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SOUTH AFRICAN JOCKEY ACADEMY hosts Korean and Lesotho Racing delegations

his majesty king letsie iii south african jockey academyManoeli C. Ntholi, His Majesty King Letsie III, Paul Gadsby, Patrick Salvage
(South African Jockey Academy)

Patrick Salvage from the South African Jockey Academy recently hosted high powered racing delegations from Korea and Lesotho, which included the King of Lesotho and the Vice-President of Korea.

The Korean Racing Association employ two South African riding masters and the Korean delegation’s visit was to determine how many Korean apprentices they would be sending to the Academy for training in 2009.

His Majesty King Letsie III, accompanied by the Lesotho Consulate General Mr Manoeli C. Ntholi, were on an exploratory visit with a view to the Academy training apprentices from Lesotho.

In his headmaster’s address, Patrick Salvage stated that “Hosting a Head of State was a great honour and we hope to see some apprentices from Lesotho next year.”



Launch of Summerhill Sires Brochure 2008/2009


Today marks an historic day for Team Summerhill with the official launch this afternoon of the much anticipated, and eagerly awaited, 2008/2009 edition of the Summerhill Sires Brochure.

See our men; Albarahin, Cataloochee, Hobb Alwahtan, Kahal, Malhub, Muhtafal, Mullins Bay, Ravishing, Solskjaer, Stronghold and Way West as they’ve never been seen before, get an insight into the talented and dedicated individuals that make up Team Summerhill and see stunning images of arguably the most beautiful thoroughbred estate in Africa, which we are honoured and privileged to call home.

If you are already on our mailing list, we will be sending you your personal copy of this exquisite publication next week. If you’re not, we invite you to email us your details and we’ll ensure that you don’t miss out :



DANEHILL... the most irresistible secret in breeding.

danehill stallionDanehill
(Summerhill Sire’s Brochure 2008/2009)

“No stallion in modern times has stamped his authority on international breeding like Danehill. And no stallion of such impeccable provenance has been more neglected by South Africans than Danehill.

There’s no country in the world that bears a closer resemblance to our racing model than Australia, and a look at their Sires’ Premiership makes startling reading. For any number of seasons now, the outstanding feature has been the emphatic dominance of the Danehill tribe.

The one thing these men have in common is class, and by that we mean racing class. Without exception, they were quality runners, and without exception, they all had speed.

The adage that patience looks after those that wait, was never more apt than in Summerhill’s case. Ten years of perseverance has rewarded us with Africa’s three most gifted sons of the Southern Hemisphere’s most gifted sire.

Analysis after analysis kept providing the self same answers: Danehill was the next big thing, the sire colossus-in-waiting, and the most irresistible secret in breeding.

And now we have them. STRONGHOLD and SOLSKJAER, both with Timeform ratings of 120lbs, both ranked in the top 1/4% of racehorses worldwide. The one a Champion, the other worthy of the name of the best footballer in the world. In Australia, WAY WEST rated with the fastest juveniles of his generation. A bolt of lightning in a speed crazy country.

As for family, these guys are Royalty. For all his illustrious mates, Danehill could scarcely have served anything of greater genetic distinction. Old Europe would’ve been pleased to know them.

And what about the specimens? We think their Dad would’ve been more than proud of them.

Don’t take our word for it, though. You’ll never know till you’ve satisfied your own eyes.”

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The 2008/2009 edition of the Summerhill Sires Brochure is about to be released. Are you on the mailing list? If not, e-mail us now with your details : .



Stallion Day Approaches

Cataloochee looks on as the preparations begin
(John Lewis/Grant Norval)

Folk on the farm are used to all kinds of unusual things happening and life in our particular part of the Midlands is far from dull. Although the Vodacom July creates a lot of excitement in the racing world, the annual Summerhill Stallion Day which takes place the day after, creates its own special atmosphere.

Tomorrow the marquee will be erected and some of our equine friends will get a bit of a shock when they see some interesting rearrangements to their living quarters. The to-ing and fro-ing between the stallion barn, the hotel and the stud office has to be seen to be believed. Everything is being made ready for the arrival of some of the most important people in our industry. A unique aspect of this year’s Stallion Day is that we will be joined by several of our stallion owners, who have jetted in from around the world.

