This next stable we are about to introduce is a gentleman who has been on the TK circuit since the 14th Jul 2009. He is a champion and a very nice and funny cool cat. His stable has produced 8 World Cups, 7 Regional Cups, and a host of league championships and top 5 finishes in one of the most competitive class 1 league tracks on TK at Osaka Bay. His cup record really does not do this man any justice on how great a stable he really is, he is one of the toughest competitors around.
Ladies and Gentleman without further ado let’s give a BIG warm TK Nuts welcome to the man I call “The Caped Crusader” out of the Ezulwini stable give it up for:
Q – Can you tell us a little about yourself?
- I was born in the dying days of the 70s. My wife and I are childless by choice. I am a published short story author. Oh, and I once met Mike Mills from R.E.M. He’s a cool guy.
Q – How did you come across TK?
- My big brother, cairnswm (who I believe is still around here somewhere), introduced me. I had been playing various online sports management games, but none of them were much good to be honest. This is the only one that has kept my interest.
Q – Any particular reason you named your stable Ezulwini?
- Ezulwini (‘place of heaven’) is a valley in Swaziland and one of the most beautiful places on earth. I had recently visited there and thought it a decent spot to have a horse racing stable, even a virtual one.
Q – You started the game in 2009, do you still remember your first race?
- Hell, no.
Q – If you could start over, what would you do differently?
- Drink more beer during races.
Q – Biggest influence on you early on – stable that you looked up to?
- Obviously I was influenced by my brother, since he gave the impression that he knew what he was doing. But since I got much better than him very quickly, I realised that he was just faking it. I remember some great early battles with junior’s farms, and I hate to admit it but I was a bit jealous of the way Foss trained his milers.
Q – As one of the older stables in TK, what would be your words of wisdom to newer stables or older ones who haven’t had some degree of success and are disappointed with their stables?
- You’re talking about Sinth, aren’t you?”
Q – What is one thing you wish you knew when you started the game?
- That the Amazon share price would go up 1 000% between then and now.
Q – Your first world cup is always special, tell us about your first winner Muddy Hope?
- If I remember correctly, I bought Muddy Hope as an already decent 3 year old. He was my first serious attempt at training a mud-lark. I was up against Rhed’s outstanding horse Caipirinha in the 6yo Up & Coming Sprintstar. The finish was so close that I didn’t actually know which of them had won, even after watching it a couple of times, and had to wait for the result of the photo finish. (Interesting aside, is that how Rhed came to name her horse Caipirinha is a bit of a mystery. She has confessed to me that she has never had a caipirinha. Which is even more odd given that there is very little that Rhed hasn’t tried to drink.)
Q – Any other memorable races that stands out for you?
- The Queen’s Affair winning the TK Open was a long time coming. I’d also always wanted to win a Magic Mile and I think I’d racked up 7 or 8 runner-up finishes before Hope Road (incidentally sired by Muddy Hope) finally broke that hoodoo. And Dirty Leonardo winning the Amethyst was really special – any sprint world cup is a serious achievement because those fields are always competitive.
Q – How do you plan a race, do you weigh up the opposition or run your own race?
- I never care about the opposition, to be honest. I’m only concerned about getting things right on my side.
Q – Do you still get nervous before a cup final?
- I suppose I get a little tingle of hope every time I start watching the race, but it quickly dissipates most of the time when the jockey decides to do his own thing.
Q – How do you celebrate a really successful day?
Q – Which do you consider to be the best horse you have trained to date?
- The Queen’s Affair. He picked up almost a full house of open epic cups, only missing out on the Masters because he got mud-larked in the wet.
Q – Which horse in your stable currently is your favorite and why?
- Dirty Leonardo. He’s a bit of a flawed hero, I suppose. He was a world champion at an early age that never lived up to his potential and ended up screwing up more cup finals than you can imagine. I kind of love him for his failings.
Q – Which of your other horses do you feel would be worth following over the next couple of months?
