Durbanite Warren Lenferna, the Tellytrack presenter with the now familiar deep voice, is a man with more fans than foes. He loves racing, hates negativity and cannot understand why racing people like to engage in quarrels and in-fighting. On course, he is not scared to deliver his opinion to viewers, working at the notoriously competitive Greyville circuits, and at Scottsville.
Warren comes from a family of sugar farmers and his grandfather was a big racing fan with horses in training with the likes of Herman Brown Snr and David Payne. He credits his grandfather with his own appreciation of the sport.
He worked for 12 years in the hospitality trade: Champagne Sports Resort, The Oyster Box and The Riverside Hotels but broke away from it to follow his dream and passion – to work in racing. His first share in a racehorse was taken when he was still at high school and his first winner was Smashing Boy at Greyville, trained by his friend Duncan Howells and ridden by Sean Veale.
Warren is married to the talented on-course photographer Candiese Lenferna – he loves her to bits – and they have horses in training with Gary Rich, Duncan Howells and Mike and Sterling Miller. They have also taken shares in the IRC Winnetka/Climate Control Syndicate. “My dream is for this game to grow and grow so that we may all prosper. I visit my horses weekly and absolutely adore each and every one of them,” he says.
Here is our snap Q and A with Warren Lenferna:
1. Full Name: Coming from a Mauritian family, it is all of, Warren Leo Alain Lenferna De La Motte!
- Date of Birth? 27th December 1978
- Durban or Cape Town (following recent riots)? Let us not talk about the terror we had to endure after the recent riots. I am an out an out Durban fellow but Cape Town is starting to look better and better each day!
- Superstitions? If my phone rings during the running of a race, I throw the ticket away and please do not ask me what I have backed during the running of the race either. I am not really superstitious, but please just be careful of that black cat over there!
- Fav Holiday Destination? Mauritius. Cape Town a very close second.
- Beer or Wine? One or two beers to open the account then we must move on to wine but if I were forced to choose – wine.
- Who inspires you the most? Graeme Hawkins, who really is Mr Racing in SA and will be a huge loss to the industry when he retires. I have always respected race caller Alistair Cohen, he is top drawer at what he does. I must mention Martin Locke he was my mentor and still checks up on me today.
- On course or in studio? I find I can concentrate better in studio with all the information on screen in front of me. The new GTV studio at Hollywoodbets Greyville is really top division when Graeme Hawkins allows me to put the air conditioner on!
- Left-handed or right-handed? Right.
- Whip or no whip? There is no doubt in my mind there is a place for the whip, it is well policed. It won’t be a good idea to do away with whips – look at Smanga Khumalo on the favourite Captain Tatters at Greyville yesterday. The horse needed some persuasion with the whip in the closing stages of the race or may not have won.
- What annoys you the most? The constant criticism in racing circles and the constant negativity as well as the jealousy that goes with it. It seems like no one wants to see anyone do well in life. Let us learn to cut one another some slack and rather focus on the good rather than the one or two mistakes one might make along the way – we are all human, we all have feelings and the majority are really trying their best for the industry – no one likes an a*****e!
- Any hidden talents/ party trick? After a few cold ones and the music is on I dance quite well!
- Funniest person you have ever met? Barry Hilton, Leon Schuster and maybe Paul Lafferty.
- What hair Gel do you use? Turn it up!
- Favourite horse of all time? There are a few: Summer Pudding more recently, Empress Club, Horse Chestnut and the diminutive little Teal.
- What is your biggest phobia? Flying cockroaches, or any cockroach for that matter! And backing a horse and finishing second.
- Most embarrassing moment? Talking about horses that have been scratched – we all / or most have done that and meeting. The other incident I recall is bumping into an old school teacher in the mall and asking her how many months pregnant she was to get the firm reply, IM NOT PREGNANT! I don’t really embarrass easily – we all make mistakes.
- Polytrack or turf – both really, slight preference for the turf but love poly racing – any racing for me!
- Would you rather be a racing presenter or a magazine show host? A racing presenter however I do enjoy hosting the MGT Horses To Follow Podcast with my good mate Andrew Harrison for Gold Circle.
- Vaccine or No Vaccine? Why would you not want to vaccinate? My brother in law recently had the virus and his GP mentioned that he was saved by the vaccine – vaccinate people, millions of people can’t be wrong!
- Golf Handicap? 24 and still practicing.
- Business class or economy? Economy, we will slide along to business class soon, when I crack the big league or catch a cracker pick six.
- Your star sign? Capricorn.
- TAB or Hollywoodbets? Both just as long as I can get my bets on – I am more of a tote player.
- Bath or Shower? Too tall for the bath, yet to find one that fits me properly – we have a huge shower at home.
- Read or Netflix? Neither, no patience for reading – I read the form guides.
- Would you rather ask for permission or ask for forgiveness? It is far easier to ask for forgiveness than permission!
- Who would you nominate to these? Graeme Hawkins, Raf Sheik, Sherwin Singh, Owen Heffer, Jessica Jell and Smanga Khumalo.
- Give us two horses to follow this season?
Desert Miracle and Voldemort.
Charity Of Choice:
Coastal Horse Care Unit