The Khaya Stables Star Grooms campaign kicks in again from 4th December 2021

The Khaya Stables Star Grooms campaign kicks in again from 4th December 2021. The monetary incentives are a show of appreciation for Grooms, who occupy such a pivotal role in horseracing.  For the duration of the Summer Season until the final G1 race day on 28 February 2022, Khaya Stables will be rewarding the Top 5 grooms in all Graded events as follows:

 1st place: R5000

2nd place: R2000

3rd place: R1500

4th place: R1000

5th place: R500

 The winning grooms will also receive a beautiful trophy.

Grooms are unsung heroes in thoroughbred racing. They are linked with the welfare of racehorses – handling and caring for them every day. Their job may not be glamorous as most of their labours are carried out far away from the limelight, yet they remain truly essential workers.

Typically, a groom takes responsibility for three horses. Daily tasks include feeding and watering, providing regular grooming of the horse, conducting physical inspections to detect soundness problems, plus treating smaller ailments according to veterinary advice. 

They also have a multitude of additional duties to fulfil on race days.

Grooms get to work very early with some stables starting their routines before five o clock in the morning. Long before most people are awake grooms are grafting hard, regardless of the weather, and their day of physical toil can extend into the evening hours. A normal working schedule involves being at stables six days a week, including weekends.

Horse racing takes place in all the major cities of SA, so grooms are accustomed to hitting the road, going from track-to-track as the racing season, trainer and race programme may require.

Because most of their work is done behind the scenes, grooms seldom receive the public acknowledgement they deserve. The Star Grooms campaign was conceived to place them in the spotlight and reward them for their tireless dedication.

Another highlight slated for Summer is the Work Riders versus Jockeys Challenge. The inaugural running was staged in March 2021, with world class jock, Grant van Niekerk winning this unique and well- received event on T Çhalla. Picture the Moment ridden by Luke Ferraris (now based in Hong Kong) came second and Paper Trail neatly handled by skilled work rider, Lungisani Geledu, clocked in third in a full-field sprint down the Kenilworth straight course.

The innovative contest is again expected to attract positive feedback from a broad audience due to wide exposure across a variety of media platforms. Lady Christine Laidlaw’s Khaya Stables will continue with their sponsorship of the race – prize money has generously been increased to R200 000.

Khaya Stables are also extending their association as naming sponsor of the R600 000 Diadem Stakes. This is a Grade 2 for high class sprinters over 1200m at Kenilworth, which like the Work Riders versus Jockeys challenge, will take place on a massive Derby Day program taking shape as one of the major attractions of the Cape Summer Season. Last year’s winner, Rio Querari asserted his authority in dominant style before going on to cement his status as Champion Sprinter in South Africa in the G1 Computaform Sprint at Turffontein.