An Intimate Moment With Desert Wind Stables

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We call her the First Lady of Track King. Her stable was founded on May 10th 2008 and still going strong. She is the winner of 14 World Cup Titles, 6 Regional Cup, and a fair amount of number one’s and top 5 finishes in some of the most competitive league battles on TK. She is the proud sponsor and designer of the Crimson Carnival Series which consist of some of the most beautiful designed cups and some of the most highly anticipated races at season end of each season, the Grand Prix de Paris, Epona Cup, and Pegasus Plate. Many may not know this but she was also the one who designed the beautiful Triple Crown Trophy for the Triple Crown Series, her contribution to Track King is limitless.

So without further ado, lets give a nice round of applause, and a BIG warm welcome to the First Lady of Track King,

“Rhed”

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Q – So Rhed tell us a little about yourself?

  • Sweet, innocent Pommie girl goes to Africa to do good. Captured by evil warlord and enslaved in his lair of drunkenness and general debauchery. To this day have not managed to escape! Well, something along those lines.

THE BEGINNING
Q – How did you find Track King?

  • My husband started playing before me and I got bored of him spending hours glued to TK. Seemed only fair to join and beat him.

Q – Were you hooked from day 1?

  • Yup, it appealed to my competitive nature (a trait I refused to believe was applicable to me until I started playing) as well as the intricacy of the game.

Q – Who helped you initially?

  • Noddy…on pain of death

Q – Biggest influence on you early on – stable that you looked up to?

  • Not sure I am going to admit to looking up to him but the first competitor I faced was Foss. There really weren’t that many players when I started but I was placed at Kinshasa, where Foss was the ruling, unchallenged, champion. Fast learning curve when faced with sly moves such as switching league runners a few minutes before races closed.

Q – Who was your first winner and describe the moment as you recall it?

  • Since I can’t remember most stuff I did a week ago, this is a bit tricky for me to answer but apparently it was a horse called Sister Slippy. I am sure it was very exciting, at an average speed of 50km/hr!

Q – Any interest in real life horse racing?

  • A little although more for the occasion – the betting, bubbly, dressing-up, people and horse watching. I love going to the parade ring before the race starts and trying to figure out what might suggest a winner, but since I know nothing about horses this doesn’t always go so well. In fact, one of the first major horse racing events I went to had me backing one horse that collapsed half way through the race and then had to be shot (very upsetting), another one who technically won but had no jockey when it crossed the line. I was banned from betting after that!

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CUPS
Q – Your feeling after your first world cup won?

  • I think it was the prestigious Paupers Kettle. I am sure I was very pleased with my golden pot.

Q – Favourite race/cup win?

  • Probably ‘So You Think’ Cup as I didn’t believe Seascape, as a 3yo fast finisher, would be able to pull it off on dead ground.

Q – How do you plan a race, do you weight up the opposition or run your own race?

  • I am becoming less concerned about other entries, as I have seen some great upsets that looked nailed on results, but if my main competitor has a style I feel needs to be taken into account, I may tweak my race instructions accordingly.

Q – Do you still get nervous before a cup final?

  • Definitely. Often spend hours debating race instructions although nowadays a little more gung-ho.

HORSES – PRESENT AND PAST
Q – Who is the best horse you have trained?

  • Probably Seascape

Q – Horses that left the biggest impact on you outside your barn?

  • Not sure I really have one.

Q – Three current horses owned by other stables that you wish you had owned, and why?

  • Any of the Triple Crown winners but especially Kingsman as I have never got to grips with Milers

Q. The horse in TK past/present that resembles your character?

  • I’m sure there are a number of jockeys that I resemble – slow learner, frustrating, nonsensical, obstinate – but not sure if I know of any horses.

Q – What are some of the goals you have?
– Short term

  • Beat Dolfie in the league, although my lack of mudlarks may be my undoing this season.

– Long term

  • Winning more cups, which means I must try to remember to look at the cup list more often and not train horses just before entry!

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BREEDING
Q – Any tips – hidden secrets?

  • Absolutely none

Q – How do you plan your pairings?

  • I find a mare with decent genetics that I don’t want to race or is retiring, and then spend hours looking for studs, carefully selecting the perfect match. I then promptly forget to logon at the right time, lose any stud rights that I have bookmarked and then panic buy or find some old codger in my own stable.

