Meanwhile in … South Africa: owner makes history via Hollywood ending in Durban July

Horse Racing Ashwin Reynolds Kommetdieding
History maker: Ashwin Reynolds with his Durban July winner Kommetdieding. Photo: Gold Circle

South Africa: Mike de Kock said, “This is what movies are made of” – and all the ingredients of a Hollywood blockbuster were present in the success of Kommetdieding in the Durban July.

The three-year-old colt’s owner Ashwin Reynolds became the first person of colour to win South Africa’s biggest race when his horse, whose name is Afrikaans slang for ‘Bring it on’, overcame the widest draw of all to triumph behind closed doors at Greyville.

“I was saying to myself ‘Do you really know what you did?’,” said Reynolds of the colt bought for R55,000 (£2,700) as a yearling.

Horse Racing Kommetdieding
Trainers Harold Crawford (left) and Michelle Rix (right) lead in Kommetdieding (Gavin Lerena) after winning the Durban July at Greyville. Photo: Gold Circle/Candiese Lenferna

“It is breathtaking – I can’t explain it,” he added, speaking to Gold Circle. “You can buy a horse for R10 million or R55,000, it doesn’t matter, because this is what it is all about. I am really chuffed to be part of South African history.

“From my heart I want to thank the people of the Cape Flats for shouting for this horse and I now hope people will be able to approach trainers to get into this game and enjoy it the way I am.”

Reynolds, who lost his father when he was a child, went to work aged 16 to support his family and spent two years working as a labourer on building sites in Britain before starting his own business.

Kommetdieding triumphed for the small Cape Town stable of veteran trainer Harold Crawford and his daughter Michelle Rix.

He also delivered a first Durban July win for two-time South African champion jockey Gavin Lerena who had to shed nearly 4kg (8lb) to make the handicap weight after being approached to replace his inexperienced regular rider Sihle Cele.

• Visit the Crawford Rix Racing website

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