Humdinger wins. (Candiese Lenferna).

Humdinger brings joy to Joao and owners

We’ve been expecting Humdinger to win for several months and she put it all together after a string of places to win a Graduation Plate over 1500m at Scottsville on Sunday.

She turned into the straight with the proverbial ‘double handful’ and jockey Richard Fourie had an armchair ride all the way through as she maintained her momentum this time.

Humdinger has come to the business end of a few races looking like she’ll win going away, but she’s run out of steam every time, which had us a little baffled because trainer Mike de Kock has always thought of her as a filly with some ability.

Joao Da Mata, who is in South Africa with his son, Jessy, commented: “When I saw her coming into the home run I just said, ‘sit, Richard, sit, don’t let her go yet!’ and that’s we he did. She put them away this time, it was really satisfying to see.”

Joao added: “To lead in a winner with Jessy was a dream come true for me. There was an owner here the other day who enjoyed his first winner in over 20 years of trying, one can’t push buttons and expect them to win when it suits you. To have this pleasure was a rare treat, thanks to Mike and his team and to Richard.”

Fourie said: “It was nice to have all Humdinger’s owners here, that’s what’s racing is all about. She was impressive today, did a bit of pacework. She may have had a run or two, too many, in Johannesburg and Mike pulled her back to return fresh.”


Mike confirmed: “Yes, her rest did her the world of good and she’s also filled out physically, she is stronger and that, I think, has made all the difference as she ran all the way through here. I am thinking of a Listed race for her in August, also at Scottsville, she loves it here.”

Mike and Laura de Haast, who selected Humdinger as a yearling from the Ridgemont/Highlands barn, were on course and Mike said: “We are chuffed, Laura owns a share and I want to congratulate Ian Lewis from Newcastle in the UK and also Krish Nagendran from Geneva, new owners who have taken shares in Humdinger. We are thankful to have them on board and to get the ball rolling.”

Humdinger is by What A Winter from Himalayan Hills by Fort Wood. She’s 3 from 11 now with stake earnings over R250,000. She was an R180,000 buy from the 2020 Bloodstock SA National Two-Year-Old Sale.


On the subject of sales and purchases, bloodstock agent Michael Donahoe predicted in an interview with Irish Field last week that markets will change to suit new trends in the next few years.

He noted: “The bloodstock market will always dictate what breeders breed for, and at the moment they’re looking for precocious two-year-olds, but I think that could change. I’ve noticed at the sales that the desire for a mile or a mile-and-a-quarter horse – the late two-year-old, three-year-old type – has come back up. This is mostly due to the Australian market, which is really on the up and they’re buying more horses there.

“I think it must be a case of supply and demand, because there is a shortage of those types of horses at sales. Before it was 50-50, whereas now it’s 70-30, faster types to mile-plus types.”  – IRC.