Tomcat Team Pressing On And Upward

Michael de Haast, co-founder of IRC, with Cape Trainer Carl Hewitson, and his son Lyall Hewitson, who is sporting the IRC silks. Photograph Credit: Candiese Lenferna/Gold Circle.

His new Borrowdale Park yard was getting into stride when COVID struck, but far from being a candidate for a padded cell, Trainer Thomas Mason is extremely upbeat about the new racing season.

Despite the lengthy lockdowns, and on and off race meetings for months and months, things are looking up. Tomcat Racing has a couple of new owners – and we all know those are like hen’s teeth.

Michael de Haast (IRC), and Craig Dankwerts, have entered into partnership in a two-year-old Vercingetorix filly, Evocative, out of the Fantastic Light mare, Especially (IRE) – part of the formidable E-family which includes Elusive Fort and Empress Club. Fantastic Light, now retired from stud duties, was one of Godolphin’s original globetrotters. racing in seven countries and winning G1 contests in five.

It was recently reported that the International Racing Club (IRC) is approaching the 70-winner mark, worldwide, and with 45 runners in South Africa, the club has won 12 races and secured 18 places, so far. Joao da Mata and Michael de Haast, with his wife, Laura, launched IRC six years ago. One can join as a syndicate member, partner or fractional owner. It’s all about affordability, attracting more people into racing, and sharing the thrills.

Craig Dankwerts, has been racing at Borrowdale Park for many years, and he will also be supporting Tomcat Racing with three colts.

Strictly speaking Sibongile Moyo, who gets top marks for enthusiasm, is not a new owner having had shares in Tomcat Racing runners before. Now two of her horses, True Beauty and Diesel ‘n Dust, recently on holiday, are to join the Tomcat team.

It is not surprising Tom is feeling optimistic. He started his yard from scratch in August 2019 and you can catch up on some background in an article published in Sporting Post at that time –

Since then, memorable Tomcat Racing moments include Rawedge’s triumph in the 2700m Sunshine Cup in September 2019, and Holy Land, winning the Independence Trophy in June 2020.

So, onwards and upwards, Mr Mason, and all the best for 2021/22.

Jubilee, seen here with Tom Mason, Colleen de Jong and Apprentice Walter Shumba, will be stepping out again at Borrowdale Park on Sunday. Photograph Credit: Zimbabwe Equine News.

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