Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Gaynor Rupert is SA’s new champion racehorse owner, courtesy of runners who raced under the banner of her Drakenstein Stud based in Franschhoek, Western Cape.

She claimed the trophy for the first time after a decade-long stranglehold on the title by Markus Jooste’s Mayfair Speculators. Rupert and other top achievers of the 2017-18 racing season were crowned at a gala banquet at Emperors Palace on Tuesday.

The Drakenstein Stud runners won 38 races and amassed just more than R9m in stakes.

About 95% of their winners were fillies, Rupert said at the function, "and our star was Oh Susanna, who won the SunMet. I owe this title to her."

They started "with only 15 broodmares on a small section of L’Ormarins Farm. Little did we know that we’d have over 100 broodmares in our paddocks today."

Oh Susanna won the award for Horse of the Year. Her trainer, Justin Snaith, landed the trophy for Champion Trainer.

Special achievement awards were given to 20-year-old Lyle Hewitson, veteran jockey Anton Marcus and former champion trainer Mike de Kock.

Hewitson became the first apprentice in 50 years to win the title of Champion Jockey and senior colleague Marcus is the first to put 100 grade1 successes to his name. De Kock equalled Terrance Millard’s record of 117 grade1 wins.

Trainer Tobie Spies sends out the fast three-year-old Miss Khalifa in race5 over 1,000m on at the Vaal on Thursday. She drops in class to a Novice Plate.