Frances Ethel – Will run in the Hollywoodbets July

Age: 4 (Foaled on October 25, 2020)
Trainer: Brett Crawford
Sex: Filly
Sire: Rafeef
Dam: Daphne Garland
Owner: Messrs D Chinsammy, G S Knowles, H P Sambor, Mrs V Form, and Team Valor International (Nom: Mr B Irwin)

When Frances Ethel won her Maiden over 1600 over the Vaal Classic course, James Crawford in his post-race interview, said that the filly had improved dramatically in her work from her debut run. Kabelo Matsunyane added that the further she goes, the better she will be, and he loved how she kept giving him more when asked.

In her subsequent outings she has confirmed all those initial views and more, winning four races on the bounce, including the listed Oaks Trial over 2000M at Turffontein as well as the Grade 2 Wilgerbosdrift Bridget Oppenheimer SA Oaks over 2400M at Turffontein Racecourse. At her next start, and her first at Greyville in the Grade 1 Tabgold Woolavington over 2000M, she did not travel as well as she normally does, coming under pressure early in the stretch. She still stayed on well, finishing a fair fourth.

The plan of the owners was to move her abroad after her run in the Woolavington, but as all plans are fluid when it comes to potential equine superstars, so was the plan for Frances Ethel. Co-owner, and Team Valor International spokesperson Barry Irwin, takes up the story of why the owners have decided to race the filly one more time before she leaves to continue her racing prowess on the global stage.

Entered for the Hollywoodbets Durban July

He says – “After chatting at length to James Crawford and a few of my racing partners, it has been decided to let the filly have a run in the big race. Initially the plans were to get her off to Europe, then either to America or Australia on the first flight out. However, all the bureaucratic hurdles have not yet been scaled and the flight will allow the filly to race once more in South Africa.

“James particularly is bullish to give it a go with the filly. He says that while the assignment of racing against seasoned older males is a daunting one, he feels that under fifty-two kilos and over an additional furlong from her last race will aid her chances.

“As for the owners, we feel the filly didn’t get to run her race in the Woolavington and we would like to depart South African shores with a better profile for the horse itself and a better feeling for the racing partners.”
Kabelo Matsunyane will retain the mount, and if runs to her merit rating ability, with 52kig on the back, the extra 200M and having had a run around the Greyville course, she has to be one of the leading contenders for a race that is the pinnacle of the Natal Champions Season.

Ride of the Month – Anthony catches them Napping.

There are days when conditions are set perfectly for a racehorse to run to the best of his ability, to his best merit rating. On Sunday the 26th of May, we had the first race meeting where the Winter Course at Kenilworth would be used.
The shorter run in favoured horses that race on or make the pace, who prefer the shorter run in unlike the horses that unwind from off the pace, and if the horse is well drawn that is a big advantage as well. In the Feature race of the day, the Grade 3 Pocket Power Stakes the race was suited to one particular horse, The Crawford Racing trained The Futurist.


The Heist

The Futurist cantered down to the start well, throwing out those hind legs. He jumped well, going two lengths clear after 100M. Anthony Andrews just kept him balanced and allowed him to stride as he stretched his lead, and as they came through the crossover of the two courses, commentator Alistair Cohen said, “And The Futurist has gone through the crossover five to 6 seconds ahead of the rest of the field”. As the other horses were rounding the bend, The Futurist was already entering the straight. He just kept up that relentless pace passing the 100M mark with a ten-length lead, eventually passing the post 9.25 lengths clear of the second horse, the highly rated Pacaya.

What is even more impressive is that The Futurist had previously finished downfield at his previous race, but this race was perfectly set up for him today, and with Anthony judging his fractions to perfection, the Futurist just kept on finding all the way to the line. Winning trainer Brett Crawford expressed his surprise that the other jockeys allowed such a genuine front-running horse to have such a big lead entering the straight.

The five-year-old colt is sired by Futura, securing his fifth win out of twenty-two starts in the feature race. On a day when on-pace runners were perfectly suited by the shorter run-in of the Winter course, Anthony Andrews judgement and strategy worked perfectly, and The Futurist relished the conditions on the day to steal the show.

