Pocket Power starts new career

2011-12-05 13:16

Cape Town - South Africa’s legendary racehorse, Pocket Power, kicked up his hooves again in Constantia, beginning a new career as a showjumper.

Pocket Power retired earlier this year after a storied career in which he won more than R10 million and 20 races, including an unprecedented four L'Ormarins Queen’s Plates, three J&B Mets and one Vodacom Durban July.

According to the Cape Times, speaking at the launch of Gary Lemke’s book Pocket - The Story of a Racing Legend, trainer Mike Bass said: “Pocket is quirky, stubborn, but above all, brave.”

Breeder Dan de Wet said he could sense that Pocket would be ‘the one’.

"The guinea fowl were especially noisy that morning … it was almost as if they were celebrating something special,” De Wet said.

Pocket was bought for R190 000 as a yearling in 2004 by Marsh Shirtliff, who owns 77 horses and now co-owns Pocket with Arthur Webber. “Pocket is the best horse I’ve ever owned,” Shirtliff said.

Pocket’s six-year racing career was followed fiercely by local fans. Jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe always sported blue, pink, and white.

“Pink for the girls, blue for the boys, and white for everyone else - the People’s Horse,” said Lemke, the author of Pocket’s story.

Pocket now resides at The Oaks stable in Constantia where table owner Belinda Haytread rides Pocket daily, getting him ready for shows.

Pocket will lead the participating horses out at the upcoming Queen’s Plate on January 7.

Pocket - The Story of a Racing Legend is now available at selected stores and online at where all copies will be signed by trainer Mike Bass.

The book is nearly 300 pages long and includes 48 pages of colour photographs. South African golfing legend Gary Player wrote the foreword.

Author Gary Lemke has won numerous awards, including the 2009 SAB Sports Journalist of the Year. He is a former newspaper sports editor and worked in London's 'Fleet Street'.