The 1985/86 National Racing Awards dinner was held at the Maharani Hotel in Durban. Enchanted Garden was voted Horse of the Year as well as Champion Three-Year-Old Filly. Her trainer, Terrance Millard received the honours for Outstanding Trainer as well as Outstanding Racing Personality and her regular jockey, Felix Coetzee, was voted Outstanding Jockey for the season. The award for Outstanding Breeder for the season went to Graham Beck. The full honour roll for the season is listed below.
Champion 2 Year Old Colt
- Champion 2 Year Old Colt
- Champion 2 Year Old Filly
- Champion 3 Year Old Colt
- Champion Sprinter
- Champion 3 Year Old Filly and Horse of the Year
- Outstanding Trainer and Outstanding Racing Personality
- Outstanding Jockey
- Outstanding Breeder
by Jungle Cove (USA) – Maiden Over, by Persian Wonder (GB)
Bush Telegraph ended the 1985/86 season unbeaten. Bred at Highlands Farms Stud (Pty) Ltd, he races for his breeder, Mr Graham Beck, in partnership with his wife and Mr and Mrs Laurie Jaffee. The tenth foal of the Persian Wonder (GB) mare, Maiden Over, Bush Telegraph is the half brother to Waikato, winner of nine races including the King's Cup Handicap and the In Full Flight Stakes.
Produced by Bert Abercrombie in immaculate condition, Bush Telegraph won his first race in mid-January 1986 by 5 lengths at Kenilworth and his second start proved no more difficult at Milnerton three weeks later.
He met a large field of 14 in the Cape of Good Hope Nursery Futurity Stakes and proved he was an exceptional colt by disposing of them without undue exertion.
His first real test came at Scottsville in the middle of May when he met the crack Transvaal colt, Main Man, in the GrII Smirnoff Plate. After a rough and hard fought battle, Main Man was marginally in front crossing the line only to have the race given to Bush Telegraph after an objection was upheld.
Bush Telegraph, therefore, went into his last start, the Gr1 Administrator's Champion Futurity, unbeaten. He produced another excellent performance to hold off the smart Transvaal colt Desert Legend by ½ length and better the race record by some 2 seconds.
His consistency and brilliance placed him well above the other contenders of his age group and he had no serious challenger for the Champion Two-Year-Old title.
Champion 2 Year Old Filly
By Rollins (USA) - Full Of Promise by Embassy
Point With Pride ran her first race at Scottsville in early March 1986 and had no difficulty accounting for the ten fillies sent out to oppose her. She won her second race at Clairwood some four weeks later and then took on the best of her age and sex at Gosforth Park in the Gr1 R50 000 TAB (Transvaal) Juvenile Fillies Nursery. Easy to back at 7/1 Point With Pride fought bravely in the closing stages of the race and held on by a neck from Believe It to increase her stake earnings from three starts to R70 950.
Point With Pride's last start of the season was a month later in the Clairwood Debutante Stakes over 1400m. Sent out in peak condition by trainer Aubrey Roberts, the two-year-old filly stormed home by a length to remain unbeaten in her first season on the racecourse.
Owned and bred by Chris Saunders, Point with Pride is from the first crop of the Damascus horse Rollins (USA). Her pedigree is a family affair. She is the first foal of Full Of Promise, who, too, was bred by Chris Saunders at his Invermooi Stud at Nottingham Road, Natal. Full Of Promise is by Embassy who carried the white, red stars and green cap of Chris Saunders to ten victories and 12 places during an outstanding racing career before retiring to stand at his owner's stud.
Point With Pride did all that was asked of her. She was raced sparingly and given a break towards the end of the season allowing her time to grow and furnish before the home-bred filly tackles her challenging three-year-old year.
Champion 3 Year Old Colt
Liloy - Pierina by Martinet
Potomac (Arg) ended his two year old career with two wins to his credit and stakes of R27 945. His last appearance that year was when winning the GrII Computaform Futurity at Clairwood at the end of July 1985.
Three days in to August 1985, Potomac (Arg) captured the GrII Summerveld Stakes and then returned to Cape Town with the rest of Terrance Millard's string. He won his first race back in his home province, and made a flying visit to Scottsville to unsuccessfully contest the GrII South African Invitation Stakes in November.
