Humdinger wins Listed Off To Stud Stakes.

The IRC’s first Listed winner!

Four-year-old Humdinger gave the International Racing Club our first Listed success in the Off To War Stakes over 1600m at Scottsville and we are truly delighted, not only with the black type she earned, but with her impressive manner of victory.

When she won after a short rest on 24 July, trainer Mike de Kock told us that her time off had done Humdinger the world of good and that she had filled out and was in a good space, hence his decision to keep her in KZN for the Scottsville feature.

Humdinger had to commit from the widest of draws – she got over easily and then strode along steadily in front under jockey Kabelo Matsunyane, making it a gun-to-wire win in good style. She’s kicked on well in both wins and is as confident as they come now. Mike hasn’t earmarked any specific future races yet, she will probably go for a summer feature on the Highveld and will be considered for a Cape campaign, but she’s got us excited and we’re hoping she can go on and win again at black-type level.


Humdinger races for the International Racing Club Syndicate of which Joao Da Mata is the nominee and inclusive of Krish and Clemence Nagendran and Ian Lewis; also Mike de Kock and Laura De Haast. Laura and husband Mike de Haast selected Humdinger from the 2020 November Two-Year-Old Sale when those around Mike at the time remember him saying, “I’ve just bought a peach of a filly from Ridgemont/Highlands!” He snapped her up for just R180,000 (app £8,900).

Humdinger is by What A Winter from Himalayan Hill, by Fort Wood, who incidentally won the Off To Stud Stakes herself in 2012 and has also produced Glacier Gold, a full-sister and also a Listed Stakes winner in Port Elizabeth.

Mike de Kock reported this morning: “Humdinger is floating today, solid and sound” – music to any owners’ ears.


BIG AND BEAUTIFUL: Skip Mahler has passed his first test.

The IRC’s first ever runner in Ireland on Saturday was Skip Mahler, a five-year-old son of the Galileo stallion Mahler. He made his debut in a National Hunt bumper (flat race) at Kilbeggan Racecourse over 3200m and finished a creditable third. The partners alongside the IRC in this one are Phil Molony, Lee Bolingbroke and Charles Sutton, who would all have been as happy as our Joao Da Mata with the run.

Trainer Lorna Fowler, who told us beforehand that she likes to start potential jumpers off on the flat and that Skip Mahler faced a tricky task on a track with “dips and turns” reported after the race: “He ran a huge race, we knew he was going to be green in his first run, and on a difficult track. He took it all in and just improved through the race.

“That’s what you want to see first time out – your horse coming though the pack. He was a little further back than intended because he got a bang and jockey Pat Taaffe didn’t want to hustle him up, he just let him find his stride. We are very pleased with him as he is with himself today!”

Skip Mahler is a big horse with his best ahead of him and we look forward to seeing him in action again soon.  -IRC.