His Majesty King Letsie from Lesotho and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa (who is visiting the country at the moment) are expected to join us for the day, together with international guests from as far afield as Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Australia, America and many parts of Africa and Europe.





The final field for the 2008 renewal of Africa’s greatest horse race, the Vodacom Durban July, has just been released.

1      Pocket Power                  Mike Bass                  Draw 3
2      Buy and Sell                    Sean Tarry                  Draw 16
3      Floatyourboat                  Mike Bass                   Draw 14
4      Hunting Tower                Charles Laird             Draw 2
5      Succesful Bidder           Sean Tarry                   Draw 4
6      Catmandu                       Andre Kirsten             Draw 15
7      Eddington                       Dominic Zaki               Draw 18
8      Pick Six                           Charles Laird             Draw 11
9      She’s On Fire                Ormond Ferraris         Draw 10
10    Dancer’s Daughter      Justin Snaith                Draw 13              
11    Bound By Honour         Sean Tarry                    Draw 7
12    Silver Mist                      Joey Ramsden            Draw 6
13    Desert Links                 Basil Marcus               Draw 5
14    Strategic News             Dylan Cunha                Draw 20
15    Russian Sage              Justin Snaith                Draw 19
16    Galant Gagnant            Mike de Kock              Draw 17
17    Lion’s Blood                  Herman Brown           Draw 8
18    Tan Can                         Dean Kannemeyer     Draw 12
19    River Jetez                     Mike Bass                    Draw 9
20    Wendywood                  Sean Tarry                    Draw 1

We will have more on the field, from a Summerhill Stud perspective, in the days to come. 



A personal tribute to MULLINS BAY

mullins_bay_stallionMullins Bay


mick goss ceoMick Goss Summerhill CEO

I chose to personally write this article because of the attachment we have developed with this horse at Summerhill. We think he’s as important a sire prospect as we’ve been associated with.

I was born into a horseracing family, and ever since I can remember, my roots have been drenched in the game. We grew up in one of the remotest parts of South Africa, and while it was an idyllic existence, one of its biggest drawbacks was that it took the Post Office a fortnight to deliver the Duff’s Turf Guide.

My grandfather owned the 1946 Durban July hero, St Pauls, yet neither he nor my father ever dreamt of owning a runner in an English Group One. I have to admit, it never entered my head that it might happen to me either. But then, there’ve been many things we never believed possible at Summerhill.

Who would’ve thought, for example, that the Ruling family of Dubai, the world’s largest owners of racehorses, might one day choose to keep such a fine collection of stallions and mares on our farm, of all the farms in the world, ten kilometres outside the dustiest little “dorp” in Zululand?

Besides having a horse good enough to run in England’s Champion Stakes, imagine the thrill when that same horse took Summerhill and an old varsity mate, to the ringside of the Dubai World Cup meeting with a “live” chance.

Such a horse is MULLINS BAY, whose association with us started five years ago. I was at the Tattersalls Houghton sale in England with Sheikh Hamdan’s Racing Manager, Angus Gold. We arrived at the Meon Valley Stud yard to find the Coolmore brains trust looking at a big, athletic colt. Their inspection took unusually long, and it was strange, because it wasn’t their “style” to buy a son of MACHIAVELLIAN, a Maktoum stallion.

It didn’t take much to realise why. Here was a horse with a prince’s pedigree, the looks of a demi-god and the movement of a panther. He wound up one of Europe’s most expensive yearlings and Coolmore got their man, outgunning Sheikh Mohammed.

MULLINS BAY ’s racecourse debut was delayed several times on account of a recurring injury, but from the time of his first imperious triumph, we knew he was as talented as his pedigree said he should be.

By the time we “got” him, he was already a multiple Stakes and Group winner, and Timeform’s Black book had acknowledged his talents with a 121 rating. That’s four pounds superior to FORT WOOD, and a tad better than FOVEROS, and placed him in the top 1% of racehorses worldwide.

No doubt, you’ll tell me there’s a lot of sentiment riding on the back of this horse for the Summerhill team. You’re right, and that’s why I’ve written this tribute personally. So in order to get some objectivity into the discussion, let’s rather let Mike de Kock do the talking.

