Marlene Breed, Eric and Fane Tenderini and Mick GossL-R: Marlene Breed, Eric and Fane Tenderini and Mick GossHave you met the Tenderini’s? We speak of course of Eric and Fane Tenderini, legendary owners of the 1970’s, whose association with two of the very best July winners, Mazarin and Politician, remains stamped in the memories of anyone who is even remotely connected with Africa’s greatest horse race.

But that’s not the end of the story, not by any stretch of the imagination, as their names were also associated with the champions Archangel and Zatopek and as the breeders of one of the greatest fillies to grace our turf, Breyani. Perhaps the best of all these horses though, was Pendragon, whom Sydney Laird, arguably the greatest of all our trainers, once dubbed as the best horse he ever trained (and let’s not forget, theses included seven July winners, (Left Wing, Kerason, Yatagan and the immortal Sea Cottage and Colarado King as well). And then we have the fine sprinter High Jinks, and a legion of others Amelia Erhardt, Egyptian Goose etc., as part of this phenomenal story.

Besides being famous owners though, Eric and Fane are fondly remembered by racegoers across the length and breadth of this country, as two of the most gracious people, and time spent with them is an education in itself. They are not only gracious though, they’re smart, stylish, amusing and tuned into just about everything that goes on in the world. Racing is much the poorer for not having them regularly in our midst these days.

We were lucky to have them visiting us over the New Year, where they were accompanied by daughter and son-in-law, Michelle and Robert Bowman and their delightful daughter Mika, and we feel we’ve been touched with a bit of good fortune for 2008 in having had them around.

Posted by Marlene Breed