Vercingetorix Mare Dominates The Show

Saluting the local stars

The Maine Chance-bred Vercingetorix mare Phedra topped the honours list at the ROA Eastern Cape Regional Awards held in the Bold Silvano Room at Fairview on Saturday 9 September 2023.

Scooping all of the Champion Sprinter, Champion Older/Filly Mare, Champion Polytrack Filly/Mare and Horse Of The Year award, the Sharon Kotzen-trained mare was retired to stud after her ninth career victory on 4 August.

Phedra – retired a nine-time winner and was the dominant name at the 2022/23 East Cape Awards (Pic – Pauline Herman)

A remarkable success story, the R50 000 Cape Yearling Sale buy  arrived as a rather ordinary looking maiden from the Cape in January 2022 after 11 starts.

But under the guidance of Sharon Kotzen, she went on to nine wins, including a stakes score in the 2023 Milkwood Stakes.

Phedra power! Arne Botha (centre) and Sharon Kotzen (with trophy) celebrate a big evening (Pic-Pauline Herman)

Leading breeder Arne Botha of Benmarne Stud, who attended the function with his family, raced the equine ATM in partnership with Messrs K B Larsen, I D Berg, Robin Strydom and G M Kotzen, and told the Sporting Post that even though she had been leased, she had provided them with enormous thrills and fun.

“Leasing is definitely an option to encourage and grow ownership. The lovely mare gave us great joy and what an honour this evening to be acknowledged with multiple awards. She is off to stud, and I wish her every success in the next phase of her career. And well done especially to Sharon and Greg Kotzen. They did a terrific job!” added Arne Botha.

And it was another superb accolade for Maine Chance Farms, who celebrated their third Horse Of The Year honours for last term, after Princess Calla’s crowning at Equus and at the KZN regional awards.

Maine Chance also bred Champion 3yo filly, Ekoria, a daughter of Futura (Dynasty) who is trained by Champion conditioner, Gavin Smith.

All the winners:

  • Champion 2 year old filly:  Luna Halo                      

Owners:  Messrs M Greene, GL Blank, G Piha, D Yutar, HN Yutar, S M Davis, Nick & Val McFall, Mr & Mrs AC Greeff

Trainer: Alan Greeff

Breeder: Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein

  • Champion 2 year old colt/gelding:  Questor

Owner: Smith Super Syndicate (Nom: Dean Smith)

Trainer: Gavin Smith

Breeder: Varsfontein Stud

  • Champion 3 year old filly:  Ekoria                      

Owners:  Messrs B C Ralph & M Greene

Trainer: Gavin Smith

Breeder: Maine Chance Farms (Pty) Ltd

  • Champion 3 year old colt/gelding: Khaya’s Hope 

Owner:  Khaya Stables (Pty) Ltd

Trainer: Gavin Smith

Breeder:  Khaya Stables (Pty) Ltd

  • Champion Older Colt/Gelding/Horse: Grazinginthegrass    

Owners:  ASSM Racing Syndicate (Nom: Mr A Chadha) & Mr M F de Kock &  Mrs N P Malherbe

Trainer: Alan Greeff

Breeder: Drakenstein Stud (Nom: Mrs G A Rupert)

  • Champion Older Filly/Mare:  Phedra 

Owners: Ben Botha (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Mr Arne Botha), Messrs K B Larsen, I D Berg, Robin Strydom & G M Kotzen

Trainer: Sharon B Kotzen

Breeder: Maine Chance Farms (Pty) Ltd

  • Champion Sprinter:   Phedra

Owners:  Ben Botha (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Mr Arne Botha), Messrs K B Larsen, I D Berg, Robin Strydom & G M Kotzen

Trainer: Sharon B Kotzen

Breeder: Maine Chance Farms (Pty) Ltd

  • Champion Stayer:  American Landing    

Owner:  Mrs D J Sherrell

Trainer: Alan Greeff

Breeder: Mr M de Broglio

  • Champion Polytrack Filly/Mare:  Phedra   

Owners: Ben Botha (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Mr Arne Botha), Messrs K B Larsen, I D Berg, Robin Strydom & G M Kotzen

Trainer: Sharon B Kotzen

Breeder: Maine Chance Farms (Pty) Ltd

  • Champion Polytrack Colt/Gelding: Naval Secret    

Owner:  Mrs S Viljoen

Trainer: Cliffie Miller

Breeder: BBP Syndicate (Nom: Mr B G Nelson)

Work Rider of the Season

  • Mr S Liyaba

Champion Groom

  • Mr S Sigaba

Champion Jockey

  • Mr R Fourie

Champion Trainer   

  • Mr G Smith

Champion Local Jockey

  • Mr S Khathi

Champion Owner   

  • Mrs S Viljoen

Horse of the Year

  • Phedra

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