He’ll tell you he inherited a “cripple”, that the horse never quite got over the chips he carried in his fetlock, and he was continuously bothered by a “suspensory”. Yet he’ll also tell you he’s as talented a horse as he’s had in his hands, that whenever he worked with ORACLE WEST, he “towed” him. And we all know how close ORACLE WEST came to winning the Dubai Sheema Classic (Gr1).

Because he was restricted to training him in the pool and on the treadmill, for most of the time he was limited to running him at distances short of his best. Yet MULLINS BAY produced two sparkling performances at a mile against the World Champion RAMONTI, and on World Cup night in the Godolphin Mile.

The only way I’ll be able to share the privilege of an association with a horse like MULLINS BAY, is to invite you personally to Summerhill. Better still, if you can make it to our Stallion Day on the first Sunday in July, we’ll show you both MULLINS BAY and STRONGHOLD. We don’t believe we’ve had two smarter horses in our lives.

Posted by Mick Goss

Mullins Bay Pedigree

Watch Mullins Bay in the John Smith Magnet Cup

Watch Mullins Bay in the 2007 Godolphin Mile



STRONGHOLD : When horses win like this, they have a knack of turning heads.


For several years now, Summerhill boss Mick Goss, has made it part of his regular sermon to chide South Africans for the fact that we seem to have missed the Danehill “boat”. The top end of stallion logs in other parts of both the northern and southern hemispheres are clogged with high-achieving sons of the world’s greatest modern stallion phenomenon, and it seems they can’t get enough of Danehill.

The fires in the north are being fuelled by the lofty achievements of Dansili, the Juddmonte flagbearer, and Coolmore’s Rock Of Gibraltar, while the rollcall of breeders who’ve clamoured to the court of their new recruit, Dylan Thomas this season, reads like the “who’s who” of European breeding. In the south, Danehill and his sons occupied a staggering six of the top ten positions on the Australian premiership last season, and they’re riding the crest of the wave again in 2008.

How then do we explain that in South Africa there are no more than four Graded stakes winning sons of history’s only stallion to have won championships in both the northern and southern hemispheres? And so Goss’ sermon goes on, to the point of it sounding like a “stuck” record.

Emphasizing the point, Summerhill has just put its hands on another Danehill, taking their tally on the farm to three (remember, they also imported Requiem, who has gotten off to such a good start with his first crop, and now stands at Klawervlei Stud). This one comes in the shape of Stronghold, one of the world’s last remaining Graded stakes winning Danehills, and a horse who boasts a Timeform rating of 120 pounds. That’s not the end of Stronghold, though.

He was Timeform’s Champion Handicapper of 2006; he’s a multiple Group and Listed Stakes winner from six furlongs to a mile; he’s out of a Royal Ascot Stakes winning daughter of Mr. Prospector, and his Granddam is a Group One winner by Riverman.

Discovered by Sheikh Hamdan’s racing manager, Angus Gold, as a young two year old on John Gosden’s Manton gallops three years ago, the Summerhill team has maintained a beady eye on this horse ever since, hoping against hope that he wouldn’t fulfill his trainer’s prophecy that he was a Group One winner in waiting. Victory in a Group One would almost certainly have consigned him to a place at Prince Khalid Abullah’s famous Juddmonte nursery at Newmarket, alongside the exceptional Dansili and his Arc winning son, Rail Link.

But events conspired against these plans. Stronghold was operated on after serious injury as the favourite for the 2006 renewal of the Challenge Stakes, and his sole outing in 2007 resulted in a narrow loss to triple Group One winner Red Evie, when he went down in the dying strides of the Hungerford Stakes (Gr.2) after an eleven month lay-off. This was high-class form in itself, but seen from the perspective that he had been off for so long and suffered a career-ending injury in the process, it was quite remarkable.

Angus Gold has always rated him the best looking son of Danehill known to him, and when he introduced the horse to Mick Goss as a two year old, they both resolved never to let him out of their sights.