Rested until New Year's Day, Potomac (Arg) easily won a B Division 1800m, and, to prove his well being, was in the winner's box again 18 days later. Sent out favourite for the Richelieu Guineas, Potomac (Arg) finished in fourth place, 2 ¼ lengths behind the winner, Sea Warrior. A month later, the Argentine-bred colt had the field for the R100 000 Gr1 Cape of Good Hope Derby Stakes at his mercy and galloped away 7 lengths clear at the post.
He became a dual Derby winner when he easily won the South African Derby at Turffontein on the 5th April 1986.
Potomac (Arg)'s next mission was the valuable Sun International at the same course. He was well supported and set out favourite, but found his stable companion, Enchanted Garden, too fast for him in the finishing stages of the race and although an objection was lodged on his behalf, Potomac (Arg) had to be content with the placing he had finished in.
Potomac (Arg) renewed his battle with his peers in the South African Two Thousand at Greyville in the first week of June. In a desperate battle with Model Man he kept his nose in front after a courageous struggle down the straight.
It was to be his last start of the season. A viral infection caused his withdrawal from the Oceanair Derby and the Rothmans July Handicap. He ended the season with seven wins and two places from ten starts earning his owners, Messrs Laurie Jaffee, Des Scott and Luke Bailes, R348 500 and the Champion Three-Year-Old Colt award for his efforts.
Radetzky - Sister Angelica by Song
Sunera (GB) arrived in South Africa having won three races and been placed twice from six starts in England. Bought by Mr Des Scott, she went into training with Terrance Millard in Cape Town where she was allowed to take her time adjusting to the southern hemisphere.
By Radetzky out of a Song mare, Sunera (GB) did not take long to establish herself as one of the fastest fillies in the country. She won her first race in South Africa by 5 ½ lengths in October 1985 and next time out left her rivals sprawling 11 ¾ lengths behind her. Three more wins followed. In these five consecutive victories she was an average of 5 ½ lengths ahead of her nearest challenger.
Two weeks later, the Harry Hotspur colt Lord Randolph held her to a length in the GrII Cape Flying Championship. Sunera (GB), however, had her revenge a fortnight later when she ran away from Lord Randolph to win the GrII Basil Starke Merchants Stakes at Kenilworth.
At this point the dashing new owners, Adrian Gardiner and Tony Ross, stepped in with an offer of R300 000 which was good enough to buy the English-bred filly. She won the Southern Cross Stakes GrII for them before moving to Natal for the winter season where she was produced in brilliant fettle by Millard in mid-May to win the South African Fillies Sprint - her first Grade I victory.
Sunera (GB) ran a disappointing race at Greyville in the Chairman's Stakes to finish third behind her arch-rival Lord Randolph early in June, but returned refreshed and invincible for her most important victory in the Gilbeys Stakes. In this R150 000 GrI event she met the best sprinters in the country and was totally in command passing the post 2 ½ lengths clear of the speedy Military Song.
She had one more race before the season closed and yet again proved what an exceptionally fast filly she was. Under the welterweight of 57,5 kg she pulverised her opposition in the GrII Durban Merchants Handicap and thus sealed her selection as Sprinter of the Year.
Champion 3 Year Old Filly and Horse of the Year
Roland Gardens (Ire) - Captivation by London Way (Ire)
Enchanted Garden was bred in the Eastern Cape by Mrs Rose Parker at her Ascot Stud, Port Elizabeth. She was sold for R35 000 at the 1984 National Yearling Sales to Mr and Mrs A.M. van Zyl and stayed in the Transvaal to be trained by Mr Jim Brady.
She came to hand early as a two-year-old and ran ten times in her first year on the racecourse for five wins, including the Gr1 TAB (Transvaal) Juvenile Fillies Futurity and the Breeders Champion Stakes, three places and R66 535.
Having given every indication that she was a very much above average filly, Enchanted Garden was bought by Des Scott as a three-year-old and was transferred to David Payne's yard at Summerveld. She won the Gosforth Park Fillies Guineas GrI and ran three places in Des Scott's colours and tehn, for the second time in her racing career, Enchanted Garden changed hands when Tony Ross and Adrian Gardiner paid R300 000 to own the consistent and talented filly.
