WHILE we wait in anticipation for the start of the 2015 Dubai Racing Carnival at 16:45 SA time on Thursday, 8 January 2015, let’s turn the clock back by roughly 48 hours to Tuesday, 6 January to reflect on the two winners for Mike de Kock’s stable on the turf track at the Vaal.
For some entertaining variety ahead of the weekend– and really just to pass the time to the opener at Meydan – we found a few unusual post-race review angles on Moofeed (MR92 Handicap, 1400m) and Wild Dancer (Maiden Plate, 1600m), the pair that flew the yard’s flag on what was reported to be a balmy afternoon at the country course.
The regular script for a run-of-the-mill report will include that both the Vaal winners were ridden by Champion Jockey S’Manga Khumalo, who is now within six winners of this season’s leader Piere Strydom on the National Jockeys Log. Khumalo also bagged an earlier win for Sean Tarry, hence his signalling “three” on Wild Dancer in the photo below . She raced home with five lengths to spare in one of three straight miles contested at this meeting.
Wild Dancer: All leggy and strutting her stuff at the Vaal.
Beyond the obvious, however, racing will always have several other layers to peel back. Exploring these folds depends entirely on the level of energy (or perhaps state of inebriation) of the reviewer. It’s recommended, though, as a necessary departure from the norm. We all need something different at times.
The noble horse game has a constantly expanding matrix of historical roots with many examples of uncannily matching references from the past and also a reach into the future with free application of philosophical linguistics.
If this sounds like obscure nonsense and you’re already lost, do this: Simply consider the date in review, 6 January and see if you can find any historical links or relevant matches from a previous point in time to racing at the Vaal from two days ago.
We interestingly see that 6 January (1993) marks the death of the celebrated Rudolf Nureyev, popularly regarded as the best ballet dancer of all time. In her acclaimed biography of Nureyev, author Julie Kavanagh describes him as “a man who danced like a god, but behaved like a violent, voracious beast. Nureyev was gifted and peerless, yet rebellious. He was wild and savage at times.”
It follows: The famous thoroughbred stallion Nureyev, as pedigree aficionados know, is closely related to stallion-of-stallions Sadler’s Wells who, in turn, produced Casey Tibbs, the sire of our Vaal winner… Wild Dancer!
There’s more. Let’s look at the ownership of Wild Dancer. She races for Charles Savage and Brad Leather of the JSE-Listed company Purple Capital and George Nichas, the man behind the Ocean Basket empire.
We’re not joking: The dancing Nureyev’s favourite colour was purple, he loved wearing a purple tutu on stage. A fashion icon even after his death, the Nureyev Signature Collection still in big demand in high-end fashion shops today consists of caps, jackets and accessories made of.. you guessed it… leather!
“Add Beneficiary”: Moofeed (yellow silks) brought joy and cash to bettors.
On to the name “Moofeed”. Most sources proclaim “Moofeed” to be an Arabic word meaning “Beneficial”, “Advantageous” or “Favourable”. This makes plenty of sense when linked to his owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, whose huge and generous investments in thoroughbreds have been all of the above to racing in Dubai and especially South Africa.
The clan of Wild Dancers have also brought heaps of “Moofeed” to South Africans of all income groups, especially those who can’t ever compete with the Big Hitters but love to have stray bites at their lavish lifestyles.
“Moofeed” to the hungry! George Nichas personally made the delightfully extravagant Prawn an easily affordable delicacy in his wonderful chain of Ocean Basket Restaurants.
“Moofeed” to the Lesser Advantaged! Savage, known for his sympathies for the proverbial Underdog, has broken aggressively into the Share Market on behalf of the man-in-the-street with his creation of the superb “Easy Equities”, a platform which gives Joe Public a chance to share in the vast fortunes amassed traditionally by a Select Few only.
Speaking from a holiday spot in Mozambique on Wednesday, Savage commented: “EE is doing very well, individuals from all income levels are buying shares or fractional shares. I threw in an account for Mathew de Kock to thank him for his incredible support so whilst he’s teaching me about horses I’ll try return the effort with equities.
“George Nichas is a client of ours and he enjoys his racing, so he wanted to come in on our horses Red Savage and Wild Dancer. In fact a lot of our staff have taken an interest in racing and they were very excited about Wild Dancer.”
The filly, easing down, set a faster time over a 1600m than hard-ridden MR68 Handicap winner Galillee had done half an hour prior and Savage is delighted: “Wild Dancer’s cracking her maiden in good style made for a great start to the new year. She’s all heart and I’m confident she’ll win a few, with a MR of 62 I think she’ll perform well in the handicaps and benefit greatly from weight off, she’s tiny and has had to shoulder 60 and give weight to a few smart ones that she’s come up against. The time spent in the maidens might just be exactly what she needed!”
Charles denied rumours that he and Nichas had been searching for the world’s largest prawns along the shores of Mozambique, or that they’d been captured and released by a savage bunch of Hirsute Beach Babes.
“That’s all nonsense,” he said while picking bits of sweet meat from his Crayfish Tail.