hear the drums race horse
hear the drums race horse

Hear The Drums - Win Number 34

(Photo : Wally Strydom)



Hear The Drums, who holds the South African record for number of wins in a career, will not be heading to the Western Cape to run in next month’s Cape Flying Championship for a fourth time, according to his trainer Des McLachlan.

Hear The Drums racked up the 34th win of his illustrious career in the Glendore Sprint at Arlington on Friday last week, proving that his trainer’s decision to keep him in training as an eight-year-old was the right one.

“I was over the moon with the victory. It was nice that he could prove the people who said he was leg weary wrong,” said McLachlan. “When he’s tired, I’ll retire him. But right now he’s like a three-year-old. He comes off the track full of beans.”

Hear The Drums, given a break from August to October, was badly in need of his comeback run. He blitzed early before compounding badly to finish last in the Cradock Place Stakes over 1200m. McLachlan then took a decision to take the blinkers off his stable star in a Fairview Pinnacle Stakes, saying : “It’s pointless him always doing it the hard way.”

Unfortunately, jockey Alec Forbes was dislodged in a scrimmage shortly after the start, so the reasoning was not put to the test immediately. The additional equipment was left off again last Friday and jockey Marco van Rensburg was able to hold Hear The Drums up, just off early leaders Bermuda Prince and Bandol. When he asked for an effort, Hear The Drums kicked strongly to lead 200m out and win well.

“He doesn’t tug that hard without the blinkers and the way he responded from just off them was pleasing,” said McLachlan. “I don’t think we’ll ever get him to settle completely. Fortunately on Friday there was a blistering pace up front.”

Hear The Drums has run in the Grade 1 Cape Flying Championship at Kenilworth three times and has not been beaten by far. However, McLachlan says he plans to keep the Gold Press gelding at home next year.

“He doesn’t travel well and has problems with his shoes. He doesn’t have the best of feet and comes in so quick from behind that he takes the shoes off. Also, the moment the grass gets long or the sand track gets heavy, off they come, so I always send another horse out to test the track before him and if it’s heavy, I do less with him.

“As he gets older, I don’t want the setbacks,” added McLachlan. “So we’ll take the rest of his career as it comes. There are a couple of Pinnacle Stakes he can run in.”

McLachlan continued : “It’s a pleasure being around Hear The Drums. He’s got such personality and he’s so laid back, which has helped his career enormously because if he was a tearaway or difficult, I wouldn’t have been able to keep him going for so long.

“He’s also a humble horse. The day he threw Alec he got back to the stables in a really bad mood - he knew something had gone wrong.”

The gelding’s many fans in South Africa will be looking forward to seeing more of this imposing gelding - and Hear The Drums is certainly willing to oblige.

Extract from The Citizen Racing Express