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  • Writer's pictureCrawford Racing


October has been a fabulously successful month for Crawford Racing as the Cape Town and Johannesburg stables sent out 18 winners. The decision to open at Randjiesfontein has created additional opportunities. James Crawford is taking full advantage as his side of the operation contributed eight victories.

He kick started the month with a double on the 4th of October when ex Cape Town filly,

A Time To Flower shed her Maiden tag, followed by Gallic Tribe justifying strong market support (5/1 into 3’s) in a Middle Stakes. Gallic Tribe was making his first start on the Highveld – the strategic decision to send him up North being immediately vindicated.

Brett was not to be outdone in the friendly father-son rivalry as the following day he saddled a treble at Durbanville: Make it Snappy in a Maiden; beautifully bred Snitzel ex In the Fast Lane filly, Stiptelik coming back after six months off to sidle home in a Middle Stakes and rapidly progressive, Le Morne winning his third successive start, in an MR 74 handicap.

Meanwhile, James has handled Reny adeptly. The three-year-old Gimmethegreenlight filly also made a successful Highveld debut to win a Maiden on the 6th October, and then added to her CV with a fluent next start win in a handicap, just two weeks later.

Irish Tractor may have found Bingwa and Grade 2 company too hot to handle in the Charity Mile over this past weekend, but, overall, has done connections proud. Earlier in the month the 1400/1600m exponent completed a seventh career victory when receiving yet another fine ride from Kabelo Matsunyane to prevail in a hard-fought Pinnacle Stakes.

Back in Cape Town, Crawford Racing saddled a notable three timer on the 12th of October – Champion Warrior, Silvano’s Dasher and Fleeting all making it into Number 1 Box at Durbanville. Silvano’s Dasher has now won three of five starts and is now realising his potential; very promising, Champion Warrior is unbeaten from two outings and Fleeting was all heart to record her second career win at a track she loves.

Pink Tourmaline is a well-travelled Futura mare having won five races in Cape Town, plus the Grade 2 Oaks in Pietermaritzburg and she added to her tally when taking out a competitive Pinnacle Stakes under a low weight at Turffontein in mid-October. On that same day, Vercingetorix gelding, The Mauritian made a pleasing debut, ambling in well clear of struggling rivals.

Priceless (by Dynasty) Red Sash (by The United States) and Global Approach (by Global View) are other Crawford trained runners to open their accounts during this past month.

Towards month end, Crawford Racing unveiled two thoroughbreds with serious ambitions for the upcoming Summer Season. Grade 3 Pocket Power Stakes winner Winchester Mansion showed his class scoring in his comeback over 1400m. The son of Trippi was guided home by stable jock, Luyulo Mxothwa who is currently riding at the peak of his powers.

Mxothwa’s daring, pace judgement and strength were seen to especially good effect in the following race, the lucrative Ready to Run Stakes, when he got What a Winter colt, Seeking the One over from draw 13, stalked the pacesetter Royal Aussie, then pounced at just the right time to stave off Piroshka in a driving finish.

These recent successes have propelled Crawford Racing to third on the SA National Training Log. 35 winners have been saddled from 179 runners which translates to an outstanding strike rate of 19.6%! It’s extremely rare for a big stable to have such a potent hit rate – nationally, only the boutique barn of ST Pettigrew has a better strike percentage (27%) and that is from far fewer runners (59) in the ’22/23 season so far.

The Spring/Summer season has started off brilliantly for Brett, James and his dedicated team of stable assistants, work riders and back-up staff. The challenge will be to keep up the good work and crank out still more winners, including those much-coveted Graded victories over the next few months!


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