Of fools and horses, crowns and heroes

Of fools and horses, crowns and heroes

Not that I usually consider myself a fool on a normal day, it just sometimes feels that way when faced with horses and especially those standouts that carry their presence at all times. Watching most horses is special, whether it be searching for the next champion, as at the past two yearling sales, watching foals and stallions on the farms, or seeing them perform at the racetrack. Watching great race-horses is an emotional experience just by the sheer magnificence of their athleticism and the heart with which they compete. This past Saturday showed us just such a horse, as Abashiri won the R2 Million SA Derby, the third and final leg of the Triple Crown to become only the third South African Triple Crown winner. He was so nearly beaten at the post but gave his all and put his head down when it mattered most. To take nothing away from the runner-up Rocketball, who so very nearly caused an upset and fought as hard, it is that fighting spirit, heart and attitude that make a great horse. The Mike Azzie yard say that Abashiri is a dream to work with, unfussed and uncomplicated and just gets on with his work, allowing that easy action and magical stride to carry him over the line first. Abashiri (Go Deputy x Donya) wins the Grade 1 SA Derby to win the South African Triple Crown. Photograph courtesy and copyright of Candiese Marnewick. The three-year old Abashiri was bred at Lammerskraal Stud by the US-bred Go Deputy whose dam sire was Secretariat – himself one of the most famous Triple Crown winners....
The Lotsky’s Life – diary of a racehorse

The Lotsky’s Life – diary of a racehorse

Wow, what a weekend and what a week of historical moments we’ve had! Across the world, in the home of the Thoroughbred – Keeneland, in Kentucky, American Pharaoh captured even more hearts as he carried the dreams of so many horse lovers and galloped his way into the history books. Following on his Triple Crown win (the first in 37 years) in June, he put up an unrelenting gallop on Saturday to win the Breeder’s Cup Classic and take the Racing Grand Slam. His retirement to Coolmore’s Ashford Farm on Monday, was met with fanfare fit for the King he is, as he was escorted by State Patrol and the media from Keenelend to Ashford farm, just over 17 km’s away. Great horses, like AP, are what we all aspire to and their stories and characters are what bring more people to love racing. At the end of the day, Horse Racing is about the horse. Each one of us is an individual, and the quirks and nuances of each personality is what makes racing as exciting and as challenging as it is. This game is not for the timid or faint of heart, it’s about grit and determination and being able to overcome the bad and keep  aiming for the good. A.P’s owners, the Zayat’s and trainer Bob Baffert have had a spectacular ride with this horse of a lifetime, and have been generous in allowing his fans access to get up close and personal and letting him become part of the global horse consciousness and a living legend. Locally, the Emperor’s Palace Charity Mile and Ready to Run...
Diary of a race horse. This is my view and my life story – I am The Lotsky.

Diary of a race horse. This is my view and my life story – I am The Lotsky.

Well the weeks seem to be whizzing past and we continue to progress in our foundation training – apparently, we all seem to be doing quite well. My morning starts off in, what they call a lunge ring- it’s about 20m in diameter and has a sand surface. I trot around for a while to warm up and then a work rider, hops on my back and we go around at a steady and controlled pace. A work rider is not a registered jockey, but usually a stable employee that has shown an interest in riding “work” in the mornings, and on certain race days they have work riders races where they get to compete in a real race. Although the yard uses other work riders in races, we do employ one permanent work rider- Sebelo Siphika. I hear that Sebelo rode Petrichor (a Ready to Run 2013 Sales graduate) to a win from start to finish last year at Turffontein over 1800m, so I hope I will get a chance to have him on my back. Once we are finished our lunging session in the mornings and have been cooled off, we go back into our stables to relax. In the afternoon we go out for a long walk, with the jockey aboard, and get to survey what hopefully, one day, will be our winning turf! The start of October has proved to be an exciting past twelve days with a lot of coming and going at the yard. The Highveld Summer season kicked off with the Joburg Spring Race day on Saturday the 3rd of October. Sean Tarry...
The Lotsky

The Lotsky

I am The Lotsky – Born and bred to race from the noblest of Thoroughbred ancestry – this is my story of growing up on a thoroughbred stud farm and my life on the training tracks and beyond. Follow me as I explore and experience the life of a race-horse, offer my insider views on different aspects of the racing industry and keep up with the general goings on and the latest scoop. So many people ask questions about the life of a race horse and what the human fascination is with horse racing; the perceptions are so vast and varied and the industry seems to maintain a certain mystery to outsiders. This is my view and my life story – I am The Lotsky. And so it has begun – my career as a race horse. This is after-all what I have been bred to do, so the excitement is great while there is some apprehension and confusion as it is all so new. I was foaled in October 2013, the second foal of my dam Blue Ballet, on the Bosworth Stud farm in the Klerksdorp area of the Free State. My sire, Global One is the resident sire on the farm and was selected as a worthwhile suitor for Blue Ballet, based on conformation, racing form and pedigree. I am the result. My first two years were spent on the farm, growing and running with my fellow foals in as natural environment as you could find. The importance of correct and optimal growth in these formative years cannot be emphasised enough and a knowledgeable and experienced stud...