This week Summerhill consummated the deal to acquire him, and while it did not go quite as they would have liked with full ownership, it’s a compliment to the horse that Prince Khalid insisted on maintaining a five share interest. His reasoning was that he has only two serious sons of Danehill left in his armoury, the other being Dansili’s full brother Champs Elysées, and it was his retention of five breeding rights in Danehill that has made Juddmonte one of the greatest private breeding establishments in the world in the past decade. The Prince’s reasoning is simple: if Stronghold emulates his father’s achievements at stud, he wants to be part of the action. He arrives at the Midlands nursery in mid May as the property of the farm and a partnership comprising Dubai and German investors, as well as the enterprising Peter Yip’s Hong Kong Breeders Club, which already has a slice of the Way West cake.

Together with their other new acquisition, Mullins Bay, Stronghold will be unveiled to breeders at what the popular press have dubbed “Racing’s Best Day Out”, the Summerhill Stallion Show on the first Sunday in July.

Click here to view Summerhill Stallions.

Extract by Charl Pretorius –


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STRONGHOLD : The Eagle Has Landed

Stronghold (Alan Wright)

One of the most exciting young stallions to enter the Summerhill armoury has just arrived. Timeform’s Champion Handicapper of 2006, STRONGHOLD, one of the last remaining Group-winning sons of the great Danehill, has entered quarantine in Cape Town as well. But that’s not the end of STRONGHOLD. He’s not only a son of one of the most formidable stallions of the modern era; he’s out of a Group-winning daughter of Mr. Prospector, and she in turn is a daughter of a Group One-winning mare by the splendid Riverman. And he’s as good looking a son of Danehill as you could wish for.

A big, burly individual with a “like father-like-son” walk very much in the mould of his famous forebear, STRONGHOLD is the kind of horse that evokes goose bumps. His Champion trainer, John Gosden, insisted on keeping him in training as a four year old, despite the issues that had plagued him since he was a juvenile, in the hope that this was a genuine Group One winner in waiting. While the adage that one man’s misfortune is another man’s gain was never truer than it was in the case of STRONGHOLD, it was a sadness that such a promising career should’ve come to so abrupt an end, as a consequence of post-operative surgery. STRONGHOLD’s gallant solo effort after his “op” when he went down narrowly in the Hungerford Stakes (Gr.2) to the multiple Group One winner Red Evie, very nearly vindicated his trainer’s view, but it also put an end to a career punctuated with “what if’s”. The reality is, he wouldn’t have been at Summerhill had he become a Group One winner.

Prince Khalid Abdullah’s famed Juddmonte nursery is already home to another top quality sire son of Danehill in Dansili, and there’s little doubt this fellow would’ve joined the line-up as a Group One winner. From our perspective, we’ve reason to pinch ourselves. His name tells the story.

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GOMMAGOMMA NOMINATIONS : Strong Summerhill Connections

pick sixPick SixSummerhill-bred Pick Six could well be back for a second crack at South Africa’s richest race, the R3.5 million Gommagomma Challenge to be run over 2000m at Turffontein on 3 May.

Pick Six was start-to-finish winner of this race last year and he is one of five nominations from the powerful Charles Laird stable. His other entries include Horse Chestnut Stakes winner Our Giant and Durban July victor Hunting Tower.

Strategic News, winner of last year’s Steinhoff International Summer Cup, is also among the 36 nominations for this Grade 1 race on the Turffontein standside track. Strategic News made his first appearance since winning the Summer Cup when contesting the H F Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m at Turffontein last Saturday and although finishing last, he was just six lengths off Our Giant.

Trainer Dylan Cunha was delighted with the effort and believes Strategic News will be ready to repeat his Summer Cup performance in the Gommagomma Challenge.

Trainer Sean Tarry has nominated six runners, including Buy And Sell who finished second in last year’s Vodacom Durban July and fourth in this year’s J&B Met. The National Emblem gelding showed his well-being last month when winning a race over 1400m at the Vaal.

Sean Tarry’s other runners are Aquanaut Handicap winner Bound By Honour, Succesful Bidder, Fork Lightening, and three-year-olds Horatio and Kilcoy Castle.