In her first outing in the Transvaal she failed by a short head in the Oaks Trial Handicap, but a fortnight later stormed home in the GrI SA Oaks over 2450m at Turffontein and followed this up with a brilliant performance at the same course to win the R350 000 GrI Sun International.
This game, tough, racing machine was back at work six weeks later and galloped home well ahead of her rivals in the Natal Oaks to register her third successive Grade I triumph.
She then contested the Rothmans July Handicap and proved herself without doubt the best three-year-old in the country by running third to stable companions Occult and Fools Holme (USA) carrying 53kgs.
In her last race of the season - the Mainstay 1800 - she met with interference and failed to produce her usual sparkling form. She had, however, registered five wins and five places for stakes of R427 430 during the 1985/86 season, more than enough to earn her enthusiastic and sporting owners the coveted Horse of the Year Award and the vote as the Champion Three-Year-Old Filly of the Year.
Outstanding Trainer and Outstanding Racing Personality
1985/86 has, without doubt, been The Year of Terrance Millard. It is fitting, therefore, that he should be voted not only Outstanding Trainer of the Year, but also the country's Outstanding Racing Personality.
Records have tumbled in his wake and the consistency of his runners had been remarkable. Millard sent out 387 runners during the season for 102 wins, 54 seconds and 47 thirds. His horses earned their owners an incredible R2 674 910 - some R1 ½ million ahead of his nearest rival.
He has produced a string of stars who have captured a large share of the richest races in the land - Horse of the Year and Champion Three-Year-Old Filly, Enchanted Garden; Champion Sprinter, Sunera (GB); Champion Three-Year-Old Colt, Potomac (Arg); Voodoo Charm, winner of the Game Gold Cup; Bimbina (Arg), winner of the Highlands Stud Classic, The Helios Fillies and the Lancome Handicap; Occult, winner of the Rothman's July Handicap and Republic Day Handicaps; the brilliant filly Ecurie (Arg); Fools Holme (USA); Cowdray Park and Up The Creek amongst them.
Millard's attention to detail is a large measure of his success, and typical of this dedication was the carefully planned raid on the rich Transvaal autumn season. Determined to beat the high altitude problems, Millard settled a select team at the Vaal weeks before his scheduled assault allowing the horses plenty of time to acclimatise. He scooped the pool and won nearly every feature race his charges contested, including the South African Oaks, the South African Derby and, most prestigious of all, the R350 000 Sun International at Turffontein.
Helped by a carefully chosen team, his horses are prepared immaculately and stand out in the parade ring in any company. They seldom run a bad race.
Terrance, like all masters of their craft, makes his own luck.
Felix Coetzee is first stable jockey to the powerful Millard stable and as such was responsible for many of the brilliant wins that earned Enchanted Garden, Sunera (GB) and Potomac (Arg) their racing awards. He began the season by winning the Game Gold Cup on Voodoo Charm and partnered Enchanted Garden to her South African Oaks and Natal Oaks double and Potomac (Arg) in his dual Derby wins. He was also associated with feature race wins on Sunera (GB), Fools Holme (USA), Up The Creek, Cowdray Park and Ecurie (Arg).
In the 1985/86 season, Coetzee rode 135 winners, 109 seconds and 71 thirds for stakes or R2 251 425. A three week suspension prevented him from heading the jockeys list by a number of wins, but his 21,26% winning rides was well above that of any of his rivals.
Felix Coetzee enjoys his profession. He loves horses, is a good judge of pace and is not discouraged by the hard work that is necessary to keep him at the top. With the powerful line up of horses trained by Terrance Millard, Coetzee seems assured of yet another good season in 1986/87.
For the second successive year, Graham Beck has been voted Outstanding Breeder. And this honour is surely deserved by a man who has put so much into racing at all levels - not only is he the country's leading breeder, but together with his wife Rhona, has once again emerged as South Africa's top owner. In the field of racing administration, too, Beck has shown a high degree of involvement being Chairman of Germiston Sporting Club and serving on several national and provincial racing committees.
This commitment plus a very considerable financial input has resulted in two of his studs - Highlands and Maine Chance - finishing first and second respectively on the 1985/86 breeders' list. Highlands posted the remarkable figures of 156 wins and 387 places from 167 runners for total stakes of R1,6 million.
That Graham Beck has brought his entrepreneurial and financial skills to the racing industry with such passion and determination augurs well for the future of the sport in South Africa.
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