The KZN Breeders Awards were held at a festive function at the Fordoun Hotel on Saturday evening. January marks the 40th year of Summerhill’s involvement in the breeding business, and across the span of four decades, our horses and our people have taken us to the mountain top many times.
Predicting the top lot at a bloodstock sale is no easy task, but one can be certain the bids will come thick and fast when Rabada’s half-brother comes up for sale at Sunday’s Emperors Palace Ready-To-Run Sale at the TBA complex in Germiston.
A survey of racing success as a factor of how much money you spend was recently undertaken in Australia. While its outcomes were “Aussie” specific, it’s probably fair to say, they’re likely to have universal application wherever horse racing is conducted as a serious commercial pursuit. The answer, rest assured, is that the more money you spend, the more success you will have. The only problem is that the spending/success relationship is not a linear one.
When it comes to SA training legends names which spring to mind are Syd Laird, Terrance Millard and Mike de Kock. Close behind are Pat Shaw and Jean Heming. Sadly, Heming passed away in the UK last week at the age of 78.
Shaw, who won the 1995 Durban July with Teal and went on to become champion trainer in Singapore, is back in SA where his opinion on all racing matters will be closely followed.
Nobody worth his salt in the sport of racing needs an introduction to Pat Shaw – he’s as much a totem of the game in South Africa as Vincent O’ Brien was to Ireland and Bob Baffert to America. You don’t reach those heights as a racehorse trainer without a gifted eye, an abiding intuition and dare we say it, a smattering of courage and “chutzpah”. While some of those legends might’ve chosen to be excluded from the latter category, there’s no escaping it for Mr Shaw.