MIKE de Kock has won the South African Trainers Title for the eighth time, ending the season R346,962 ahead of Sean Tarry.
Tarry led briefly on the biggest racing Saturday of the year in South Africa on 6 July after winning two Grade 1 races, including the R3.5-million Durban July, but when the lights at Greyville were switched off that night, De Kock was back in the lead and he kept his nose in front all the way to the wire.
De Kock will be crowned champion trainer at the Equus Award ceremony at Emperors Palace on Wednesday 14 August. He commented: “The contest with my frirend Sean Tarry made things interesting, well done to Sean for trying so hard and to Justin Snaith for his record number of winners in a season.
“I have to say, again, that my achievements are not possible without the team of professionals behind me. We sent out 164 winners this season, a record for the stable. My thanks go to my assistant trainers, jockey Anthony Delpech and the others who ride for us, the veterinarians who treat our runners, my wife Diane, my son Mathew and the Equine Group, who manage my affairs.”
The jockeys’ title has been sewn up for a while and popular Piere Strydom – who Anton Marcus describes as “the best jockey in the country, in my book” – will be the man taking a bow on the stage. He was in the lead virtually from the start of the season and eventually won by 62 winners. Marcus had won the title three years running but missed the last month of the 2012-13 season through injury.
Strydom won the South African Jockeys’ Championship five times from 1990 to 1998. Apart from winning the championship, another notable milestone this season included the 4700th winner of his career on Lady Calumet on 16 February.
The Champion Owners’ trophy will be presented to the country’s biggest racing supporters, Markus and Ingrid Jooste, for the sixth year running. They had 1,240 runners this season and celebrated in the No 1 box 177 times. Horses they own earned R16,473,540 in stakes. Second, with a fraction of their numbers was Tarry’s chief patron, Chris van Niekerk. A total of 401 horses sported his blue and red silks in races and he enjoyed 58 winners. His horses’ earnings for the season amounted to R9,301,500.
Nooresh Juglall was by far the most successful apprentice in 2012-13, while Francis Semela was the champion work rider. – extracts from Racing Express. Photo from summerhill.co.za