- I’m hopeful that Pink Alien will mature in the same way that The Queen’s Affair did.
Q – Which retired horses in the game has left the biggest impact on you?
- Many seasons ago junior’s farms had a fantastic short horse called One Way Dexter that I really admired. And Foss’s Zabeel set all sorts of medium records way back when.
Q – What are your plans for the future and what is the one thing you want to achieve most in TK?
- I’d like to find a decent broodmare.
Q – Is there anything you would like to share to stables who would like to try training good younger horses especially those 2 to 3 year olds?
- What you start with is pretty important for that age group. And OR is not everything.
Q – Favorite style of horse you like to race with?
- Fast finisher. And yet I hardly ever manage to breed one.
Q – Three current horses owned by other stables that you wish you had owned, and why?
- noddy’s Not Very Good is frustratingly bloody good. I just drool over a fast finisher medium horse of that class. Kingsman from Manor Park Stud is spectacular. It’s incredible that two of the best medium horses the game has ever seen are the same age. This also meant that my Endangered Prophet, who is actually a superb horse, never had a sniff at a world cup.
For my third, I’d like to take away Bristol Turks’ Voodoo Child so that I could have some chance of winning the league at Osaka.
Q – Any interest in real life horse racing?
- None at all. I’m not even sure I’d watch it ahead of synchronised swimming.
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 depth of the game and the consistency of it is what is appealing to me. And frankie’s forum posts.
Q – Old stables that you miss or you wish were still playing?
- Captain Underpants. Another of those flawed heroes I’m so partial to…
Q – Name a few things you would like to see changed on TK?
- I’d like to have the ability to bitch slap jockeys who run wide on the bend when you have instructed them to run the rail.
Q – Is there something in TK that you would want to change that would reflect something in real life horses/situations?
- Being able to bitch slap jockeys who run wide on the bend when you’ve instructed them to run the rail.
Q – What irks you the most in this game?
- Not being able to bitch slap jockeys that run wide on the bend when you’ve instructed them to run the rail.
Q – What is the one feature of the game you cannot get your head wrapped around?
- Why jockeys run wide on the bend when you’ve instructed them to run the rail. Oh, and the jump. I simply cannot work out what makes some horses miss the jump so badly. Dirty Leonardo being a case in point. He’s messed up more races than I care to remember by starting with his head up his arse.
Q – Looking back at the years you have been playing, what were the accomplishments you are most proud of?
- Being part of the Osaka story and keeping it as one of the established super tracks.
Q – Which stables do you find most difficult to beat?
- ersins. Damn him.
Q – You’ve been in the game a long time at this point, seen many players come and go, which players do you think have had the most impact on the game in various ways in that time?
- In terms of racing, I don’t think anyone has had more of an influence than Riddley. He really worked out breeding, and the consistent high level of foals that we see every season now is really due to what he started.
When it comes to how cups have developed and how big a part of the game they have become, I have big respect for Rhed, noddy, hareeba, and The Alliance that have been behind sponsoring so many of them (my apologies if I’ve forgotten anyone else who deserves to be in this company).
Q – What is the best advice you’ve been given in playing this game?
- Buy your max stalls and training hours as quickly as you can. That at least is something that my brother did know.
Q – What are the most common mistakes that you see other experienced players making? Mistakes that they may not realize, that they are making?
- Trying to argue with Lozzy in the forums.
Q – What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
- I’ve played lawn bowls at international level.
Q – How do you like to spend your free time?
- Well, I just spent five hours of it answering this bloody questionnaire…
Q – Who in Track King is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party and why?
- Rhed and noddy, because they like buying lots of booze and sharing it. TaylorSwift (aka frankie) because he’s promised me all sorts of sexual favours that he has not yet delivered, plus every good party needs a revolutionary. Sinth because someone has to look after frankie. HorsePrincess and ChopChop to bring the class, ersins to moderate. And edjer54 in (the likely) case anyone needs medical attention.
Thank you so much Dolfie for taking the time out to sit down with the NUTS!