In terms of Chapter 4 of the Constitution of The National Horseracing Authority the Nominations Committee, consisting of past chairmen Adv. Altus Joubert, Mr Andrew O’Connor, Mr Larry Nestadt and Mr Jonathan Witts-Hewinson has appointed Adv Rafik Bhana SC to the National Board of Directors of the NHA to fill the vacancy that arose after Mr Sholto Dolamo’s three year term lapsed in terms of clause 15.4.6.    Adv. Bhana is an independent person in terms of  clause 15.1.2 of the Constitution. 

Adv Bhana SC is a leading practicing Senior Counsel at the Johannesburg Bar.  Adv. Bhana has been active as a Legal Practitioner since 1989 and admitted as a Member of Society of Advocates in 1991.   He was appointed as Senior Counsel in 2006.   Whilst articled at the then Edward Nathan & Friedland, he was awarded a Fullbright Scholarship to attend Berkeley University in San Francisco where he did a Masters Degree in Law, which included studying European Competition Law. 

Adv Bhana SC is briefed in many leading commercial and regulatory matters in South Africa and Namibia.  His practice, whilst covering the entire field of commercial regulatory work, has a strong focus on taxation and competition law. 

The National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa welcomes Adv Rafik Bhana SC to the National Board.


NEWLY APPOINTED CHAIRPERSON

The National Horseracing Authority is proud to announce the appointment of Mrs Susan Rowett as its new Chairperson.  Mrs Rowett is the first lady Chairperson to be appointed in the 138 years history of The National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa (previously known as The Jockey Club of Southern Africa).

Mrs Rowett holds a Master of Jurisprudence degree and a Master of Management degree and is a Director of a multinational packaging company.  Mrs Rowett is a Life Member of The National Horseracing Authority and, as a Thoroughbred Racehorse Breeder and Owner, Mrs Rowett has been actively involved in the Horseracing Industry in South Africa for forty years.

Mrs Rowett has served as Chairperson on various Boards within the Horseracing Industry and previously served as a National Board Director from November 2012 until April 2016 when the Constitution of the NHA was amended, at a Special General Meeting, in order to restructure the National Board.

The NHA and its National Board hereby wishes to thank the previous Chairman, Mr Ken Truter, for successfully leading the organisation through some turbulent times over his three year tenure as Chairman.  Mr Truter will continue to serve as a National Board  Director.

Vee Moodley

Chief Executive


  • L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (Grade 1)

VARDY has had his rating increased from 128 to 134 after his emphatic defeat of a top class field on WFA terms in the Grade 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate over 1600m at Kenilworth (summer course) on Saturday 11 January.  While the Handicappers are cognizant of the fact that multiple delays at the start of the race may have had a negative impact on some horses’ performance, it nevertheless remains a fact that VARDY led home the same “trifecta” as when he won the Grade 2 Green Point Stakes four weeks earlier and there is no reason to question the level of his performance here.

In assessing the race, the Handicappers decided that the best line horse to use would be ultra-consistent fourth placed TWIST OF FATE, who was used to his previous career best rating of 129 (achieved as it happens on the last occasion that he raced over 1600m) to rate the Queen’s Plate.  As such, his rating goes up from 127 to 129.

Runner-up ONE WORLD was raised from 127 to130 after he finished 2nd behind VARDY for the third time in consecutive meetings with the winner, while 3rd placed RAINBOW BRIDGE remains unchanged on 134 (equal to the winner.) 

The only horse to be given a drop was Undercover Agent, who goes from 127 to 124.


  • Three Troikas Stakes (Grade 3) 

MOUNT LAUREL has had her rating upped from 94 to 112 after she defied joint top weight to record her fourth win from five lifetime starts in the Grade 3 Three Troikas Stakes for three-year-old fillies over 1400m at Turffontein (standside track) on Saturday.  MOUNT LAUREL remains unbeaten against her own gender, her sole defeat to date having been incurred against male rivals. 

Runner-up VICTORIA PAIGE and fourth placed SPIRITOFTHEGROOVE were used as the line horses here, which means that their ratings both remain unchanged, but third placed MAGIC SCHOOL goes up from 100 to 107.  Fifth placed STAGE DANCE goes up from 91 to 104, while FROSTED STEEL was upped from 90 to 94. 

Two fillies were given a ratings drop, with GIN FIZZ being cut from 110 to 108 and MARYGOLD from 109 to 107.

 

  •   Tony Ruffel Stakes (Grade 3)

 

Ultra-promising IKIGAI was raised from 98 to 114 after he demolished his six rivals to win the Grade 3 Tony Ruffel Stakes over 1400m at Turffontein on Saturday.  The handicappers firmly believe that he deserves a prominent position amongst the best of his generation at this moment in time.  It should be noted that IKIGAI has consistently run to marks well above his pre-race rating of 98 in his last several starts, but those performances were all achieved in graduation plates and as such, in terms of the local conditions, his rating could not be adjusted for any of those runs. 