The Futurist Wins the Pocket Power Stakes


Kabelo Matsunyane – Polishing the Gem

An intelligent, humble young man with an incredible work ethic, is how people who know him, describe him. From the streets of Soweto to the pinnacle of riding the winner of the Hollywoodbets Durban July, this is the story of Kabelo Matsunyane, a rising star in the world of horse racing,

Kabelo Matsunyane was born and raised in Soweto, a sprawling township in the Gauteng metro. His upbringing was challenging, having to navigate the streets of a township that emerged during the migration of labour into urban areas.

His family and his girlfriend play a significant role in his career, cheering him on during both highs and lows of his relatively short career as he is in only his second season as a fully-fledged jockey. He achieved a defining moment by riding Winchester Mansion to victory in the prestigious Hollywoodbets Durban July, his maiden Gr1 success

Anton Marcus & Meditation

He says that he was privileged to draw on the wisdom and experience of Anton Marcus for the race. He continues that Marcus advised him to treat the July like any ordinary race and not allow the occasion to overwhelm him. He says that as he threw a leg over Winchester Mansion in the parade ring, he took some deep breaths and tried to become one with my horse. He also meditated for a brief time in the parade ring, shut out the noise out and followed Marcus’s instructions to the letter.

He attributes his success to a blend of luck, timing, and opportunity but especially when he started riding for James Crawford Gauteng satellite yard. As he rode the winners the confidence started flowing and the opportunities at their Gauteng satellite yard became pivotal for Kabelo culminating in the opportunity on Winchester Mansion.

Remarkably, Kabelo’s achievements stand out even at an age when many youths are struggling to obtain basic employment. He acknowledges the role of his faith and always displays gratitude in his journey, emphasizing that God has been kind to him. Blend the opportunity with talent, family and work ethic and a polished gem emerges.

Winchester Mansion wins the 2023 Hollywoodbets Durban July

Hollywoodbets – A Sponsor amongst all Sponsors

The calendar year 2024 started on an incredibly good note for Crawford Racing when they announced that global sportsbook operator Hollywoodbets would be sponsoring the stable. Hollywoodbets sponsor a variety of trainers countrywide, and the formal signing of a sponsorship partnership agreement between themselves and Crawford Racing was another step to continue their symbiotic partnership with acquiring top stables into their stable.

Hollywoodbets Brand & Communications Manager Devin Heffer reciprocated Brett Crawford’s thoughts on the evolution of the broader partnership between the top stable, and the union between the Hollywood Syndicate and breeding powerhouse, Ridgemont.

“The constructive collaboration and common goals that already exist in what has been a thoroughly enjoyable and winning association for our team, now get taken to the next level with Hollywoodbets’ sponsorship of Crawford Racing. We look forward to many more memorable racing moments!” added Devin Heffer.

Hollywoodbets primary goal is to keep supporting the industry by not only investing in racing with their sponsorship of multiple trainers dotted across South Africa, but also giving back to the community. They are committed to giving back to communities in which it operates via the Hollywoodbets My Community Programme. This programme supports various initiatives not only aimed at sports development, but also education, and community upliftment.

Anthony Delpech manages the Hollywood Syndicate. He is a former multiple Champion South African Jockey and is a forerunner in doing the analysis and groundwork for the future superstars of the turf. His wealth of knowledge and experience are priceless in obtaining a competitive advantage for the brand.
On the 24th of May, Jade’s Caberneigh brought up the Hollywood Syndicate’s 100th winner of the 2023/2024 season. She was ridden to victory by Craig Zackey, and it was a wonderful season defining milestone for the syndicate.

Hollywoodbets continue their upward trajectory not only in their sponsorship of the top trainers in the country, their ownership of many current and future equine superstars and not forgetting their continued laser vision in giving back to the communities at grassroots level.

Hollywoodbets 100th winner for the 2023/204 season – Jade’s Caberneigh

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