Local realises racing dream of Vodacom Durban July runner

Local enters Durban July
Pagoda being led in by the winning connections

They say if you dream it you can do it. Come the first Saturday in July, one extremely enthusiastic local lad, Kuben Gengan, will realise one of his lifelong dreams of having a runner in South Africa’s most prestigious horse racing event, the Vodacom Durban July.

His hopes of winning the Vodacom Durban July rest ‘in the hands’ of the talented Pagoda, currently trained by the “Governor” Geoff Woodruff.

This 3-year-old has won 3 of his 11 starts to date, having won the Listed Derby Trial and placed 2nd in the Grade 1 SA Derby. His trademark devastating turn of foot has seen him develop into a serious Vodacom Durban July prospect.

Kuben, the majority shareholder in Pagoda, was born and raised in Umzinto and attended Roseville Secondary School. He currently resides in Johannesburg and can often be found at Woodruff’s Randjesfontein stables where he keeps a close eye on his horses.

His parents Stanley and Asothie Gengan still reside in Umzinto and have to make the monthly trek up to Johannesburg to watch the Pagoda run at Turffontein. An avid racing fan, Stanley used to frequent the tote as a young child with his grandfather.

Kuben started his venture into the sport of horse racing in 2012, when, with the guidance of his younger, brother they purchased the 2 year old son of Kildonan( later named Chester My Boy) at the Emperors Place Ready to Run sale.

His racing interest over the years have expanded and at one stage included 5 horses. He presently has 3 horses in training, two of which are unraced and are currently trained by the former South African Champion trainer Geoff Woodruff. Kuben is thrilled to have a lifelong dream come true and says, “The Durban July has always been a dream, now it’s going to become a reality.

I have been receiving numerous’ phone calls from local family and friends wishing us well, ever since the final field was confirmed and I am sure our boy Pagoda will do us all proud. The horse is fit and well and will definitely see out the 2200m race.

He should be running at them very late on as is his inclination. As always with the Durban July he will need a little luck in running and, touch wood, he will be right there when the whips are cracking at the finish line.”


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