In the grip of a spreading fever!

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Highs and lows are a symptom of fever, in any form and the fever caused by horse racing is no exception.

With this Tuesday marking the start of Royal Ascot and some gripping action, last week heralded a very low moment in the world of international horse racing with the news that Sir Henry Cecil, legendary trainer of numerous stakes-placed winners and, most notably, Frankel, lost his battle with cancer!

A stately figure and one of racings great ambassadors and gentleman, the world is a poorer place without him. Lady Jane Cecil continues his legacy by sending out the Royal Ascot runners, as planned and Frankel’s half-brother, Morpheus, was a fitting and emotional winner at Nottingham last Friday afternoon for Lady Cecil and James Doyle.

On the first day of the Cecil stable having runners since Sir Henry’s passing, Songbird also went on to score at Yarmouth 10 minutes later, and Ascot announced that the Queen’s Vase will be run on Friday as ‘The Queen’s Vase In Memory of Sir Henry Cecil’ after the legendary trainer’s 8 victories in the race.

Lady Cecil’s first runner of the Royal meeting is Tiger Cliff in the fifth race on Tuesday!

Over the past 300 years, Ascot has established itself as a national institution; with Royal Ascot becoming the centrepiece of the British social calendar and the ultimate stage for the best racehorses in the world.

The Queen Anne Stakes get the meeting underway today and the highly publicized favourite, Animal Kingdom will be attempting to add this title to his already admirable list of wins, including the Kentucky Derby 2012 and Dubai World Cup 2013. Bred by Team Valor International and now also owned by Sheik Mohammed and Arrowfield Stud, he is sure to be a very popular stallion after this!

Flying the South African flag, is the Klawervlei Stud-bred Shea Shea by National Emblem, for trainer, Mike de Kock and owners Brian Joffe and Myron Berzack. He runs in the second race, the King’s Stand Stakes!

The Royal meeting closes on Saturday the 22nd of June which gives us just enough time to regroup and get ready for SA’s big one – The Vodacom Durban July to be run on Saturday the 6th of July!

The final field and barrier draws will be announced on Tuesday the 25th of June and should keep us all guessing with a number of early favourites having been scratched in the past weeks.

For those looking to get in on the action for future races, the KZN Yearling Sales take place on the 4th and 5th of July at the Sun Coast Casino. The KZN Breeders have added an incentive to this sale and qualifying graduates of the sale will be running for a 1Million Rand bonus on July day 2014. That alone should be enough to get you feverish!

We look forward to seeing you in there from the 3rd of July! Where else would you be?

Keep an eye out for further updates on our women’s syndicate and more news here and on Face Book!