Golf, racing in a small town and a Money Heist
As expected, the IRC’s co-sponsored charity golf day at the Belfry last week offered many memorable moments, and we had a wonderful ending to the week when Money Heist won at Scottsville on Saturday.
Our guests, Piere Strydom (with wife Chrisna) and James Goodman enjoyed themselves as much as we did on a bit of a whirlwind trip north from Heathrow Airport to Worcester and Birmingham, including a one-night stay in historic Worcester with a visit to Tony Carroll’s stables and a day at the races in town thrown in.
The stable visit was excellent, more about that later this week, and while the group didn’t exactly find winners at the jumps race meeting, the South Africans were really impressed by the attendance of plenty of townsfolk for an ordinary race meeting, and the atmosphere on course.
There were beer and food stands about, and groups of people arrived and left in groups, like churchgoers. Wish we had more faithful racing fans in SA!
One of the funniest moments at the Belfry came right at the start of the tournament when a field of 200 players awaited Goodman’s arrival from the putting green for a group photo. He invited a naturally standing applause when he drove literally 10m from the putting green to the edge of the T-box where the photo was taken.
The players got a taste of proper UK weather – four seasons in a day with rain, but there was a jolly vibe at the IRC race night afterwards where we staged eight video-taped races in a competition format in which guests had to pick the first four past the post.
Goodman interviewed Strydom on stage with some background info for the attendees and MC entertainer Aaron James had us all in stitches with jokes and jibes. He took care of the prize giving alongside Joao Da Mata.
The race night winner was Craig Copeland with 33 points, and he received a thousand pounds in cash from Joao, generously returned to the charity.
Goodman returned to South Africa last Friday, but Piere and Chrisna are loving the UK and were last seen in a Cardiff, Wales, hotel bar drinking Jagermeister.
‘Striker’ and James Goodman on the 1st Tee (left); Craig Copeland (middle), who gave GBP1000 in winnings back to Charity.
Trainer Gareth van Zyl told us months ago that Money Heist (Gimmethegreenlight) was a young horse with ability. Owned by Joao’s IRC syndicate and Laura De Haast, he was drawn widest of all in a 1600m Maiden Plate at Scottsville on Saturday and while Gareth was a bit worried about the draw, the best expression we can use is that Money Heist ‘shit in’!
Jockey Muzi Yeni was full of praise after the race, and noted that the steady pace helped his mount to move around runners and into a gap near the fence. From there, it was plain sailing. But we suspect he would have won it either way, strong pace or not.
Muzi’s comments after the race was most encouraging. “I think he’s up there with the best,” he said, referring to the current crop of young horses.
Gareth reported that he was ‘on a high’ after the race, believing that Money Heist is going places. He said this morning from his work ring at Summerveld: “Money Heist is walking in front of the string this morning, he normally doesn’t. He is alert, with his ears pricked. I like it.”
This suggests that Money Heist knows that he has done something right and has gained confidence. A decision about his immediate future will be made soon, there are options -IRC.
MONEY HEIST: Winning on Saturday (left); confident on work track (right).