Q – What are you looking for in a stud?

  • Tall, dark, beautifully sculpted abs….oops (clean off drool)…really just a good genetic match for the style I have decided I want, with good matching stats and in the 70+ bracket.

THE GAME
Q – Has the game improved?

  • Definitely although it was pretty good to start with.

Q – New stables to be on the lookout for?

  • Obviously any of my mentees!

Q – Old stables that you miss or you wish was still playing?

  • Numerous but the one that will cause a few groans is Etude. I’ve been told she was a nightmare in the forums (which I used not to read and only skim now) but on a personal level she was a good laugh.

Q – Which stables do you find most difficult to beat?

  • Obviously MP but there are so many good players out there that it is hard to pin point them all.

Q – Name three things you would like to see changed on TK?

  1. Cup criteria that allows you to set the number of seasons a TKers has been playing. As soon as this is sorted out, we will once again sponsor the Golden Gnu.
  2. Still not convinced about the race criteria ‘from…’
  3. A few people have offered up some good ideas about making the initial start-up more appealing. In particular the idea that you can’t breed or sell your start-up horses within the first week or so seems like a good starting point to minimize new players from making bad mistakes before they have even really begun.

Q – What irks you the most in this game?

  • Jockeys who think it is ok to return home in the middle of the night. It does seem that there are more decent jockeys out there nowadays so this is getting better. Not so long ago, you could be constantly refreshing the jockey page at exactly the time they said they would be returning and still lose them to someone else.

Q – What is one thing you wish you knew when you started the game?

  • How much time I would spend playing it!

Q – What is the one feature of the game you cannot get your head wrapped around?

  • Breeding

Q – What motivates you to play this game day in and day out?

  • Still so much I haven’t done right and each new foal is my next chance at greatness, at least before I race it!

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ADVICE
Q – What are the most common mistakes that you see other experienced players making? Mistakes that they may not realize that they are making?

  • I suspect it is normally the other way around and most of the mistakes I have noticed are things I have done myself – not setting travel arrangements for a cup, training a horse and then remembering it is supposed to be running in a cup in a few days later etc

Q – What is the best advice you’ve been given in playing this game?

  • Not long ago Angel sent me this:

“…just stay true to what you believe works for you training wise and keep it simple. Most of the time we over analyze this stuff but there is no right or wrong way to train a winner. Be consistent and confident in what you’re doing and the results will come!”

Pretty good advice for anyone.

SPONSORSHIP
Q – The Crimson Carnival – where did the concept come from and how did it started?

  • At the time I was based in Glasgow and felt that all the major age-restricted cups were happening in Australia. Decided it would be nice to have something for the European players. Similar story with the Gnu, especially since we live in Africa.

Q – Most of the old timers may know this already but some of the newbies may not know that your husband Noddy also play TK. We don’t want to cause a household feud here but who do you consider to be the better racer out of you and your husband?

  • Can’t believe you even have to ask that question!

Q – What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

  • I actually quite like my husband, on occasions.

Q – If you had the opportunity to sit down and have dinner with anyone on Track King, who would your dinner TK party guests be and why?

  • Ersins (he’s been so patient and informative over the years, especially when I started as a GM); Dolfie and his lovely missus (SA connection & loves cricket); Hairboy (nuff said); Stiffy (chilli grower, artist and been a league companion over several seasons); Izos (I often mistakenly think I was his mentor but had lots of interesting discussions since he started); LondonTown (cricket fan, long time supporter of YP races, does interesting things in the Artic); Angel (been very helpful with putting together cups and design advice); SnoweyCat (one of my first mentees and lives in SA); and I suppose Noddy will probably be lurking in the background, invitation or not.

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Q – The Cardboard Box is an advertisement we see everyday before logging in to TK, tell us a little something about it and whats your role with the company?

  • It all started with a backpackers and before we knew it, the travel side of things boomed allowing us to lease out the original business just before our livers started to pack up and concentrate on helping people travel around Namibia. From working in little more than a broom cupboard, now have 13 staff in a lovely old building we renovated. I used to be one of the main consultants but have taken more of a backseat in the last couple of years.

The Cardboard Box Travel Shop

Well Rhed, we appreciate and thank you for your dedication and contributions you have given to a game we all enjoy and love.

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