Third placed JOHN HANCOCK appealed as an obvious choice of line horse and accordingly his rating remains unchanged, but runner-up WESTLIFE (who was having his first start as a gelding) was raised from 81 to 103.  Fifth finisher VALETORIA goes up from 86 to 92, while in the race’s only drop JOHNNY HERO goes from 99 to 97. 

 


  • Lebelo Sprint (Handicap) Grade 3

 

MR FLOOD has had his rating increased from 107 to 110 after he returned from over a year on the sidelines to win the Grade 3 Lebelo Sprint (Handicap) over 1000m on the Turffontein standside track on Saturday 28 December 2019.  The third placed dead-heaters ORAVAR and ROMI’S BOY were considered to be the most suitable line horses to use when assessing this race and as such, their ratings remain unchanged, while second placed WINTER STORM is up from 102 to 104.

Several other changes were made, with DOWN TO ZERO dropping from 110 to 108.  NICKY NOO, whose rating was raised from 99 to 101 after the publication of the Lebelo Sprint weights and who accordingly was weighted off a 99 rating, was dropped back from 101 to 100. VALBONNE drops from 106 to 105, while RIVARINE (winner of this race as long ago as 2016) was dropped from 111 to 109.

 

  • Secretariat Stakes (Handicap) (Listed)

LEOPOLD has seen his rating increased from 88 to 98 after he captured the rescheduled Secretariat Stakes (Handicap) for three-year-olds over 1400m on the Turffontein standside track on Saturday.  The race had been scheduled for the previous Saturday, but was not run due to inclement weather and was an added-on event here.  Third placed GREEN LASER and fourth finisher AL BORAK were both used as the line horses, which means their ratings remain as they were, while runner-up VASEEM goes up from 89 to 97.

The only other change was to last placed ALAMEERY who drops from 90 to 88.

 

  • Memorial Mile (Listed)

SACRED ARROW remains unchanged on a rating of 110 after he led home a “trifecta” of Cape Town-trained visitors to win the Memorial Mile over 1600m on the Fairview Turf course on Friday.  Fourth placed TOLTEC – the first of the locally-trained horses to finish, was used as the line horse, with fifth placed BOLD VIKING also running to his mark and effectively becoming a line horse as well.  Accordingly, both of their ratings remain unchanged.  Interestingly, the winner in fact runs a whole 8 pounds below his rating in assessing the race this way.

Runner-up DUC D’ORANGE sees his rating increase from 92 to 101. Third placed EARTH HOUR whose rating had been dropped from 99 to 98 subsequent to the Memorial Mile weights being published, remains on the lower 98 level.  Numerous horses were given a ratings drop.  ELUSIVE SILVA goes from 111 to 109, LETS PLAY BALL was trimmed from 93 to 92.  KIMBERLEY STAR drops from 99 to 98, LAWS OF SUCCESSION is down from 96 to 94.  THE HIGHWAY MAN drops from 89 to 87 and BEN-HUR is down to 85 from 86.

 

  • Southeaster Sprint (Handicap) (Listed)

ELUSIVE TRADER has had his rating increased from 100 to 106 after he comfortably won the Southeaster Sprint (Handicap) over 1100m at Kenilworth on Saturday.  Third placed RUSSET AIR and fourth placed PLEASEDTOMEETYOU were both used as line horses, which means that both their ratings remain unaltered, but runner-up MUSHI STEREK goes up from 101 to 102.  Several horses had their ratings dropped.  WHAT A WINNER is down from 100 to 99.  READY STEADY GO was trimmed from 106 to 105, BWANA drops from 107 to 105, and BILLY SILVER was dropped from 103 to 101.  BILLY SILVER was badly impeded in the running, but he was given a two-pound drop as an overall re-assessment of his record rather than for this specific performance alone.

 


  • Flamboyant Stakes (Grade 3) 

Roy’s Riviera has had her rating upped from 108 to 111 after her victory in the Grade 3 Flamboyant Stakes for fillies and mares over 1600m at Geyville (turf) on Thursday 26th December.  It was a case of third time lucky in this event for the Australian-bred mare, who finished second in the race last season and third in the corresponding event two years ago.

In assessing the race, the Handicappers elected to rate the Flamboyant Stakes using runner-up Vistula to the level of 112 she actually achieved when winning a Grade 2 event at Turffontein earlier this season, and she was given a small drop of one pound from 115 to 114 after the Flamboyant.  Third placed Silent Crusade remains unchanged, but 4th finisher Waiting For Change goes up from 93 to 95.

Only one other change was made, with Elusive Heart being trimmed from 105 to 104.

