WINDHOEK – The fast developing town of Rehoboth in the Hardap Region, sandwiched between the capital Windhoek and Mariental, is likely to come to a virtual standstill this coming weekend.
A sizeable number of thoroughbred racehorses and their respective jockeys are to line up for supremacy and bragging rights in the popular annual Rehoboth July Handicap at the Naris Turf Club in Rehoboth on Saturday.
The one-day meet has without a shadow of doubt become one of the most sought-after sports gatherings on the sporting calendar locally.
A record number of more than one hundred racehorses and their jockeys have been confirmed for this spectacle that has captured the imagination of locals and equestrian enthusiasts across the length and breadth of the country, from all walks of life.
Chief organiser Eamon Freygang is in high spirits about the prospects for the day, urging would-be revelers to turn up early for the bumper programme of recreational activities on the mouth-watering menu.
“This will probably be one of the biggest horse racing events ever on Namibian soil as we are expecting a large field of race horses and their respective jockeys.
“ I would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous input that made this exciting event possible – they are Tal Valley Shell Station, Stepher Investments, Vercyn Trading and New Beginning,” said Freygang.
The popular Weekend Band featuring veteran vocalist Bones Goodheart will provide live entertainment during the day’s proceedings – certainly also not an event to be missed.
All eyes will be fixed on Hiskia Kanangure stable’s ageing reigning champion gilding Mai Thaiga 9, in the Open 2000-metre sprint where boys will be separated from the men.
However, newcomer four-year-old gilding ‘Starlile’, christened after Namibian football double champions African Stars FC, from the Okahandja racing stables, could be the catalyst if last weekend’s performance in Aminuis is anything to go by.
Action gets underway in earnest on Saturday at 12h00 with the short Maidens 1000-metre sprint that sees Eamon Freygang’s three-year-old Marry Rockina headline an impressive line-up of ten entrants.
Freygang’s 2-year old gilding Tokkelosh is hot favourite to clinch honours in the Graduation 1000-metre sprint but could expect some resistance from Kobus Racing’s Colloseum.
Other races on the day’s programme include the A and D divisions 1000-metre sprints, Maidens and Graduation 1400 metres, A and D division 1600 metres, to be wrapped up with the popular ‘King of the Dirt’, the 2000-metre sprint Open Class.