In order to maintain Investec’s position as a powerhouse in the financial world, their top man, Bernard Kantor, has had to pull a few rabbits out of the hat.
One of his best moves was to step in when Vodafone dithered about extending their sponsorship of the Epsom Derby – Bernard didn’t hesitate and the publicity Investec has received far outweighs the cost.
The next move by the 67-year-old co-founder of Investec was to lure the world’s most famous jockey, Frankie Dettori, to another Investec-sponsored event, the Grade 1 Cape Derby on Sun Met Day. Probably not a huge task as Frankie is their official “racing ambassador”.
To say the whole exercise ended up a resounding success is an understatement.
“It doesn’t get better than that,” enthused Bernard after the race. “We brought out the world’s best-known jockey for an Investec-sponsored race, he’s gone and won it on a son of Count Dubois (his stallion) and in the colours of a great friend of mine, Markus Jooste.”
Winning trainer, Brett Crawford, who had the sort of meeting that he’ll remember forever, commented: “Having a rider like Frankie makes all the difference – I didn’t have to give him any instructions.”
Frankie, for his part, enjoyed the occasion although this Derby on Edict Of Nantes would rate a long way behind his two big Epsom triumphs on Authorized (2007) and Golden Horn (2015).
We chatted after his win and he said: “You know, Molly, I apparently agreed to come (to SA) during a party (in the UK), but by the morning I’d forgotten about it. Then the next day my agent reminded me and I said ‘Blimey, I’d better go then,’.”
The stipes slapped Frankie with a R1500 fine for waving his whip on Edict Of Nantes before the winning post, but the 46-year-old is unlikely to call in racing’s number one legal man, Mannie Witz, to defend his case.
However, he could argue he was simply waving congratulations to Bernard Kantor in the main stand!
On the Sun Met front, the confidence expressed by Brett Crawford in last week’s column will hopefully have encouraged a number of punters to back his Aussie import, Whisky Baron.
Now firmly entrenched in the premier league of trainers dominated by Sean Tarry and Justin Snaith, Brett had always believed that his charge could get the better of Legal Eagle as he had progressed in an upward curve since being gelded.
Both Whisky Baron and Edict Of Nantes will be entered for the Vodacom Durban July and the fact that the former’s time in the Met was five seconds faster than the Derby suggests a Met-July double is very much on the cards.
No escaping the fact that all the Snaith runners – headed by Bela- Bela – along with the second favourite, Marinaresco, were disappointments in the race and some experts now believe that the latter is not as good as his connections believe.
Brett’s other feature success on Saturday came in the Kuda Sprint in which Bold Respect, a son of Bold Silvano, suggested he was a steal when purchased as a yearling for R200,000.
Two horses who will never see my money again are “Looney Tunes” Cloth Of Cloud and Aussie import, Lineker.
I told the assembled company at my Kenilworth table: “If the filly gets to the start in one piece, she’ll blitz them coming back.” She got to the start OK, but after 200m was trailing as if left at the start or had simply refused to gallop
As she can’t go to the paddocks for a few months, my move would be to send her to Mike Stewart’s stable at picturesque Noordhoek – he’s a master with difficult horses and Cloth Of Cloud certainly falls into that category
Would you like to place a bet on the horses? Click here to get started in 3 easy steps.