"...sound, fit horses can race as often as possible so that they can keep earning and our valued patrons can stay ahead of the game."
The aim is to find suitable races for horses around the country to stay competitive. Spies Racing believes that sound, fit horses can race as often as possible so that they can keep earning and our valued patrons can stay ahead of the game.
The stable is known for shrewd purchases, ‘cheapies’ that are precocious types that race and win early over sprint distances, but in effect regularly win over all distances. Tobie won the Caradoc Gold Cup over 3200m with Northern Flame, had many successes with stayers like Aced, Fearless Fred and Chic while Corne finished first and second in South Africa’s longest race, the PE Gold Cup over 3600m with Campo De Santana and Heyouneverknow, in 2012.
My dad taught me everything I know, but not everything that he knows. There is just no replacement for the old school horsemen
Tobie won his first race as an amateur jockey on one of these horses at the age of 7.
Too big to be a jockey, he started a career as a surveyor on the mines and soon proved his worth becoming the youngest senior official in the Anglo American group at the time with 13 mining qualifications.
But his heart was always in racing and in 1977 he acquired a couple of broodmares and started breeding thoroughbreds as a hobby. When the oldest foals he produced became of racing age he applied for an Owner Trainers license with the then Jockey Club of SA and the rest is history.
Teamwork forms a big part of our success. Our stable employees include Johannes Dlamini, Isaac Moloi, our former stable jockey Francois Naude and Xander Spies. Our team of grooms plays a vital role in the everyday care of their horses
Tobie’s first winner came with a little grey filly called Mantilla that he got as a present from the Goodman family. She went on to produce several other Spies-trained, home-bred winners.
He has been involved in the racing industry for over four decades as a Breeder, Owner, Owner Trainer, Trainer, Stud Manager, TBA selector, Assistant trainer now full circle back training.
He won the 1989 Queen’s Plate with Yardmaster, two Bloodline Millions with Fast Gun and Mysterious Hal respectively and a host of other features with runners like Terewa, Aced, Northern Flame and National Beauty. He marked his return with a big victory in the Gr1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion with Van Halen in 2018.
Corne, holds a National Diploma in Equine Science to go with the wealth of practical knowledge he gained from his father. “My dad taught me everything I know, but not everything that he knows. There us just is no replacement for the old school horsemen,” he says.
Corne has won a host of Graded and Listed features including the Gr1 SA Nursery with Fun Fly and Rock Opera, the Gr1 Golden Horseshoe on July Day with War Horse, the Gr2 Emerald Cup with Tommy Gun and the Gr3 Egoli Sprint with Take Silk. Rock Opera and Take Silk were sold to overseas interests and exported.
Corne raced a string in Zimbabwe in 2013 and 2014 and won the Zimbabwean Trainers’ Title in 2014.
Teamwork forms a big part of our success. Our stable employees include Johannes Dlamini, Isaac Moloi, our former stable jockey Francois Naude and Xander Spies. Our team of grooms plays a vital role in the everyday care of their horses.
In the sickbay our veterinarian, Dr. Koby Tadmor assists in managing injuries and keeping the yard healthy.
Our farrier, Warren Williams with arguably the toughest job in the equine industry.