Image: Candiese Marnewick

Barrier trials start today at Greyville before the first race on the card. It has been one of my pet projects to get them started and introduce another form of transparency to the ailing industry. The operators of local racing, Gold Circle, have been supportive of the initiative since it was mooted sometime back.
The advantages are immense when we consider how it helps every part of the industry.


  • The owner gets to see his/her horse come out on a race track and does not have to rely on the protracted comments of the trainer.
  • The racing and punting public (our lifeblood) gets to see the horse in action and they formulate their own opinions of the ability of the horse.
  • The trainer gets to see how his horse behaves under racing condition and the benefits of travelling and starting stalls come in to play.

We have to eliminate any forms of insider trading in racing to create the correct perceptions and as we know “perceptions are reality”.  I have no doubt they will be a resounding success and in the long run the industry will benefit tremendously.

I received an interesting phone call from my vet, Ralph Katzwinkel, telling me that the independent tests done on the feed samples came back positive for caffeine contamination thereby exonerating the beleaguered trainers. Many who have had to fight for their innocence in courts around the country.
James Goodman, in particular, had to incur excessive costs as he was branded a cheat until the courts cleared him.  I was led to believe, rightly or wrongly, that the initial NHRA samples had returned negative. When pressed by the results from Katzwinkel’s finding I believe their alleged stance changed to positive.
For most trainers it is a continuous battle with the regulators to get them to see reason. Their penchant for quick inquiries and excessive fines is troubling and needs to be addressed quickly. Robert Bloomberg and the country’s training committee are doing a sterling job fighting many archaic issues with the regulators.
Watch this space.

Our string in Cape Town for the season is starting to get racing. With the crippling drought and lack of grass gallops we have had to take a little more time to get them racing. It should be full steam ahead over the next couple of months. 
In KZN the horses are doing well with two winners during the week and some useful runners lined up.
Our new Mistable system is working well with our owners getting regular updates as well as insights to the chances of our runners for every meeting.  It is a work in progress and will ensure continuous communication with our patrons.

We still have a number of shares available in a few locally and Australian bred 2 year olds who are currently in training at our KZN and Cape Town stables.  Get in touch at if you would like more info.

Cheers for now, Laff