Hollywoodbets is a proud sponsor of the Stuart Pettigrew Racing Stables. He currently trains Blessed Rain for the Hollywood Syndicate, a smart filly by Soft Falling Rain and we caught up with him to learn a bit more about how he started in the racing industry.

Stuart Pettigrew has been in the racing industry since the age of 14, where he started out as an apprentice jockey. Despite going onto win the apprentice jockey championship, he would have to give up riding due to his weight issues.

In 1981, he worked as an assistant trainer to the likes of Keith Chant and Roy Magner, before going on his own 10 years later in 1991.

Stuart has trained multiple Group 1 winners, namely Golden Globe (winner of the Germistion November), Spiced Gold (winner of the SA Classic), Tyson (Gauteng Summer Cup), and most recently Surchage (winner of the Daily News 2000).

Stuart leads his team at the North Rand Training Centre, with the hopes of getting the best out of every horse in the yard. His aim is provide owners with the fun involved in owning a race horse, and the satisfaction of knowing their horse is in good hands.

Which horses are you currently training for the Hollywood Syndicate?
Just the one, Blessed Rain, which is a filly by Soft Falling Rain.

How long have you been in the industry?
Since 1978.

Where did it all start?
Zimbabwe.

Highs and Lows of your career?
Highs… any Grade 1 winner! Lows would have to be when I lose a horse or a horse gets injured. I am very fond of my horses and become rather attached to them.

Best horse you have trained?
Surcharge – he has had 6 wins so far, including the Grade 1 Daily News 2000, and two 2nds in Grade 1 races.

What do you look for in a horse, when walking around a sales yard?
Any horse that catches my eye in terms of looks and appearance. If I can see something special in a horse, from the way he or she walks, to the scope a particular horse has to grow into something special.

Where are you currently based?
North Rand Training centre, Johannesburg

What is your best attribute that has made you a successful trainer?
Hard work, attention to detail, a will to keep learning and special love I have for horses

Who is the head groom at your stable?
Nicholas is my assistant who has been licensed for around 8 years now. He attends a lot of race meetings when we have runners, to allow me to be at stables with the rest of my horses. He has a great relationship with our owners and is well know and liked in the Gauteng racing circles.

What would you say is the strength of South African racing / breeding and what could make it stronger?
South African racing has many great attributes, from having great trainers to highly skilled jockeys and knowledgeable breeders – they are as good as their international counterparts the world over. In terms of improving horse racing, the operators are the best positioned to make a major positive impact on the industry.

What is your biggest dream?
To win the SA Derby and the Vodacom Durban July!

Follow the Stuart Pettigrew Racing Stables on their official website.

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