was kept over lesser distances and was almost unbeatable up the straight. Without wind issues he could have well won everything including the Met and Durban July – his produce have shown his stamina. This South African icon won 17 races, including eight Gr1s and left a legacy like no other. RECORD 24 runs: 17-4-1

Empress Club winning the 1993 Gr1 J&B Met

Empress Club

  • EMPRESS CLUB (1990 – 1992)

She could well be the greatest filly to have ever graced our turf – “The Galloping Goldmine”. Winner of 9 GR.1 races including many against the boys such as the colts Guineas, The Met and Queen’s Plate. This filly destroyed both sexes over distances of five furlongs to ten including running the fastest 1000m in history at Durbanville – she was a beast. RECORD 20 runs: 15-1-1

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