where the horse is always the hero
Article Item
Posted 2019-01-16 23:07:00  
Hall Of Fame Honours Past Greats

The first four horseracing superstars to be inducted into the SA Hall Of Fame are:

• Sea Cottage (horse)
• Michael Roberts (jockey)
• Syd Laird (trainer)
• Harry and Bridget Oppenheimer (owners)

The inductees were announced in Cape Town at Wednesday’s barrier draw for the Sun Met Celebrated with G.H. Mumm after a selection process – including a public vote – involving lists of nominees in each racing sector.

Sea Cottage captured the public imagination with his amazing finishing speed in the late 1960s. Trained by fellow Hall Of Famer Laird, the colt won 20 of 24 races, including the Durban July, two Queen’s Plates, two Clairwood Winters and a Champion Stakes.

His sensational shooting – on Blue Lagoon beach by a gangster, with the collaboration of a bookmaker – shortly before the 1966 July sealed his legend.

Sea Cottage was fourth in the July that year and returned to famously dead-heat with Jollify in 1967 – with the bullet still in his rump.

That was one of seven July victories for Laird, the foremost conditioner of his day and one of the most celebrated of all time.

Laird’s other July winners were Kerason, Colorado King, Java Head, Mazarin, Politican and Yataghan.

Roberts won the SA jockey championship as an apprentice, then claimed 10 more titles in the 1970s before heading to the UK and winning the championship there.

He took the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes twice on Mtoto and also won France’s Prix Royal Oak, Italy’s Prima Roma and the Japan Cup. In 1997 he won his only Durban July on Super Quality.

The Oppenheimer name was synonymous with racing for decades, with Anglo-American’s billionaire boss Harry and wife Bridget breeding and racing scores of brilliant horses.

Their stars included Horse Chestnut, King Willow, Tiger Fish, Bodrum and Cherry On The Top.

The 17 nominees who missed out on the Hall Of Fame this time around will get further chances in future – as will other racing heroes that might be nominated for the honour.

Email link to a friend | Printable Version
  • South Africa
    Displaying 10 ResultsSee All
    zackey has hip op1 days ago

    Top jockey Craig Zackey is out injured at present and will shortly be spending a week at South Afric...

    View | Add Comment
    destinys game can score1 days ago

    On 4 July Destinys Game overcame a slow start and then got to the front close to home, to beat Wordy...

    View | Add Comment
    fayd'herbe off to madagascar 2 days ago

    Assistant to the Candice Bass-Robinson stable, Robert Fayd'Herbe will leave South Africa for greener...

    View | Add Comment
    why punters need to becareful this time of year?5 days ago

    With form turnarounds the order of the day, it's time for punters to stay vigilant and play very car...

    View | Add Comment
    trainer neil bruss passes2019-08-14

    One of Zimbabwe’s Favourite horseracing son’s has passed. Neil Bruss passed away earlier...

    View | Add Comment
    avontuur announces new jockey sponsorship2019-08-14

    Avontuur Estate, the home of highly rated sires Var and Oratorio, is happy to announce a sponsorsh...

    View | Add Comment
    wordyness to have the last say2019-08-14

    The fields may be on the small side but the form is mostly thin so punters will need to tread warily...

    View | Add Comment
    eyes wide open for cape season2019-08-14

    Glen Kotzen is keeping an open mind about this season’s campaign for his 2018 Cape Derby winne...

    View | Add Comment
    murray back to south africa 2019-08-14

    Young jockey Callan Murray has cut short his Singapore stint and is returning to his native South ...

    View | Add Comment
    snaith clean sweep as do it again is horse of the year 2019-08-13

    In the midst of a very a tumultuous time for the racing industry, role players, stakeholders, sponso...

    View | Add Comment