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The Right Direction 

Racing moving in right direction
Lunga Gila – Woodhill Racing’s man on a mission
Horseracing in South Africa often comes under fire for the perception that it is a sport that is the preserve of the white elite and guilty of window-dressing when it comes to transformation. But a minor race victory for the Rupert Plersch bred Muhtafal gelding Sanfoneiro at Fairview on Friday was a nominal indicator that things may just be going in the right direction.

It was just under a year ago that Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies made the commitment to set up a team of facilitators to assist the industry to transform during the hearings on the status of transformation in the horse-racing industry held by Parliament’s portfolio committee on trade and industry.
On Friday the Glen Kotzen PE satellite yard under the management of Lunga Gila sent out the David and Nonhlanhla Molapo-owned Sanfoneiro in the hands of Muzi Yeni, to win the MR 62 Handicap run over the polytrack 1900m.
That’s a chestnut horse, prepared by a black trainer, ridden by a black jockey and owned by black owners-whose silks are black and white!
A great good luck story of transformation that passed almost unnoticed.

racing students
Lucas Kutase is seen second from left with the other students. Trainer Glen Kotzen has been at the forefront of promoting the upliftment of his previously disadvantaged personnel and said that the success of Lunga Gila was living proof that commitment and dedication paid dividends.
He said that Lunga had been working in the stable environment since his teens and had come highly recommended.

“We saw the potential in Lunga and he has proven to be a motivated and competitive kind of guy who works really hard to improve himself. I am also thrilled for David and Nonhlanhla and believe that this is their first winner on their own. Muzi also does a great job for us and he and Lunga appear to have struck up an understanding of note!” he said.
Kotzen has actively promoted the empowerment of his staff and groom Lucas Kutase recently completed a management in excellence course at the Summerhill School Of Equine Management Excellence in Mooi River.
“Lucas only arrived back at Woodhill on Thursday and his enthusiasm is tangible. He helped deliver ten foals at Summerhill and was a star student. He cannot stop raving about how the experience has shaped his outlook and given him the boost to make a success off his career. We are doing everything we can and he is starting in a Stable Employee position and will be shadowing our assistants,” said Kotzen.