Highveld top brass celebrate acing KZN and Cape rivals at July meeting
Fundi Sithebe, CEO of 4Racing, hosted a ceremonial event before racing at Turffontein in recognition of the region’s success
We are used to provincial sporting rivalry in rugby and cricket, but racing joined in on Tuesday with a gathering to celebrate highveld horses excelling against their Cape and KwaZulu-Natal counterparts at the Hollywoodbets Durban July meeting.
Fundi Sithebe, CEO of 4Racing, hosted what was termed a “ceremonial gathering” before racing at Turffontein in recognition of the highveld’s success at Saturday’s meeting.
A 4Racing statement declared that “we are proud that eight of the nine races run at Greyville were won by highveld-based trainers, jockeys and connections. It is a testimony to the racing product we have on the highveld and the fantastic trainers, jockeys and staff we have in the region.”
It was a big weekend for Sithebe. Dressed in a stunning gold-and-black dress, the 4Racing CEO made the News Society page of the Sunday Times. It was revealed in an article in that section of the paper that — apart from being a board member of the Brussels-based World Tote Association — Sithebe was recently announced as “an interim board member of our almost back-from-the-grave national carrier, SAA”.
A busy woman indeed.
It is worth a look at the races won by highveld raiders on Saturday.
Race 1: Another feather in the cap of new stallion Danon Platina, with his daughter, Betula, gaining a photo-finish verdict over Oriental Bouquet. The filly is trained by Stuart Pettigrew and was ridden by Diego De Gouveia.
Race 2: Tony Peter has only recently taken over the reins of his father’s stable so he was understandably thrilled that his two-year-old, Main Defender, kept his 100% record in the BSA Sales Cup. Craig Zackey was the winning jockey.
Race 3: While he was trucked down from his satellite highveld base, it is a bit of a stretch to claim Crimson King — winner of the Splashout 2200 — is a highveld winner as the five-year-old’s trainer, Brett Crawford, is based in the Cape.
However, the Dynasty gelding was ridden by Gauteng-based jockey, Kabelo Matsunyane, who was just three hours away from his biggest win in the Durban July.
Race 4: Sean Tarry is always a man to be feared on big days and he saddled his three-year-old, Future Pearl, to an impressive win in the grade 3 Gold Vase. Richard Fourie was the pilot and he didn’t know at this stage that his Durban July mount, Without Question, would flop in the big race.
Race 5: Another Tarry inmate, Mrs Geriatrix, has been the sensation of the two-year-old fillies ranks this term and — with Fourie doing the steering — the R200,000 buy made it five wins out of five in the grade 2 Golden Slipper.
Race 6: Joy for Business Day followers as 6-1 chance, Sandringham Summit, came with a devastating late run to collar the favourite, Gimmeanotherchance, in the grade 2 Golden Horseshoe. It was a red-letter day for the small stable of David Nieuwenhuizen and the two-year-old’s jockey, Calvin Habib.
Race 7: Like Crimson King, Durban July hero Winchester Mansion hails from the Cape stable of Brett Crawford. But because he has been stabled on the highveld in recent months, Sithebe is claiming him as a winner from her province. Either way, the four-year-old, along with Rascallion, was highlighted as having a big chance in last Friday’s Business Day.
Race 8: Tarry again, as Princess Calla notched her 10th career win by beating Desert Miracle in the grade 1 Ridgemont Garden Province Stakes. The mare provided Fourie with his third winner at the meeting.
Race 9: One for the KwaZulu-Natal home team as Gladatorian, trained by Stuart Ferrie and ridden by Sean Veale, caused an upset in the grade 2 Post Merchants.
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