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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 this???

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.



 

 
 
 
 
   


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