Broth­ers eye Cup glory

FAM­ILY AF­FAIR: TALK­MORE AND VENGI MA­SAWI WORK IN DE KOCK STA­BLE

The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Bonginkosi Nkosi [email protected]­i­zen.co.za

One is groom of Sum­mer Cup favourite Bahrain, the other an as­sis­tant trainer.

It is no se­cret that there have been mis­guided nar­ra­tives cir­cu­lat­ing on mul­ti­ple me­dia plat­forms re­gard­ing the re­la­tion­ship be­tween train­ers and grooms in re­cent months.

The story of Talk­more Ma­sawi, the groom of Gaut­eng Sum­mer Cup favourite Barahin, is a bit of a tear-jerker, but for all for the right rea­sons.

Ma­sawi was born par­tially deaf and be­cause he grew up in a poverty-stricken ru­ral area in Zim­babwe, with par­ents who couldn’t af­ford a spe­cial needs school, he was de­nied the op­por­tu­nity to re­ceive any sort of for­mal ed­u­ca­tion.

Be­cause he wasn’t ex­pect­ing vis­i­tors when The Cit­i­zen ar­rived, Talk­more had left his hear­ing aids at home. But his older brother Vengi Ma­sawi, who is an as­sis­tant trainer to Mathew de Kock, was kind enough to sit in on the in­ter­view and speak for his brother.

“I got Talk­more into this busi­ness, but our jour­ney started in Zim­babwe,” said Vengi.

“I used to work for trainer Lisa Har­ris and one of the horses I looked af­ter was Earl Of Sur­rey, who was an ex­cep­tional race­horse.

“When we raided South Africa with him, I stayed behind and wound up work­ing for the Gary Alexan­der yard for about six months.”

The link be­tween the Ma­sawi broth­ers and Mike de Kock was made pos­si­ble by Zimbabwean trainer Sharon Pat­ter­son.

“That con­nec­tion is what changed our lives for the bet­ter,” said Vengi. “I am for­ever in­debted to the De Kocks. They are the rea­son my brother has hear­ing aids and a job. The De Kocks sent me to school and I’m grate­ful be­cause, as we all know, ed­u­ca­tion is the se­cret to life.”

Vengi said Mathew de Kock, son of Mike, has be­come more of a brother to him.

“He al­ways teaches me new things and he is the one who en­cour­aged me to shadow [the horse whis­perer] Malan du Toit so I can learn more about horses.

“Mathew is the rea­son I have been a part of Hawwaam’s ca­reer so far.”

Talk­more started work­ing for De Kock about four years ago and the first horse he looked af­ter was the now glo­be­trot­ting Mu­jaafy.

“It is amaz­ing that his first horse was that good,” said Vengi.

“He also looks af­ter a very promis­ing sort in Wal­laa at the mo­ment.

“My brother loves horses and he is very ex­cited that his favourite jockey, Bernard Fayd’Herbe, is back on Barahin for the Sum­mer Cup.”

Vengi was cau­tious when asked which horse will win this year’s R2 mil­lion spec­ta­cle.

“I’m very con­fi­dent that one of our five horses will win on Satur­day. Don’t leave them out of any­thing.” –

Pic­ture: Michel Bega

PROUD GROOM. Talk­more Ma­sawi with Ba­harin at the Mike de Kock sta­bles at the North Rand Training Cen­tre in Rand­jes­fontein ahead of to­mor­row’s Gaut­eng Sum­mer Cup.

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