A BRIEF VISIT TO SOUTH AFRICA
I’ve just returned from a winter break in Cape Town. What an amazing part of South Africa with its miles of white beaches and stunning Table mountain. Aside from the usual holiday activities I spent some time with one of South Africa’s leading trainers Joey Ramsden. Joey got his licence in 1996 and has since been Champion trainer 4 times, he is brother of former Channel four presenter Emma Spencer and syndicate manager James Ramsden, both good friends and supporters of the yard.
I went to Joeys yard at 6.15am in order to see first lot pull out, it’s always interesting to see how other trainers organize and arrange their training and staff. Joey has three deep sand tracks and a grass gallop to choose from that run from 6f – to a mile long, generally his horses all have one canter on non work mornings. Joey has bought 3 treadmills something that he finds invaluable when training out here, this was something I was keen to learn more about, having thought about investing in one. The riders and yard staff are all locally based, many looked fantastic riders however, more noticeable was the ecliptic array of clothing, white welly boots being the choice of many! The horses are sent out in two lots as opposed to our three or even four in order to beat the burning Cape Town sun.
Unfortunately, I'm heading home and missing the famous Queens Plate which makes up part of a very important two day meeting for many of the local trainers. I'd like to wish Joey the best of luck with all his runners over the next couple of days and also thank him for a wonderful insight into South African racing.
I'm now raring to go again and feel we have a lovely bunch of horses to go to war with.
Roll on 2017!