This next stable we are about to introduce is definitely the Master of his Fate and the Captain of his Destiny. This gentleman has become one of the best racers on TK in the past few years and continues to rise up the World Cup charts. If you ever had a chance to talk to this man you will know that he is one of the most genuine and nicest fellows around. His stable has captured a total of 20 World Cups, 11 Regional Cups and a slew of League Championships. He is one of the Masterminds and Chief behind the NUTS machine. I can honestly call this man a true Track King friend for life.
Without further ado lets give a “BIG TK NUTS” welcome to the man I nicknamed “The Professor” because he’s got journals and stats from here to Timbuktu, from the St Simon Racing Stable we introduce to you the man himself:
Q – Can you tell us a little about yourself?
- Am — years old. And……H A P P Y !!!!!!!!!
- Smoking – Installed industrial fan above my workstation in the lounge just to move the smoke around. 6 different cigar boxes close to hand and at least 3 x 30 Stuyvesant boxes on site. Also 3 x Zippo lighters so I don’t get MAD. And a tin of Snuff.
- Drinking – All the time. When pub opens downstairs I’m there for 4/5 draughts before coming back upstairs in time for the racing. Put happy-box next to my chair and refill glass as needed. Red or White – no difference. Have wine rack of about 50 good reds but only use for meals. Got Johnny Walker Black but only in case the Turk visits. 🙂 Prefer Famous Grouse for after racing. As a nightcap a few large Capt. Morgans with a dash of Coke are good.
- After retiring to watch crime/detective shows, if I want a smoke (no smoking in the bedroom ) I go back to the lounge and may have a few Elephants trunks (Amarula Cream)
- Music – Anything from the 60’s onward.
- Please let me not forget Monty Python, The Goons and all British comedy.
- Movies – Where they say “Shut the F**k up – No, You shut the F**k up – No, You shut the F**k up. Stupid type movies.
- Food – Seafood – Also, any meat of any kind on any fire.
- Last time I wore a pair of long pants was at my daughter’s wedding in 2002. Wear shorts to funerals – I don’t care.
- My sex life has gone to shit. It’s all these blood pressure pills I’m taking. They really do CALM you down.
- Married – The wife is in Bloemfontein and I live with a gorgeous girlfriend in a flat on the beachfront. Works for all three of us. We are the best of friends. Bought them both an apartment and they are both happy.
- Owned a Pub/Nightclub for 10 years. Retired now and play the horses every day. Mostly doubles for a better return.
- Get around in a wheelchair. Also to the pub downstairs. For longer distances I use my battery powered 4 wheel scooter. Gets 50kms before recharge. For longer distances I can still drive my Chrysler automatic. All the major shops are within 200 metres, including the Tote and a Bookie. Very convenient. Plus Doctor and Dentist on First Floor.
- So….. What more do I want in life? A few more years of watching the fishermen on the pier catching fish. The “specials” strutting their stuff on the beachfront. An extremely delicious bunny-chow with a bottle of wine. And, of course, a few winners to pay for it all.
Q – How did you come across TK?
- I read on another forum what a great game Track King is. Being bored and looking for long term games where you need planning and strategy, I thought I should give it a go. I registered, had a quick look and didn’t know what to do. I found the game initially overwhelming, and nothing made sense. I left without doing anything. But after a few weeks returned, to take up the challenge. I decided to read as much as I could and study a few of the older stables. Been here ever since.
Q – Any particular reason you named your stable captaincrusoe?
- I owned a few racehorses in real life many moons ago, and my all time favorite was called “Robinson Crusoe” – a bay gelding that won a couple of listed races. He was also placed in a few graded ones. I thought the best way to honor him was naming my stable after him.
Q – You started the game in 2012, do you still remember your first race?
- To be honest, I can’t even remember the previous question. Nope – sorry.
Q – You are one of the masterminds and editor and chiefs on the NUTS site, what made you decide to want to do this number 1? and question number 2, how do you feel it has impacted the game for newbies and veterans?
- Definitely not the mastermind, but got roped in doing the dirty work… Nah, just joking, it’s a team effort, everyone plays a big part in making it a success. I love playing the game and it really was an easy decision to help with material etc.
