What a weekend! Who would have thought that would be the
result? The Conglomerate was given the
most amazing ride by Pierre Strydom, with a little bit of luck and help from
Uncle Anton along the way. But still, the horse did an amazing job of getting across
from his tricky gate position and slotted in beautifully. He travelled like a
dream all the way around. And I know it
sounds foolish of me to say it but he did look a winner all the way to the line.
Well done, Strikes, on a great ride. Congratulations
to all, particularly Commander Alson, who worked through thick and thin to get the
horse right. Also to Derek for keeping
the faith and for his brainstorming idea of doing physio on him. It did the
trick. The Conglomerate had plenty of
physio and his physio/masseuse, Beth Shaw, has done the most remarkable job.
She has turned the horse inside out and upside down. A real team effort and I
am so proud of everyone.
The Colonel in Cape Town was
hoarse from shouting and I think I managed to hear him all the way up in Greyville.
All in all, a great day’s racing. I know
I keep saying it but I am eternally grateful to Markus and Ingrid for being the
most fantastic and loyal supporters!
Well done to Derek; it was a great plan that came together. Much has been written about the draw but I
have one last comment. I am beginning to think it is better to be drawn out
wide than sitting 12 to 15. One really does have to commit and I think that is
what made all the difference. Who knows; maybe I will hang left again when it
comes to the draws?
I have to say a special thank
you to Alson, my loyal assistant – and if truth be told, actual trainer - up in
Durban. He is every bit as good as I am –
and probably a little better. He is hard
working, a real disciplinarian and it shows in his results. A true
professional. The Conglomerate’s groom, Vumile Lize, also has to be given a
huge thank you. Mike de Kock always said
good horses find good trainers but I firmly believe that good grooms find good
horses. It is no coincidence that Vumile was also Variety Club’s groom.
And one more big thank you to
Gold Circle: fantastic foresight to
include The Conglomerate in their final field. I am truly grateful.
St Tropez disappointed but
the most important thing is that he has pulled up sound. I know he still has a
big day inside of him. Obviously my heart goes out to Anton but he was full of
support, as always.
What a fantastic way it would be for Mike
Bass to end his career; by winning his own race. A bit like winning one’s own golf tournament
but in the end it is all about the win – and Mike has done plenty of that over
the years. Full marks to him and Inara’s
performance in the Garden Province Stakes. I would say “happy retirement” but I
have no doubt that I will still be seeing Mike at the stables every day as per
usual. Some people do not know the meaning
of the word “retire”.
The rest of the day was good
fun. Jay Z could not help but pitch up and I could not help but do something
tongue in cheek. The man is looking more and more like a turtle each day. Maybe
one day, like a turtle, he will slip back into the ocean and we will never see
him again. We live and dream.
Now that the sales and the
July are over, it is back to the usual every day racing here in Natal. One has to say that the KZN sales race was
hardly a good advert for the sale itself, despite the fact it was won extremely
well by Duncan Howells’ Lunar Rush. Let’s
hope the next sales bunch are a more inspiring lot.
We kick off this week in
Durban with Juddering Angel, racing at Scottsville. Let’s hope he can go one
better this time and break his 500 plus losing streak. One would think the handicapper might have
noticed he is just not getting there? However,
we have one that is on an even bigger losing streak: Grey Light. Surely someone
in the handicap department can spot this and give her some sort of breather,
even if only for the sake of the poor owner. How much longer can he handle
Wimbledon week is in full
swing. What a pathetic performance Nicky Kyrgios put up. He does not embody
anything Australian in his attitude. He should either give up or get going as
at the moment, he is a nothing and a nobody.
Andy Murray looks superb and I will be hanging the Scottish flag around
the Fenix mansion this weekend.
And on that happy note, this is your Captain signing off on DAY
245, 5th July, still recovering from the weekend.