JUNE NEWS

ORIENTAL CHARM – READY FOR THE BIG ONE

Sex: Colt Age: 3
Sire: VERCINGETORIX
Dam: SOUK
Dam Sire: GREYS INN (USA)
Breeder: Cheveley Stud
Owner: Messrs Greg Bortz & Leon Ellman & Ms Gina Goldsmith

Oriental Charm’s run in the Cape Splashout Derby announced himself as a possible contender for the Hollywoodbets Durban July when he ran three lengths off current favourite Green With Envy. In his previous run he finished just over five lengths behind the same horse receiving six kilograms from Green With Envy, but in the Derby, he was just over three lengths behind, at level weights.

His next two runs were even more impressive, when in the World Sports Betting 1900 (Grade 2), at Greyville Racecourse, he went out and made the running, only to be caught in the shadow of the post by Future Swing. He has a three-kilogram swing in the weights with the Snaith inmate for a 0.3 length beating, which theoretically should see him finish ahead of the Richard Fourie mount.

His last run was arguably his best in the Hollywoodbets Dolphins Cup Trial. Giving weight to the entire field as the highest merit rated horse in the field, and jumping from a ten draw, he took up the running soon after the start. Under a perfectly judges ride from JP V’D Merwe, he continued finding all the way down the lane, hitting the line in workmanlike fashion to win by over a length.

Oriental Charm has improved race by race during his campaign in KwaZulu Natal and seems to be ready to run a big race in the Hollywoodbets Durban July on Saturday. The Dean Kannemeyer trained colt Green With Envy deserves his place at the top of the boards, but the improvement that the Messrs Greg Bortz, Leon Ellman & Ms Gina Goldsmith three-year-old colt has shown coupled to the weight turnaround with his main protagonists, and this being his third run after a three-month break, puts Oriental Charm alongside the favourites with a definite winning chance.

Ride of the Month – Gareth from the Front

ENEMY TERRITORY (IRE)
Age: 4 (at last run)
Sex: f
M/Rating: 97 (at last run)
Owner: Ridgemont (Nom: Mr Craig Kieswetter) & Mr Devin Heffer
Breeding: Canford Cliffs (IRE) – Chevauchee (AUS) by High Chaparral (IRE)

In winter, Kenilworth Racecourse use their “Winter Course,” to give their Summer Course an opportunity to recover from the exertions of the Cape Summer Season. When we seamlessly slip into Winter mode, horses that race from the front (the Winter course has a straight that is 200M shorter than the Summer course), and revel in the softer going suddenly come into their own.
A frontrunner who prefers a bit of give in the going has an even bigger advantage if they are well drawn, but this was not the case with the Crawford Racing trained Enemy Territory. Drawn ten from ten did not deter her from showing good gate speed, coming over from her wide draw and taking up the running after the first 100M.

She relaxed and her jockey Gareth Wright just kept her well balanced, bringing her into the straight continuing his run down the centre of the track. The Canford Cliffs filly was undeterred by the wide draw around the tight Kenilworth 1400M and kept galloping resolutely all the way to the line to beat her stable-companion Princess Izzy.

The one/two for the stable was notable, but even more so was the stable finally notching their 100th winner for the season. It took more than a fortnight for the stable to click from double to triple digits for the 2023/2024 season, but that made the win and how it was achieved, so much sweeter.

Crawford Racing raises their bat for the Season

Jackson, Thunder Dance, Captain America, Futura and most recently, Winchester Mansion. The names roll off the tongue for those that have longevity in the sport of horse racing. All superstars, and all trained by Crawford Racing, Brett in Cape Town, and more recently his son, James in their satellite yard in Gauteng. The stable trained their one hundredth winner of the 2024 season on the 25th of June with the four-year-old filly Enemy Territory won the Perfectly Placed Middle Stakes over 1400M at Kenilworth.

The Canford Cliffs filly, co-owned by Ridgemont Stud and Hollywoodbets Devin Heffer, was seemingly hamstrung by a ten draw around the tight Kenilworth 1400M with the winter course being in effect and the short 400M straight. However, under an enterprising Gareth Wright ride, she bounced from her wide draw, went to the front, and was never headed with the closest horse to her at the finish being her stable companion, Princess Izzy.

Upbringing and Passion

Brett was born on the 7th of September 1971 in Harare Zimbabwe. He always had a love and passion for the horse racing industry and was a very accomplished amateur rider. The natural progression was from amateur rider to trainer, and he served his apprenticeship under Mike de Kock, Eric Sands and then Dennis Drier. He then was afforded the opportunity to train Sabine Platner, and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

With the Crawford Stable based in Cape Town and Gauteng, both Brett and James have been able to utilise ten jockeys in total to ride their horses. The top three with respect to total winners is Kabelo Matsunyane, Luyolo Mxothwa and record-breaking Richard Fourie. They are all brilliant, and the stable are fortunate to access to such talented horsemen.

The wait for the one hundredth winner was a long one for a stable who continually churn out the winners in Cape Town and/or in Gauteng, but when it came it was a notable one/two for the stable. A stable whose philosophy in the sometimes-fickle racing game is honesty is the best policy, has now raised their bat for the season. Now that the proverbial monkey is off their back, they can now launch a full out assault on the remainder of the KwaZulu Natal Champions Season, starting with the big one, the Hollywoodbets Durban July Day on Saturday.

Luyolo Mxothwa – A young man with Goals

Luyolo (Louis) Mxothwa is a man with goals as he reiterated to Lyle Copper when he won a race for the Kotzen stable in Gqeberha saying that Richard is not the only jockey with goals.

He also quipped to the Cape Town panel of interviewers that one day he would win the Hollywoodbets Durban July. A man not short of confidence and massively talented, his is one of horse racing’s most sincere success stories, although he prefers just to think of himself as a jockey.

Upbringing and Love for the Horse

Louis was born in Johannesburg, but because his family moved around, he has also lived in Cape Town and Durban. It was thanks to meeting Fred Crabbia that his father took the family to Cape Town to Mike Stewart’s Noordhoek stables to assist in taking care of the Crabbia owned horses in the care of Mike Stewart, his father working for the stable as a groom.

It was at Stewart’s stables that he started riding eventually decided to join the SA Jockey Academy. Louis’s first attempt to join the SA Jockey Academy was unsuccessful but that did not deter him. He tried again a few years later and this time, with the assistance of Bennett His horse-riding career was well and truly underway when he rode his first winner aboard the Snaith trained African Alliance. He then moved to Cape Town to join Glen Kotzen’s Woodhill Racing team as the understudy to Richard Fourie. From there he forged a good relationship with especially the Piet Botha string, and after riding 97 winners in the 2020/2021 season, he joined Crawford Racing as their stable jockey for the following season.

Talent and Work Ethic

His first Grade One winner came aboard the Crawford Racing superstar filly Make it Snappy in 2022, where overcoming an eleven draw and leading from start to finish into a south easter to beat the Snaith trained Ciao Bela, ridden by friend and colleague, Richard Fourie.

He has regularly been at the forefront of the Jockeys Log in his every season since he has forged a relationship with Crawford Racing, the symbiosis being there for all to see, as he continues to boot home the winners not only in Cape Town, but also almost every Friday in Gqeberha.

The Hollywoodbets Durban July still evades him though. However, if he continues to show the determination and work ethic, he has done in his career thus far, and coupled with riding the right horse, that dream will also become a reality, hopefully soon.

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