Dave Goss and El Padrino
(Summerhill Stud/Gold Circle)

The Dave Goss yard has been in cracking form and have won all of the last five races they have contested including the R150 000 1600m Chapter Challenge Final at Clairwood on Saturday with El Padrino (Muhtafal).

Top turf writer David Thiselton reports that the Summerveld trainer has the highest strike rate in KwaZulu-Natal from the beginning of May, having sent out 15 runners for six winners, a 40% return. He has also had two seconds, a third and a fourth in that period and walked away with second prize in the Chapter Challenge series, which was based on all handicap races in KwaZulu-Natal since January 13. This is no mean achievement considering that this is the middle of the Champions Season and he only has a string of fifteen horses.

Dave Goss attributes this success to a recent decision he made. “We decided that we would only run horses if we felt they had a good chance of winning and the strategy has paid dividends’’, he said. “Robbie Hill has been work-riding for me and is able to tell me exactly when the horse is ready. He is a fantastic judge and has often told me to wait for longer even when a horse has looked fit.’’

Robbie Hill also helps Dave place the horses in races they can win and has ridden most of the winners himself. “Fortunately for Robbie but unfortunately for me he has joined Dennis Drier again but will still be able to ride some work for me,’’ he said.

Dave Goss moved back to his original Summerveld yard, which has just 22 stables, a year ago and is very glad to be back. “The yard gets a lot of sunshine and there is always a lot of activity outside for the horses to look at. I think they enjoy it here,’’ he said.

“I have a small but very efficient team and we can give attention to detail. “Carla Sturlese is an excellent assistant who never misses a day’s work and I have very good, hard working grooms including two head grooms.’’

Dave recognizes that it is hard for a small yard to hang on to a good horse these days with all the international interest in our racing and revealed that there had been offers for El Padrino (Muhtafal).