- The site is really for the people, the stables that replies with post and pre-race comments etc. must get all the credit. It adds something to the game that was lacking. We have seen some great comments from newbies with a lot of “spunk”, and very informative ones from the older stables. Hopefully a few more stables will get out of their pigeonholes, and contribute each cup week.
Q – What have you done to keep the passion up to play for so long and have such good success?
- Hairboy is a genius, I love the way the game is setup; nothing happens overnight, you need patience, and proper planning, to be able to succeed. What you do today might only bear fruit in 4-5 seasons. I find great pleasure in training up my own horses from an early stage, and winning cups with them. None of my cups has ever been “bought”.
Q – If you could start over, what would you do differently?
- I would definitely get a mentor, to learn the basics; setup of stable, stalls, vets, and enter league races etc. I would train up two proper apprentices, join a competitive league, and try finding some stables that are at the same level in the game, to share info, test race instructions etc. And stay out of the auctions!!!!
Q – How long did you take to find your feet in the game?
- I can honestly say that the first couple of seasons I plodded along, racing against bots… 🙄 I was invited to join a track that they wanted to “grow”, but as soon as I moved into Class 1, they all moved to other tracks. Other than that I did everything on my own, to try and learn the game. I decided end of Dec 2013, to step up and try and run in a few cups, and get better race experience. I was invited to the chat room of a great bunch of people, with good intentions and great ideas about 20 months ago, and can honestly say since then it has been a roller coaster.
Q – What is one thing you wish you knew when you started the game?
- How much time I am going too spent playing this game.
Q – Your first world cup is always special, tell us about your first winner Blue Proteus?
- I decided to buy a decent two year old, preferably a mud lark and target the medium cups. The Farmhouse Stud looked like an up and coming breeding stable at the time, and I was hoping to pick one up cheaply. Blue Proteus was knocked down to me for around $1,2 million, if my memory is correct. The weather cycle for early medium cups wouldn’t “suit” the mud lark, and that enabled me to focus on giving him maximum training hours and build experience using training track etc. His first race was only at the end of his four year old career. He had monster statistics and experience and was expected to doddle in. I really had no idea what race instructions to set, and asked my good friend Bristol Turks for help. I honestly can say without his input, I would have bottled it… I am forever grateful to him.
Q – Any other memorable races that stand out for you?
- Really too many to think of… but recently it has to be;
- Poseidon winning two world cups over dead ground against Lost in the Fog’s top mare Bright Blessed Day. She is a beauty.
- Blue Cretheus loss in the Fast ‘n Furious two seasons ago, had me bamboozled, at least he redeemed himself this season in the Sprinter Shield.
Q – How do you plan a race, do you weigh up the opposition or run your own race?
- I try and run my own race. I set the race instructions to suit my horse’s stats and a few other things. 🙄
Q – Do you still get nervous before a cup final?
- Hell, yeah…
Q – How do you celebrate a really successful day?
- With a couple of sharpies.
Q – Which do you consider to be the best horse you have trained to date?
- It has to be Blue Proteus, he did everything so easily, and I don’t think I ever got to the bottom of him. He really was a easy horse to train and to build experience. I would have like to have chased a few more world records with him, but the weather gods were seldom on his side.
Q – Which horse in your stable currently is your favorite and why?
- I don’t really have a favorite at moment. I think they are all great horses that other stables would love to have in their stable. The trained ones are all cup winners and have served my stable well.
Q – Which of your other horses do you feel would be worth following over the next couple of months?
- Captain’s Quest is a nice horse; the age group he is in, is very competitive.
- Monsun is another one that I have high hopes for, it’s not every day that you see a five year old blitz an average time of 63+km/h over sprints.
Q – Which retired horses in the game have left the biggest impact on you?
- From a racing perspective it has to be Scooby, Wild Smokey, Damascus, Barracuda and Dark Design.
- From breeding it’s the great Sir Lancelot. Doubt we will ever see one as good.
Q – What are your plans for the future and what is the one thing you want to achieve most in TK?