Mike de Kock also has six runners entered, headed up by Horse Chestnut Stakes second and third-placed Emperor Napoleon and Braggadacio respectively. Mike de Kock has named a trio of three-year-olds for the race – Hamlool, Rudra and Gauteng Guineas winner Imbongi – but he still has the option of rather going for the SA Derby, which is run on the same day.

Third entries close at 11am on Monday 21 April 2008 after which the weights and draws will be announced. The final declarations are to be made by 11am on Thursday 24 April 2008.

ALPE D’HEUZ (G M Alexander)
BUSCADOR (G V Woodruff)
CATMANDU (A Kirsten)
FULL POWER (G V Woodruff)
PICK SIX (C Laird)
PRINCE ASAD (G V Woodruff)
RUDRA (M F De Kock)
SHE’S ON FIRE (O A Ferraris)

Extract from SA 



Son of GALILEO for Emperor's Palace National Yearling Sale 2008... our Grooms' choices continued

It may be the weekend, but our Grooms are working. Here are more of their Emperor’s Palace National Yearling Sales choices : 

Thembinkosi NxumaloThembinkosi Nxumalo A fellow who obviously understands his international breeding is Thembinkosi Nxumalo (otherwise known as “T.K”). A long-serving member of our Ready To Run riders. He’s gone for the son of Europe’s number one young stallion, Galileo, Lot 364 Sgidi (which is a “million” in Zulu), whom the TBA’s selection panel found good enough as a physical specimen to award him 9 points (out of a possible 10). That’s as close to perfection as they come, and this colt, whose sire stands for something approaching $200 000 (+- R2.4 million) is out of a daughter of last season’s Champion Australian sire, Flying Spur. There’s an Australian Oaks and Guineas winner in this pedigree, and this chap, who walks just like the Galileo’s we know, will have a stream of admirers once they’ve had a chance to look at him. Well done T.K. for picking this one up.

His choice of the fillies was replicated earlier by Patrick Molefe (Lot 98 Zwelonke), so while we did say she wasn’t the “obvious” pick on paper, she’s obviously caught the eye of those who work with her. Finally, we get to Zukile Mangaliso, who was entirely original in both is picks. He went for Mongameli (Lot 129), an outstanding son of Royal Academy, who has unfortunately had to be withdrawn at the last moment on account of a spiked temperature which rendered him unable to travel. Don’t despair, this beautifully bred animal from one of Australia’s top families will be available at the Ready To Run, so all is not lost.

On the distaff side, Zukile has shown his discernment in choosing Hypatia (Lot 286) a stunning daughter of the present leader of a powerful group of Freshman sires, Labeeb, out of the Stakes winning mare Winning Glory. That makes her a sister to last year’s East Cape Horse Of the Year, Hear The Drums (now a fifteen-time winner of not far short of a R1 million) from the distinguished international family of multiple Group One winner and sire, Procida (representing one of the world’s great farms, the Niarchos family’s Haras Fresnaye le Buffard, once the nursery of the most famous of all French breeders, Marcel Boussac). You’d not be surprised to see another top horse from this family, and there is one in the form of Slickly, the Champion Older Miler in Europe in 2001. Zukile knew nothing of this pedigree when he made his pick, but he certainly identified an individual who could stand her ground in any beauty contest anywhere.



The Greatest Show On Earth : The Dubai World Cup

Here are the fields for Saturday evening’s World Cup meeting, the richest of its kind on the planet.
(Just click on the arrows below to view all seven races)



YEARLING X-RAYS ... much ado about nothing?

Yearling%20X-Ray%20LR.jpgThe largest worldwide study on X-Rays conducted by the University Of Melbourne has found the most common bone abnormalities revealed in x-rays taken from sales yearlings have no effect on subsequent racing performance, based on number of wins and prize-money earned as 2YOs and 3YOs.

Aushorse Chairman, John Messara, attended last week’s International Breeders’ Meeting where the study was presented and commented; “It just confirms our suspicions that x-ray findings can get in the way of purchasing a proper athlete at yearling sales. It pays to have a qualified vet pass a yearling clinically, rather than buy horses based on x-ray results only.”

Dr Chris Whitton told the veterinary session of the International Breeders’ Meeting in Melbourne: “The bottom line is, radiographic lesions at yearling sales have no or limited effect on future performance.”
The researchers looked at more than 80,000 radiographs taken from over 2,400 yearlings and followed the horses through their 2YO and 3YO careers before drawing their conclusions.

