where the horse is always the hero
Article Item
Posted 2020-07-31 05:31:09  
Alan Greeff, Eastern Cape's Star Trainer Again

Alan Greeff could well have become the first trainer to saddle 200 winners in an East Cape season if it was not for Covid-19.

Henk Steenkamp spoke to him about the wonderful season he had, despite some unique challenges.

"It was a great season winning races wise but it has been a very difficult year with things happening around Phumelela, stakes decreasing and the virus.

"This had a big impact on us and as time goes on we will feel the after effects even more," Greeff said.

"I am grateful for what happened and that we can race but it has been a very rough and tough season."

Greeff is positive about what lies ahead.

"We have to be positive. Racing is in everyone's blood and I know nothing else but to race.

"The general vibe has gone from a depressed vibe to a more positive vibe.
"We just had to adapt, button down and work a little bit harder and a little bit more sensible.

"The training of the horses stayed much the same but you got to adapt or die. As we have heard on numerous occasions, life is not as we know it.

"We got to make the best of it and look to the future. It is something we got to live with, otherwise it will get you down if you don't."
Greeff will end the season at Fairview today very close to his East Cape record tally of 176 winners of last season.

This season he notched up 166 winners at Fairview and also won the Champagne Stakes last weekend at Kenilworth.He would no doubt have bettered his record if not more than two months of the season were lost due to Covid-19.

Greeff is not someone who thinks about records. "No, no, I am not a record chaser.
"Those things must happen on it's own. My aim is to train winners. As long as I have winners and it keeps the owners happy, I am happy. The rest will take care of itself."

Greeff will be crowned the East Cape champion for the seventhconsecutive season (14th time overall) but makes it clear that winning the title is not his main goal.

"I don't train to win a trainers championship, I had a very good run and am grateful for that, but it is a big wheel and it does turn.

"I have gone through weeks where I haven't had winners and you just have to bite the bullet and hold your nerve."

For the last two months of the season Greeff could not use the services of his regular Cape Town jockey Greg Cheyne but that did not stop the stream of winners.

"Greg was left stranded on 99 winners for the Fairview season. He was eager to ride at Fairview but unfortunately things didn't work out that way.

"He is like a cricketer retiring on 99 runs and I think it aggravates me more than it aggravates him.

"Charles Ndlovu and Teaque Gould have done very well in the absence of Greg.They worked very hard during the lockdown as well. They deserved all the success they got.

"I tried to be fair with the spread of rides between the two guys that did the bulk of the work at the stable.

"Shadlee (Fortune), Luyolo Mxothwa and Keanen Steyn were also there and were given their chances as well."

It was a season of many highlights for Greeff. When asked which stood out for him he mentioned the meeting he had seven winners and also winning the World Sports Betting East Cape Derby and the PE Gold Cup.

"But I am grateful for any winner. I am ecstatic about every race that I win. Hopefully I will never lose that feeling."

Henk Steenkamp 

Email link to a friend | Printable Version
  • South Africa
    Displaying 10 ResultsSee All
    highveld award winners 202046 minutes ago

    Champion Two Year Old Filly – Springs of Carmel Champion Two Year Old Colt/Gelding –...

    View | Add Comment
    western province award winners 202048 minutes ago

    Juvenile Male of the Year – Erik The Red Juvenile Filly of the Year – Delta Queen 3 ...

    View | Add Comment
    ec horse of the year announced 1 hours ago

    Eastern Cape Award Winners 2020 Champion Two Year Old Filly - Herrin Champion Two Year Old Colt/Ge...

    View | Add Comment
    owner of beaten horses responds2020-09-17

    Following on from the horrific attacks that took place at Fairview Race Course this morning, leading...

    View | Add Comment
    fairview given go ahead for friday meeting2020-09-17

    The National Horseracing Authority confirms the unfortunate events that took place at Fairview Racec...

    View | Add Comment
    fairview riots: facts coming to light2020-09-17

    As more news has filtered in from Fairview Racecourse where grooms went on strike this morning and r...

    View | Add Comment
    owner responds to pe horses being killed 2020-09-17

    LOW DAY IN SOUTH AFRICAN HISTORY FOR HORSE RACING Disgruntled staff at Fairview Racing Yard in Port...

    View | Add Comment
    summer pudding is the south african horse of the year2020-09-13

    2020 EQUUS AWARDS The results of the 2020 virtual Equus Awards were revealed this evening by Mast...

    View | Add Comment
    gold circle to host trial run super six racing2020-09-10

    GOLD CIRCLE has agreed to host the trial of a proposed new racing concept called Super Six Racing. ...

    View | Add Comment
    equus nominees announced 2020-09-04

    2020 EQUUS AWARDS The time is drawing closer for the announcement of champions in the horseracing i...

    View | Add Comment