The early money is for Thomas Henry

PUBLISHED: 28 November 2019

Glen Kotzen

The early money has been for Thomas Henry in the first two-year-old race of the Cape season at Kenilworth on Saturday. Glen Kotzen has booked Aldo Domeyer (who called off his rides yesterday) for the R580 000 purchase, a Querari half-brother to the good sprinter Dutch Philip, and this colt was quickly supported from 16-10 to 13-10 favourite

The Justin Snaith-trained Stuck On You originally headed the market but has drifted from 12-10 to 16-10. Richard Fourie’s mount is one of three fillies taking on the colts and the daughter of What A Winter is out of a half-sister to Champions Cup winner African Appeal. Greg Ennion’s Lady Catherine (Corne Orffer) has been nibbled at from 6-1 to 11-2 while stable companion Star Captain (Sean Veale) has come in from 11-1 to 8-1. You can get 12-1 and upwards about the other three runners.

Saturday’s fixture is the Western Cape Equine Trust meeting that raises funds for the rehoming of ex-racehorses. According to NHA statistics there are nearly 5 000 horses in training in South Africa at any one time. Some 1 200-plus are retired each year and, except for all but a select and ultra-talented few, the male 50% of the leavers have to be found a new life outside racing.

There have been some horrific stories of well known names reduced to little more than skin and bone, and in some cases abandoned altogether, but under the recently-introduced Rule 41.10 the owner remains responsible for the care and welfare of his or her horse for the rest of its life unless it is transferred to an approved rehoming facility like that of the WCET’s retraining operation at Polkadraai between Stellenbosch and the N2.

It takes two months to turn a racehorse into a riding horse and, even though some of the input comes from voluntary help, it costs money so sponsors have come forward to back Saturday’s races and raise further funds from the sale of stallion nominations (Captain Of All, Pomodoro and Coup De Grace are among those coming under the hammer in the Peninsula Room on Saturday), lunch and raffle tickets.

By Michael Clower