The x-rays examined were held in the repositories at 8 sales conducted by Magic Millions  and William Inglis & Son in 2003 (the year repositories, which house yearling radiographs were introduced in Australia). The x-rays included 34 different views of each yearling.

Researchers found 4 types of lesions had “a notable effect on performance”: horses with more severe sagittal ridge OCDs (osteochondritis dissecans lesions) in their hind fetlocks were “10-times less likely to start as a 2YO or 3YO” and “tended to make their debuts later and have slightly fewer starts.” However researchers found no difference in the number of wins and prize-money earned by these horses significantly, Dr Whitton explained; “My reading is that these horses are slower to mature.”

Horses with any OCD lesion of the stifle “performed at a slightly lower rate;” so did horses with a bone formation on their front sesamoid. However the effect was small enough that “it’s hard to get excited about them”, concluded Dr Whitton. There were 8 types of lesions that had no effect on performance “including bony fragments in the fetlock and sesamoid fractures”, added Whitton.

Dr Whitton concluded: “If you see changes in yearlings, they don’t seem to affect performance.” He added it was likely that yearlings with more serious problems were either treated before the sale or not entered, reducing the likelihood of career-threatening defects appearing in yearlings at auction.

In December 2006 Aushorse released a comprehensive booklet based on the US experience exploring OCDs in sale horses.

Extract from Aushorse 



NATIONAL YEARLING SALES DRAFT : An invitation to visit


This is your invitation to visit the Summerhill Stud website.

Under the SALES link on our homepage, click on the pop-up YEARLINGS link. On this page you will find a comprehensive update of all our horses from Summerhill who are entered onto the 2008 National Yearling Sales. Included with the catalogue pedigree, is a conformation shot and ‘walking’ video of each of them.

Click here to link directly to the Summerhill National Yearling Sales draft. 

Our horses are leaving for Johannesburg on 23rd March and we invite you to visit the Summerhill string at the TBA Complex, Gosforth Park.

We are confident that this is one of the best groups of yearlings to depart this farm, and that’s saying something. Three Breeders Championships in a row and a healthy lead in 2008 speaks for itself, and we have a deep-seated belief that this draft may even eclipse its predecessors.

It’s a well-known fact that Summerhill horses are raised differently to any other on this continent, and it was only by doing this that we’ve been able to distinguish our product from the general run-of-the-mill. The results are self-evident, and they’ve been gratifying for a team that knows no bounds in its energy, its innovativeness and its devotion.

Besides the home-grown product, we have six imports by some of the world’s best proven sires in GALILEO, CAPE CROSS, TALE OF THE CAT, ROYAL ACADEMY, FANTASTIC LIGHT and CONAGREE, which adds their own dimension to the draft.

We do hope you will take the opportunity, and better still, bring your clients as well, so that they may enjoy our Summerhill hospitality …….we’d be delighted to see you.

Posted by Linda Norval 


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SUMMERHILL MANAGEMENT SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE : The Maktoum Family give the go ahead!

educationPhoto Michael NefdtOur readers will know from past postings, that we’ve been working very hard on a vision for the establishment of a Management School Of Excellence at Summerhill, largely aimed at our previously disadvantaged community. Remarkably, for an industry the size of racing world-wide, there is only one degree in horse management in the world, and that is at the University of Kentucky, USA. There are of course numerous institutions in several of the major countries which provide diplomas through Technikons and the like, and South Africa has such a course at the Pretoria Technikon. However, all of these courses are in the nature of undergraduate studies, and are aimed largely at school graduates rather than people entering management.

Some years ago, Sheikh Mohammed, the current ruler of Dubai inaugurated the Darley Flying Start course, which is now internationally renowned for the opportunities it offers its recruits. These people are drawn largely from the ranks of people holding previous degrees, and it is serving a vital function, albeit for a very small group of people, given the context of a global industry the size of racing. With this in mind, Summerhill has long held the dream of developing a course which might generously be described as the “poor man’s” Darley Flying Start, and we’ve been in liaison for a long time with Stephen Gill, former financial director to the late Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum.

