Mike Moon has worked as a journalist for 40 years, on newspapers such as The Witness, the Rand Daily Mail, the Sunday Times and Business Day.
He has been a freelance writer and editor in recent years, working for a broad range of organisations and publications in various parts of the world – covering subjects as diverse as macroeconomics and cricket.
Following generations of horse racing-mad Moons, he owns a couple of thoroughbreds, and has a fanciful notion that a bag of oats is a pension fund instalment.
The Geegees column is The Times’s entertaining weekly look at the world of horse racing – not just for racing fans, but anyone fascinated by the weird, touching and amusing stories this colourful game abounds in.
Vercingetorix? The name had even seasoned racing fans scratching their heads when it recently popped up at the top of the Durban July betting boards. The country's most famous race had a favourite that few people had ever heard of.
The screaming started as the limo glided up to the swanky One & Only hotel on Cape Town's Waterfront. An excited mob parted as my driver deftly negotiated the prepubescent-ridden pavements and parked at the portico.
Godolphin, one of the biggest racing operations in the world, has been rocked by a doping scandal - dragging the sport's reputation through the mud.
Superstition abounds in racing. Fans have "lucky" hats they wear on the racecourse. Many refuse to wear anything green. Even the great Terrance Millard, trainer of six Durban July winners, had a pair of lucky socks.
White beauty is the big attraction in Gauteng next week. Now, before anyone yells the "R" word, let me say this is all about a horse.
Black Caviar has broken so many records that we tend to think there can't be more to break. But there are - even some she'll never eclipse, poor thing.
The South African flag was prominent in the world's media on the Easter weekend - in two separate pictures that reflected very different impressions of the good old country.
There are race riots and there are race riots.
Shea Shea's performance in Dubai at the weekend, running rivals ragged to win the Meydan Sprint in track record time, highlighted the close relationship between horse racing and big business.
The youth of today. They've no sense of irresponsibility.
Most people are slowing down at 65, but Tyrone Zackey is just getting into his stride.
The media mayhem surrounding the Oscar Pistorius affair, and the frenzied exchanges of opinion in chat rooms and pubs, hardly need adding to. But central characters in the case have strong horse racing connections and I've been prevailed upon to stick in an oar.
Horse racing fans wouldn't dream of eating the creatures that provide them with their fun. Would they?
The story of Martial Eagle and Yogas Govender is worthy of a Hollywood feel-good flick.
The Met is much more than a horse race. Raced in the dreamy Cape just as summer comes off its peak, it has come to symbolise the glamour of the racing game in South Africa.
The phrase "I'm going to see a man about a horse" isn't used as often as it once was - and you can see why when considering the Cape Premier Yearling Sale currently under way.
If Beach Beauty wins the J&B Met in a fortnight's time, the cheers might well be accompanied by tears.
Some of us had a crummy 2012 and should be excused for feeling a tremor of hope for improved fortunes when surveying the racing landscape of 2013.
S'MANGA KHUMALO got the nickname "Bling" when he dyed his hair blond last year - to go with the significant jewellery, of which he wears a bit.
Something unusual occurred this week. I had several requests for hospitality tickets for the races at Turffontein tomorrow.
Union Castle cruise liners that plied the East Coast waterways in the last century often carried VIPs - Very Important Ponies. These were thoroughbreds on a mission to plunder prize money at race meetings up and down the coast.
They call it a craft, but the best exponents are real artists.
Any day now I expect to hear the cry "Nationalise De Kock!"
Her Serene Highness the Princess of Monaco will be at the races tomorrow. I'll be there too, also serene - until, as usual, I start sweating on a dwindling betting stake.
A dopey-looking creature standing in a stable in deepest Germiston could be your ticket to fortune - both monetary and emotional.
If Frankel gets beaten by Nathaniel tomorrow the latter's trainer, John Gosden, says he'll "feel like the guy who shot Bambi".
Racing is a simple game. Chaps pit their horses against each other, running flat out on a nice stretch of grass. Put a few crazy little guys on board to keep the ponies running straight and urge them on; add some funsters to watch proceedings and punt on who'll be fastest and there you have it.
The little black book was a thing Lotharios used to keep, with phone numbers of likely looking gals. Racing aficionados still keep little black books, full of names of likely looking horses.
The Vaal River might start out in the mountains, but after that it sticks to flatlands. So, the mountains must come to it.
Camelot is the place of Arthurian legend and the very name so enchanted Sue Magnier that she booked it with racing authorities as the moniker of a horse.