 

  • Christmas Handicap (Listed) 

The Dazzler has seen his rating increased by 2 pounds after his narrow success in the Listed Christmas Handicap over 1600m at Greyville on Thursday,   Here, fourth placed Amor Ardiente was used as the line horse, which means that 3rd placed Shukamisa and 5th finisher Tristful also run to their marks and become de facto line horses as well.  As such, the ratings of all three horses remain unchanged, but runner-up Born To Perform goes up from 95 to 96.

Only two other changes were made, with Marchingontogether dropping from 116 to 114 and Q The Music going from 101 to 100.


  • Cape Guineas (Grade 1)

Kilindini has seen his merit rating jump from 99 to 122 after he ran out an impressive winner of the Grade 1 Cape Guineas over 1600m at the Kenilworth summer course on Saturday 21st December.  This colt was making his first start in a Feature race of any description and was simply a cut above his opposition in a race that many consider to be South Africa’s premier three-year-olds event.

The Handicappers were of the opinion that 5th placed Eden Roc was the appropriate line horse to use, in the belief that he would have run better in a Grade 1 Guineas than when he was beaten further, after travelling keenly in the early stages, in the Grade 2 Dingaans at his most recent start.  As such, Eden Roc was used to his mark of 114 when assessing the Guineas, having only run to a level of 110 in the Dingaans.  As such, Eden Roc’s rating remains unchanged on 114.

Runner-up Viva Rio was raised from 108 to 118, while third placed Macthief is up from 106 to 115.  Fourth placed Wild Coast was upped from 96 to 114, while 6th placed Viking Moon is up from 105 to 109, which makes him equal to 7th finisher Silver Operator and 8th placed King Of Gems.  Both of this latter pair ran to their marks in the Guineas, as did 9th placed Captain Tatters, so effectively all three become line horses as well.  Interestingly, Silver Operator and Captain Tatters have almost exactly replicated the form they showed in the Grade 3 Cape Classic on 26th October.

Two horses were given a ratings drop, with Putontheredlight going from 110 to 107 and Rock The Globe from 104 to 103. 

 


The National Horseracing Authority confirms that the Courier vehicle delivering the specimens that were collected from horses that participated at the Scottsville Race meeting on Sunday, 15 December 2019 and was en route to the NHA Laboratory, has been hijacked in Johannesburg. 

All the freight that was contained in the Courier vehicle, including the specimen boxes, was stolen. 

The incident has been reported to the South African Police Services.


  • World Sports Betting Cape Fillies Guineas (Grade 1)

Mississippi Burning has seen her merit rating climb from 97 to 116 after she ran out an easy winner of the WSB Cape Fillies Guineas over 1600m at Kenilworth (summer course) on Saturday 14th December.  This was her first try at 1600m and she handled the step up in distance with great ease.  Here, third placed Third Runway was deemed to be the correct line horse by the Handicappers and as such, her rating remains unchanged on 109. 

Runner-up Driving Miss Daisy has gone up from 104 to 110, while 4th placed Larentina goes up from 103 to 107.  5th placed Drama Queen and 6th placed Kelpie both go up to 105, from 95 and 99 respectively.  There was just 0.30 lengths between them, and it was felt appropriate to rate them as equals as a result.  The only drop was made to the rating of ROLL IN THE HAY, who goes from 102 to 100.

 

  • World Sports Betting Southern Cross Stakes (Grade 2)

Undefeated Run Fox Run has had her rating upped from 114 to 122 after she returned from an absence of more than six months to impressively win the Grade 2 Southern Cross Stakes for fillies and mares over the Kenilworth 1000m on Saturday.   Runner-up Princess Rebel (herself an easy winner of this race twelve months ago) was used as the line horse and as such her rating remains unchanged on 119. 

The winner aside, the only change made to the rating of any horse in this event was to 3rd placed Celestial Storm, who goes up from 104 to 110.  In fact, with the race rated the way it is, Celestial Storm actually achieves a mark of 116, but it was felt that this was completely out of sync with anything she has previously achieved, so plenty of caution was applied and she was given a rating of 110 to make her higher than 4th placed Canukeepitsecret, who remains on 109. 

 


With the resignation of Adv P Stais SC, a position became vacant on the National Board of Directors of The National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa (the NHA).  In terms of Chapter 4 of the Constitution of the NHA, the Nominations Committee has appointed Mr Laurence Wernars to fill the vacancy on the National Board in terms of clause 15.1.1 of the Constitution.  

Mr Wernars is an entrepreneur and a highly skilled negotiator who is currently the Owner and Chairman of the Studio 88 Group of Companies which comprises of just over 560 stores in Africa. 

Mr Wernars is also heavily invested in the sport of horseracing for 30 years and his current string of horses in racing and breeding is in excess of 250.  He has also served on multiple Boards within the Horseracing Industry with his recent resignation being from the Racing Association Board on 9 December 2019. 

The NHA welcomes Mr Wernars to the National Board and we believe that his passion of the sport of horseracing will stand him in good stead to ensure that the NHA’s objectives will continue to be met. 

This appointment is effective from 10 December 2019