- Just to keep on winning cups, the ultimate must be to win a triple crown in a competitive group.
Q – Is there anything you would like to share with stables who would like to try training good younger horses especially those 2 to 3 year olds?
- Give them 10-12hrs training each week non-stop, and if they’re not racing, hit the training track to build experience. Each week you don’t do it, the gap just widens to your competitors.
Q – Favorite style of horse you like to race with?
- I have to say fast finishers; I love their kick in the last quarter. Mud larks are a favorite as well, they’re as tough as nails and very versatile.
Q – Three current horses owned by other stables that you wish you had owned, and why?
- Relaunch – In the dictionary a hero is defined as “a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability; b: an illustrious warrior; c: admired for his achievements and noble qualities; d: one who shows great courage; 2 a: the principal male character in a literary or dramatic work; b: the central figure in an event, period, or movement. 3: an object of extreme admiration and devotion : idol “ – Merriam Webster. There is no greater hero than Relaunch.
- Secret Agenda – It is so hard to know why some fillies go straight to your heart while others, themselves beautiful and brilliant, don’t. But in Agenda’s case, it was the kind of feeling associated with those of us who see in horses something otherworldly, embodying an essence that transports the human spirit. The willingness to hang on, to do your very best, is a quality bred into the best thoroughbreds — and this was the signature of Secret Agenda’s wins.
Q – Any interest in real life horse racing?
- Not at moment
- I used to own plenty, but got “sour” from all the bullshit talk from the trainers etc.
THOUGHTS ON THE GAME
Q – If you had to name the most important things or features in the game that have kept your interest here in TK, what would those things or features be? And, why?
- The social factor, chatting and making new friends in the game, forming new relationships, and working together exploring the game and “hidden” game content. I guess I would have left the game a long time ago, if it wasn’t for these guys.
Q – Name a few things you would like to see changed on TK?
- Auctions – allow for commission bids, sometimes we can’t be online at the time an auction finishes.
- Jockey returns – allow a small period, let’s say one hour where the owning or stable that used him last time, gets the first bite of the cherry.
Q – Is there something in TK that you would want to change that would reflect something in real life horses/situations?
- Perhaps handicapping of horses in a race, for a more leveling playing field in some selected races.
Q – What irks you the most in this game?
- DEJA POO: People that have multiple stables. Hopefully one day the sign on the door of the whorehouse will say? “We’re closed.”
Q – What is the one feature of the game you cannot get your head wrapped around?
- Breeding, breeding and breeding.
Q – Looking back at the years you have been playing, what were the accomplishments you are most proud of?
- Building good friendships with a couple of genuine good guys. Nothing false about them.
Q – Which stables do you find most difficult to beat?
- Angel’s Flight – he is the BEST racer out there, he doesn’t need monsters to beat you – top class bloke as well.
- Magoo – relentless, shrewd, clever placement of league horses, top racer, and he feeds his horses some sort of muti. They just never break down.
- Woogle Wood – if only he raced in more cups.
- Fabio – without his help, I wouldn’t have won half the cups I have.
Q – What is the best advice you’ve been given in playing this game?
- Try and get a good pair of blinkers.
Q – What are the most common mistakes that you see other experienced players making? Mistakes that they may not realize, that they are making?
- Stats balance – when you see some of these horses that hits the auctions and you have a look at the cups they have won, then you understand why many of them has never won any cups.
- It’s also really a three-way partnership. The horse, trainer and jockey must all work together to win consistently at the race track. It requires diligent planning and conditioning by the trainer to get a horse prepared to run his best race at the right time. It requires long hours and attention to detail. A good trainer will help his horse peak on race day.
Q – What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
- No surprises here, what you see is what you get.
Q – How do you like to spend your free time?
- I think I have answered that at the start of the interview?
Q – Who in Track King is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party and why?
- I would invite anyone willing to come.
Thank you so much “Captaincrusoe” for all you do here on TK NUTS, keeping us entertained and informed with previews, interviews, news articles and so much more. People don’t realize how much work that goes on into doing this on a regular basis, but Track King is definitely a better place with you around.
“We Salute You Captain”
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction and is not to be taken seriously.