People have been asking where is Dan Katz, he doesn’t seem to have had a runner for ages?
The answer, sadly, is that he has turned his back on the racecourse and is now more likely to be found at one of the five Jewish cemeteries in the Cape Peninsula.
Katz, 54, said yesterday: “I ended my job as private trainer to Hassen Adams in May and I now work for the Jewish Community organisation dealing with cemetery maintenance, burials etc. I don’t go racing anymore because I have tried to get away from it to follow this new path in my life.”
It is not the first time that he has done this. He was the youngest trainer in South Africa (too young, he later concluded) when he first took out a licence to train at Philippi in 1989. But, despite nearly 30 winners in two and a half years, he packed it in to sell cars and operate a spa before emmigrating to Israel where he ran a restaurant.
Two years ago he took over the Adams horses from Darryl Hodgson and he had his biggest success when Let It Rain won the Heineken Cape Stayers on Sun Met day last year. But the owner’s decision to cut back the numbers, at least in Cape Town, hit him hard. “Every good horse that went through my hands was either sold or moved to other trainers. In the end it was too much for me – I just couldn’t do it anymore.”
Front And Centre remains a short-priced 7-10 to become the third odds-on Diana Stakes winner in six years at Durbanville on Saturday and Undercover Agent is a firm 14-10 for the Matchem.
Justin Snaith, five winners at the course on the last two Saturdays, has three favourites in the supporting races: Sovereign Secret, Evening Song and Peaceful Day.
By Michael Clower