Stephen has been a driving force behind the establishment of a trust aimed at these very ambitions, and he has worked tirelessly in his efforts to gain acknowledgement for the needs of our local people. A while ago, the Darley South Africa Trust was created, and we’ve been waiting expectantly for the word as to what was to become of the monies in trust. Lengthy proposals have been sent to and fro between here, the UK and Dubai, and when we visited the UK in December, we received the first indication that the affairs of the trust might be transferred to the control of Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwelloperation.

This suggestion sat well with us, as we have an 18 year old association with Shadwell, they operate extremely efficiently, and understand South Africa.

Yesterday, we received the final go ahead from Sheikh Hamdan’s Financial Director, Chris Kennard, who has been at the helm of the financial affairs of Shadwell ever since we’ve known them. Gratifyingly, Sheikh Hamdan’s righthand man, Mirza al Sayegh, has agreed to join the board of trustees. He carries great weight and his influence is carried far and wide.

This is a significant boost for the education of our previously disadvantaged people, and the decision has been received with wide acclaim in every segment of our community and government, the racing authorities, the Keeneland Association, which is involved in the accreditation of the course, our own educational institutions including the Jockey Academy, and especially here at Summerhill. We cannot think of a greater day in our history, as this signals the day our people get the opportunities they so badly need.

There is an enormous amount of work to be done, however, as it’s essential to the future of the school that the first intake of candidates make a success of their course. This will entail the recruitment of the best educators, the provision of a top class facility, the development of a meaningful curriculum, and as important as anything, a selection process aimed at finding the best possible candidates. In the end, what is important here, is that the school graduates make a success of their careers once they’ve left, and that they’re placed in positions where they’re given the opportunity to perform at the top of their powers.

There will be a good deal of information on the school as we get towards the end of the year and our plans crystalise, but in the meantime, write this date down – we won’t forget it, and we’re deeply grateful to all of those that have lent their support to this cause.

Posted by Mick Goss

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Magic Millions Launches New "E-Catalogue"

David ChesterDavid Chester (aapracing)Magic Millions Sales Pty Limited announced yesterday that it has launched an exclusive new online “e-catalogue”. Boasting “state-of-the-art proprietary technology,” the new catalogues allow Magic Millions clients to create their own unique sales catalogues—an exact digital edition of the printer version—on their computer screen by choosing from a range of catalogue variables.

For example, buyers can choose to look at all the yearlings in a catalogue for sale by a particular sire, and a virtual e-catalogue will be created for them with pages which turn just like a normal hard-copy catalogue.

Magic Millions is committed to providing our client base and industry stakeholders with the latest available technology which enhances their search for desired horses,” said Magic Millions Managing Director David Chester.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News 



Thoroughbred Breeders' Association new plan to assist breeders.

Adv Altus JoubertAdv Altus Joubert (freeracer)THE Thoroughbred Breeders Association has released via its Chairman, Advocate Altus Joubert, the following statement:

During the past year the cash reserves of the TBA have reached satisfactory levels. This enabled the TBA to assist breeders, especially at the lower end of the yearling market. These yearlings are mostly sold at the regional sales .

The South African broodmare market is small and enclosed. Essentially, South African breeders trade amongst themselves and their interest would be well served by creating the most accessible market.

The production of foals and yearlings has increased substantially during the past few years. This necessitated the introduction of an additional yearling sale .

The foal levy , introduced to assist the TBA to fund the newly established Racing South Africa, will from next season be absorbed by other income generated by the TBA.

The resolutions adopted at the TBA Council meeting held on 27 January 2008 are the following:

1. The sales commissions for the GrandWest Cape Sale and the Sibaya Natal Sale are reduced from 7% to 4%.

2. No sales commission will be charged for the TBA Broodmare Sales. This arrangement applies to broodmares and foals at foot, but not to weanlings.

3. An additional yearling sale will be held at the Gosforth Park Sales Complex during the middle of February 2009. The sales commission charged will be 4%. A broodmare sale will follow after the yearling sale.

4. The foal levy will be scrapped, effective from the beginning of the 2008 / 2009 breeding season.

Extract from