French Leave Owner sends warnings to rivals

• By Michael Uugwanga

AFTER seeing his horse named French Leave horse claim the 2022 Debmarine Gobabis Summer Derby the past weekend, executive member of the Aminuis Racing Club, Nongoo Katjiuanjo sent out a strong warning to owners of other clubs that his horse was ready to win every event that comes in their way.

Katjimune said this in an interview with Confidente, after witnessing French Leave win the Import Open 2200m that was worth N$22 500 in prize money, out of the N$50 000 in total prize monies that was catered for the Import Open division.

The event which was sponsored by Debmarine Namibia to a tune of N$250 000 and was held at the Gobabis Turf Club in Omaheke region.

The event organised by Aminuis Racing Club, from which French Leave belongs to, also saw other horses competing in other 17 disciplines on November 05.

“French Leave came first because of proper training and because we worked hard, so through hard-work we succeeded. There will be another event again here at the turf (Gobabis Turf Club), organised by NamAmerica on December 10, we are going to try again to win again. Our chances of winning are very good.

“I would like to tell them (rivals) that, go train hard and get your horses ready, do not lose hope, because it is a sport and you will one day be a winner. You will have to go back and do your home-work so that you come and fight against us,” Katjiuanjo said.

Ironically, on November 26, Okahatjipara will play host to the MTC Summer Cup, where French Leave and another Aminuis Racing Club horse, Visigoth are expected to produce another good performance.

Visigoth, a horse which won last year’s event at the Gobabis Summer Derby could only take fourth position in the Import Open 2200m race, walking away with a N$4 5000, while second placed horse, Crystal Stream of Khomas Turf Club received N$13 5000 and third placed horse Starlile of Okahandja Racing Club, got N$9 000.

Aminuis Racing Club is also home to Lady Diamond that won the Nambred Open 2000m, while Ekuva horse took second place.

Other horse belonging to Aminuis Racing Club are Honest Illusion which won the Import D-Division 200m, Weerlig which failed to make it on podium and Chief Black Horse also failed to make the podium in the Import Open 1200m.

“Some of our horses did not do very well, such as Visigoth the previous champion in this race (Summer Derby), but we are happy with the overall performance of the horses, especially the French Leave. It is my birthday today (November 05), so it was a good birthday gift,” Katjiuanjo said.

He paid tribute to jockey, Ulla Witbooi who rode on French Leave saying that Witbooi is arguably the best jockey in country.

“Ulla Witbooi is our top jockey. He did it in Botswana in April this year, as we won the same amount (N$ 22 5000) Mascom derby,” he said.

Witbooi in his words said he was confident of winning more events stating he enjoyed competing with French Leave, and challenged the corporate world to assist jockeys financially.

Witbooi made a total of N$3,150 at the Derby.

The race was good but people and companies should sponsor us more so that we go forward, because we only get small amounts as winning bonuses. Yes, I am confident of winning because I started riding horses when I was 14 and that was in 2012,” said the 24-year-old jockey.

Namibian sprinter and Olympic silver medalist, Christine Mboma had a namesake in the competition, as a horse named after her won two races, in the Nambred Graduation 1000m and Nambred Gruaduation 1800m.

Mboma a male horse belongs to Harambee Sports Club.

“ We named the horse after Christine Mboma the moment we bought it because of its qualities as it runs faster, just like Mboma (Christine),” Sox Kambatuku, executive member of Harambee Sports Club.