where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2018-05-24 13:30:17  
Coral Fever is Highveld Horse of the Year

Turffontein Racecourse was buzzing with excitement last night as guests and the nominees descended on the Aquanaut Room for the RA Highveld Feature Season Awards.

As always I’sizwe Hospitality put out an outstanding menu and with the anticipation of who would win in each category, it made for a spectacular evening.

It is always great to be reminded of each and every candidate’s road to being nominated for these awards, and although a few went away disappointed, we must not forget what an amazing achievement it was to be considered.

With roughly 3500 runners in any given month throughout South Africa- to be nominated is an honour and we thank all the connections for their on going support.


So without further adieu, we present the Equine winners in each category

v Champion two year old filly: Ronnie’s Candy trained & owned by St John Gray

v Champion two year old colt/gelding: William the Silent for Colin Bird, trained by Robbie Sage

v Champion three year old filly: Takingthepeace trained and owned in partnership by Mike de Kock, Murray Makepeace and Michael Shea however, in the months to come- Ross & Craig Kieswetter’s name will be added to the list of owners as they recently purchased 50% of the filly.

v Champion 3 year old colt/gelding: Monkshood, trained by Alastair Gordon for WIlgerbosdrift (nom. Mary Slack)

v Champion older horse: Coral Fever also owned by Colin Bird for Robbie Sage

v Champion sprinter: Attenborough trained by Joey Ramsden for Messrs R Breitenbach, R D P Caboche-Adam, E G Hart De Keating, P O’Doherty, Miss Pippa Michleburgh, Mr J and Mrs C Brooks and Mr & Mrs D Naik.

v Champion Middle distance horse: Coral Fever for Robbie Sage

v Champion Stayer: Hero’s Honour for Gary Alexander and owners Messrs J F & L M F Wernars, B G Gardner & G P Sadie & Mrs J P Gardner

Deservedly, CORAL FEVER was crowned HORSE OF THE SEASON- ending the season as the highest merit rated performer at 118.


The work riders awards were proudly presented to the hardworking Samuel Mosia (Champion Work Rider) and Goodman Dadamasi (winner of the Work Riders series).

Varsfontein Stud were the convincing winners of the Champion Breeder award with Mauritzfontein (nom. Ms Jessica Slack- Jell) as Champion Owner- no doubt this award was firmly cemented by the gallant filly- Nother Russia and her conquests through out the season.

The young and well mannered Lyle Hewitson was awarded Champion Apprentice. The ever delightful Muzi Yeni, with his infectious smile and charismatic way, was crowned Champion Jockey. He has had a fabulous season with not one, but two Grade 1 wins aboard Coral Fever and Lobo’s Legend and was narrowly beaten aboard Green Top in the Grade 1 Wilgerbosdrift S A Fillies Classic. We look forward to watching him as the Champion Season in KZN rolls out over the next few months.

And last, but certainly not least the jolly Mike de Kock just “pipped” previous year’s winner- Sean Tarry by 1 point to win the award for Champion Trainer.


This couldn’t have been an easy job for the judging panel made up of Alastair Cohen, Clyde Basel, Larry Wainstein and Vee Moodley (who sat as the non voting Chairman), but nevertheless it was a job that they did well.

We look forward to watching many of these and the runners up as they make their way down to compete in Kwa-Zulu Natal for the last 2 months of the 2017/ 2018 season.  

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