MIKE de Kock on Sunday paid tribute to prominent horseman Peter Miller, who died suddenly on Saturday morning, 23 April.
Miller (60), the champion trainer of Kimberley for the last nine racing seasons, died of a heart attack in his Kimberley home. He’d received chemotherapy in Port Elizabeth last week after being diagnosed with leukemia three months ago. While Miller felt good and apparently drove home in high spirits last Friday evening, it is suspected that the strenuous medical procedures took its toll.
Peter Miller: Made his mark on horseracing. (tabonline.co.za)
Mike commented: “Peter was a man who left his mark on racing and his death comes as a shock to me. He was Mr Kimberley, he lived for racing and he was a good man. Things like this happen to remind us that life is short and we should make the best of it. My condolences to Peter’s family and friends.”
Miller is survived by his wife Stephanie and son Sean (21), who told mikedekockracing.com on Sunday: “My father was due for eight hours of chemotherapy last Tuesday, but he suffered complications after just two hours and was distressed, so they stopped for the day. He had further treatment on Wednesday and Thursday and was fine when we travelled back home. On Saturday morning, however, he suffered a massive heart attack.”
Sean has assisted Peter in running Flamingo Park’s top stable for the last three years and said that it would be business as usual from Monday. He will be taking over the 85-strong string and hopes to pay tribute to his father via good racetrack results.
Sean said: “My father played a big role in all of our lives and we’ll honour his memory. This is the way he would’ve wanted things to continue. He wouldn’t want us to cry too much, he’d want us to carry on with the job!”
Former Champion Jockey Andrew Fortune was supporting Miller’s family at his household on Sunday and commented: “I hadn’t seen Peter in a few weeks so I phoned him on Friday and told him I was looking forward to spending some time with him. He was upbeat and funny as usual. He said, ‘Andrew, if you can beat drugs, I can beat cancer!’ We will miss him dearly!”
Tabonline reports that that Miller was the mainstay of Kimberley racing, dominating on the racecourse and playing a key role as an administrator.
He devoted much time and energy to helping maintain and upgrade the facilities at Flamingo Park. His many patrons included SA’s leading owners Markus and Ingrid Jooste, as well as Mary Slack, and he was in the process of setting up a new yard in Port Elizabeth.
His best performance was third on the national log in 2006/2007, with 127 winners.
Miller was active in the Racing Association, heading the Northern Cape chapter and serving on the organisation’s main handicapping steering committee and its industry liaison committee.