Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

 Some may find it strange that a man who hailed from a famous Springbok rugby family should be being mourned by every section of the racing industry.

Prominent owner and breeder Chris Gerber, son of rugby legend Mickey Gerber, died last week following complications after contracting malaria. He was 53 and managed the 1-Stop Engen chain.

Gerber founded Moutonshoek Stud in 2003 with his partner Bennie van der Merwe. They bred a number of top performers including Undercover Agent, winner of the CTS Mile at Kenilworth on Sun Met day in January.

The tributes have poured in from some of the best-known people in racing.

“Chris’s loss is incalculable. He was a man who cannot be forgotten who cannot ever be replaced. We’ll be having memorials for him years from now, when his memory will be as strong as ever and his influence on all our lives will still be felt,” said Mike de Kock.

Mick Goss said: “There are few men who served the industry in so many capacities and with so much competence. He did it with a verve and energy which few of us could match. “It’s hard to close the hole which Chris Gerber has left, but at least he left us a template by which his successors could measure themselves.”

The website Turftalk said: “An extraordinary individual on all fronts — a man who brought hope and inspiration to everyone he met.”

Alec Laird said: “It was an honour to know Chris who was a sportsman, racing partner and a close friend. He played fair, he was a man among men.

“Whilst coming from a rugby family, Chris’s passion was racing and his input in the sport was invaluable.

Only recently, Mike de Kock was quoted that two prominent owners, Chris and Costa Livanos, ‘deserved a superstar’. Ironically, Chris may have one in four-year-old Rainbow Bridge who is trained by Eric Sands and has looked top-class to date.”

The funeral for Gerber will be held on Tuesday at his former school St Edwards in Houghton.

Meanwhile, the BSA ReadyTo-Run Sale took place at the TBA headquarters in Germiston on Sunday and a half-brother to grade1 winner, Rabada, made top price of R2,3m to a bid from owner Nic Jonsson. The son of Trippi was consigned by Summerhill Stud.

Two other lots made seven figures with sons of Duke Of Marmalade and Captain Al being bought by Fortune Racing and Form Bloodstock.

Jonnson emerged top buyer securing four lots for R3.1m. Fortune Racing bought seven lots at an average of R212,143 and Form Bloodstock five lots at an average of R426,000. The sale aggregate was R16.72m with an average of R187,809.

The Vaal hosts a nine-race card and Alec Laird could capture the eighth race with Gimme A Wave. The gelding has looked well above average in his two starts.

Carbon Atom, trained by Sean Tarry, looks sure to prove a tough rival as this Fort Wood colt has only missed a place once in six outings.

Perhaps the best bet at the meeting is Aussie import Sweet Red who is certain to be sent off favourite in the third race.


2nd Race: (10) Blanco (4) Myrrh (5) Takatul (1) Mr Cuddles

3rd Race: (3) Sweet Red (4) Oona (11) Ever Fair (5) Kapama

4th Race: (2) Daffiq (3) The Dazzler (1) Greek Fire (4) Top Rank

5th Race: (5) Miyoshi (7) Well Connected (6) Visigoth (12) Pachuco

6th Race: (1) Redberry Wood (2) Pearl Of Bahrain (8) Excalibur’s Return (10) Beautiful Shay

7th Race: (5) Whosethebossnow (2) Big Bang Theory (1) Diamond Dancer (6) Come The Day

8th Race: (3) Gimme A Wave (7) Carbon Atom (9) What A Captain (1) Mount Keith

9th Race: (6) Viking Trail (5) Captain’s Princess (2) Mr Flood (1) Wonderwall