KZN Yearling Sale Promotional Photoshoot At Suncoast

KZN Yearling Sale Promotional Photoshoot At Suncoast

Alesh Naidoo and Mandy Testa with Winter Wizard at Suncoast. Photo: Candiese Marnewick

Under blue skies on a fabulously warm winter’s day in Durban with pods of dolphins seen in the water amongst the surfers, a combined effort by KZN Breeders and Suncoast saw a promotional photoshoot take place this morning at Suncoast beach for the upcoming Suncoast KZN Yearling Sale taking place on 4-5 July, organised by Durban socialite Vibeke Meehan and included racing celebrities Alesh Naidoo and Mandy Testa, along with our beautiful model – the recently crowned Miss Ushaka Chloe Stone.

The South African Jockey Academy, represented by riding master Rhys Van Wyk assisted with providing the equine model for the day, the big and very handsome retired racehorse Winter Wizard – who usually spends his days at the South African Jockey Academy in Summerveld teaching young apprentice riders how to become jockeys – was transported to the venue courtesy of Gold Circle.

KZN Breeders invited Alesh Naidoo and Mandy Testa to participate after their recent significant racing successes and valuable contribution to the racing and breeding industry.

Alesh Naidoo has approximately 60 horses in training and recently achieved a dream of winning a Grade 1 race, the SA Classic with KZN-bred Love Struck, a striking bay gelding by champion sire Kahal and bred by South Africa’s 8th consecutive breeder champions, Summerhill Stud. Alesh who recently completed his tenth Comrades marathon, also has the honour of being Gold Circle’s Racing Personality of the Year. Love Struck has been entered to compete in this year’s Vodacom Durban July.

Mandy Testa of Midlands Thoroughbreds is a businesswomen who breeds in partnership with her husband Manny Testa – who is also a director on the board of the KZN Breeders Association.

Miss Ushaka Chloe Stone and Winter Wizard. Photo: Candiese Marnewick

Midlands Thoroughbreds sent their first consignment of yearlings bred in their name to the 2012 KZN Yearling Sale – and have been blessed with a champion from their first crop. A fairy-tale story, the chestnut filly Virgo’s Babe was passed through unsold at the sale and Manny offered her to Mr D R & Mrs M Foster & Mr T Pandaram for just R10 000 – it is their very first racehorse purchase. The flying filly has got a sparkling career off with a bang – winning two of her five starts and placing in another two. Her wins include the recent Grade 2 SA Fillies Nursery by a staggering five lengths and there are high hopes for the filly, who has been sent to KZN for the racing season ahead.

Virgo’s Babe has a half-brother named Mochetorte by Second Empire being offered by Midlands Thoroughbreds at the Suncoast KZN Yearling Sale taking place at the beginning of next month. Our models for the day were the beautiful Chloe Stone, recently crowned Miss Ushaka 2013, ably assisted by her equine counterpart Winter Wizard.

Rhys taking Winter Wizard into the sea. The horse loved it. Photo: Candiese Marnewick

Winter Wizard took everything in his stride, arriving at the beach very confidently and enjoyed frolicking in the waves before his work began – which he seemed to enjoy – in fact he didn’t want to load on the horsebox to return home!

Winter Wizard was owned by Sabine Plattner and trained by Yogas Govender as a racehorse – Yogas trained this years’ J&B Met winner Martial Eagle for Mrs Plattner. A seven year old gelding by Western Winter out of French Winter by Model Man, the tall gelding had a career that spanned over five years which included five wins and four places – including running five lengths off South African racing legend Pocket Power in the Gr 2 Green Point Stakes. His debut run saw him win by almost seven lengths at Kenilworth. He ran his last race on 18 June 2010, retiring to the South African Jockey Academy. Bred by Varsfontein Stud, he sold for R180 000 at the 2004 National Yearling Sale.

Chloe and Winter Wizard at Suncoast. Photo: Candiese Marnewick

Currently the home of approximately 40 apprentices, many from underprivileged backgrounds, the South African Jockey Academy (SAJA) is the place of choice for jockey training across the world.

It provides an education and career training in one which makes it unique in that it’s the only Academy of its kind that provides a five year jockey apprenticeship in conjunction with a National Senior Certificate (Grade 10 – 12). During their apprenticeship the young jockeys also need to ride 60 winners. The apprentices receive intensive race riding training from professional riding masters (ex jockeys) while completing their academic studies.

Once the apprentices have completed their educational curriculum at the Summerveld campus, some of them are transferred to our branches situated in Gauteng, Western Province and the Eastern Cape where they continue their training, ride track work and ride in races.

Riding master Rhys Van Wyk of the South African Jockey Academy taking Winter Wizard for a stretch at Suncoast. Photo: Candiese Marnewick

An apprentice jockey usually starts race riding in their second year of their five year apprenticeship and they begin to earn racing fees, a portion of which is deposited into their personal account.

The Academy is rated as one of the best in the world and is recognised for its quality of training. To date, many of the South African Jockey Academy graduates have gone on to win international championships, as far afield as the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Singapore and Macau. Michael ‘Muis’ Roberts, Basil Marcus, Douglas Whyte, Mark Khan, Felix Coetzee, Jeffrey Lloyd, Weichong Marwing, Piere Strydom, Robbie Fradd, Anton Marcus, Anthony Delpech to name but a few.

The SAJA are proud of their apprentices who have been competing and winning at major International Apprentice Championships in Macau, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Australia and New Zealand. For more information on the South African Jockey Academy visit

Manny Testa, Chloe Stone, riding master Rhys Van Wyk of the South African Jockey Academy and Mandy Testa with Winter Wizard at Suncoast. Photo: Candiese Marnewick

The graduates of the 2012 Suncoast KZN Yearling Sale has already produced a talented crop of two year olds with Gr 1 Allan Robertson winner Happy Valentine, Gr 2 SA Fillies Nursery winner Virgo’s Babe and Gr 2 Umkomazi winner Colour Of Courage bred by Backworth Stud – the first Group winner for young sire Judpot.

Find your next winner at the Suncoast KZN Yearling Sale on 4-5 July, with 291 horses catalogued – 16 of them stand the chance to qualify and compete in the 2014 KZN Yearling Sale Million on next year’s Vodacom Durban July day over 1300m and take home a cool stake of R1 million. To view the online catalogue visit

Yearlings registered with the KZN Breeders Premium Scheme will be marked with hip stickers and will also stand a chance to compete in the KZN Breeders Race Day 2014, a race day restricted to horses that are registered as “KZN-breds” which sees seven races each for a stake of R200 000 on the day, and the Million Mile for 3&4 year old horses with a suitable merit rating to compete. The KZN Breeders Race day this year takes place on 30th June at Greyville racecourse.

A big thank you to Alesh Naidoo, Mandy Testa, Chloe Stone, Rhys Van Wyk and the South African Jockey Academy, and Gold Circle for the horse transport.

To see a full gallery of our behind the scenes photoshoot, visit our Facebook page at the following link.

Alesh Naidoo and his wife with Winter Wizard at Suncoast. Photo: Candiese Marnewick


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