Highlands bred Gr1 winning milestone for Hattingh family
“If it doesn’t come from the heart, stay out of the game. It’s not about the money – it’s all about passion and families.”
Owner Hugo Hattingh and his wife Suzanne celebrated a pinnacle in their racing life when the exciting Highlands-bred Eyes Wide Open stormed to victory in the Premiers Champion Stakes to give them a well-deserved first Gr1 strike.
The Hattingh’s Dynasty colt was tuned to the minute by Paarl-based trainer Glen Kotzen and piloted by crack Cape lightweight Richard Fourie – who coincidentally will be sponsored by the family’s Chrigor Stud from 1 September.
Hugo Hattingh is a man horseracing needs another thousand of.
A successful businessman in his own right, he has invested heavily in both racing and breeding stock. After getting involved as far back as 1992 with Alec Laird, he took a sabattical twelve years ago, after tragedy struck.
“I owned Gold Bowl winner The Eiger Sanction. He hurt himself on the irrigation at Clairwood. When one gets a call from your trainer on a Saturday, it is not likely to be good news. It wasn’t. Geoff Woodruff told me what happened. This honest and talented galloper was a gelding and Baker McVeigh tried their best to save him. It was extremely traumatic for us as a family. We took a break for 5 years and came back in 2009. I’m glad we did!”
Hugo says he is a Kotzen man from start to finish.
“We are a family. We enjoy their family. We are close friends. I pay a little bit more to keep my horses out in the magnificent surrounds of their Woodhill Estate – but it’s worth every cent. There is less stress and most importantly they are away from the viruses that are more likely to be prevalent at Milnerton and Phillipi. It is horsey heaven and the Woodhill Team are first class. What more could an owner ask for,” he says with sincerity.
Hugo raced good horses like Light The Lights in the name of the Tripple H Trust, and his wife Suzanne is the nominee of their new racing and breeding vehicle, Chrigor Stud. It is a name that came to him while aboard a flight overseas and an amalgam of Hattingh’s children’s names – daughter Christal and son Gordon.
Besides the racecourse action, Hugo keeps broodmares on various farms.
“Our Silvano filly Wings Of Fortune has a youngster by Rebel King who will race soon. She was no champion – she won four races but no black type sadly – but she has a big heart and is well bred. She is in foal to Gimmethegreenlight and will go to Highlands new future star, Rafeef next.”
Hugo is looking forward to a big season.
“We have high hopes thanks to our best string yet. Selangor Cup winner Gold Standard has been rested and he will be prepped for the Queen’s Plate – then on to the Met and July. You saw a few of the young guns over the weekend. These are exciting times for us. We saw some great performances from Sean Tarry with his 7 Gr1 winners this past season. But I want to tip Glen Kotzen for a top five finish this term. We know this game tames lions but we are setting our sights high. We have to, with the good people and the great horses on our team!”
– Sporting Post