A roll in the hay seldom comes cheap.
The covering season is upon us, so to speak.
That life, death and renewal are coupled on the tote was affirmed on a fine day this week.
A red carpet was laid out before Frankel's stable, but the superstar refused to set foot on the thing.
Mick Goss was snowed in at Mooi River this week and couldn't get to Johannesburg for the Equus Awards.
Grumpy old men tend to have a gold-tinged view of the past.
It's Gold Cup time. In winter, it's the cup that cheers the racing gang.
This is a good time to be punting horses. You've got more chance of winning now than at other times of the year.
The jockey's eyes moistened as he rode the colt into the winner's enclosure after the Durban July on Saturday.
The Durban July is wide open this year - any one of the 20 runners could conceivably win the country's most famous horse race.
TRAINERS often talk about horses "telling" them when they're ready to win.
There was a raised eyebrow or two in the business newsroom at the paper last week. What the hell was a horse doing at the top of the "breaking news" business wires?
I'll have another is a phrase one hears from time to time. I seem to recall it being used by men of my acquaintance as they engaged in earnest, sophisticated conversation in a public house.
We're going back to the races after that brief crossing to the football.
HERE are words to a song you might hear tomorrow if you switch the telly to football:
The infield of Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town is an expanse of beautiful Cape Flats sand fynbos.
The dream factory that is horse racing has delivered another compelling tale.
Imagine you're making thingamajigs in your garage, flogging a few here and there, eking out a living when suddenly you discover millions of new customers who desperately want your widget.
A Free State farmer glanced up on an early autumn evening and saw a ball of fire hurtling through the sky. He made out a large aircraft in terrible trouble, its starboard wing ablaze.
When Dodgy Derek won a pile of money on Mike de Kock's horses that famous night in Dubai back in 2003, he bought himself a racehorse. Well, a part of a horse, probably near the tail, though he insisted it was a nostril, the bit that wins.
A man dashed onto the Greyville turf and tried to match strides with galloping horses this week.
Cape Town scallywags sometimes like to bad-mouth Joburg and its fine folk.
Tens of thousands of people will spend next week in a big, muddy field in England yelling dementedly at horses and riders as they career around in frantic pursuit of apparently nothing.
The rank and file of South African racing is feeling a bit left out, with dozens of the richer people in the local game off in Australia buying expensive horses.
Switcharooney. That's what Wayne Rooney has called his new arrival - a thoroughbred colt he bought for £63000.
We have all been known to get a trifle impatient with Australians and their hubris about sporting prowess.
IN AN effort to persuade a racehorse to run faster, we upgraded his accommodation - giving him a posh new stable, with attached paddock and a lovely view of the Suikerbosrand.
Igugu's victory in last weekend's J&B Met at Kenilworth was one of the most courageous performances seen on a South African racecourse in quite a while - and I'm surprised we haven't made more of a fuss of it.
When my golf caddy Josey murmurs, "It's all about pace, Bubba," it's time to be very afraid.
Next week 350 horses will arrive in the Cape Town city centre. That's probably more horses gathered together than the dorp has seen since the Boer War.
Jockeys are known to be wiry and tough, but Piere "Striker" Strydom took it to the extreme in the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate at the weekend.
Can a cloud have more than one silver lining?
Horses make mugs of us all. That's a saying owner-trainer-breeder St John Gray uses in discussing Dancewiththedevil.
"In the summertime when the weather is high, you can stretch right up and touch the sky."
The colt was born in 1994 on the farm of Hugh Jonsson, who kept a few thoroughbred broodmares alongside the fresh produce in the lovely hills of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
Jockeys suffer a lot, poor things. Eating lettuce and bean sprouts while trying to stay alive is bad enough, but they're also on the receiving end of much loathing and malicious humour.
Australians refer to their land as "The Lucky Country", and when you think of Bryce Lawrence and some cricket umpires down the years, you tend to agree.
The racing world is whipping itself into a lather over jockeys' riding crops.
Has anyone ever seen Chuck Norris and Mike de Kock together in the same room? Thought not.
RACING suffers on the image front, with a common perception that it's a bit dodgy.
He was a face of football on telly. Then suddenly he was the face of rugby. At heart though, he's a racing man.
"The luck of the draw" might have come from saloons of the Wild West, with the outcome of a poker deal, or draw, deciding the fate of money on the table.
A stick of dynamite should be placed under the grandstand at Turffontein. I'd like to light the fuse.
I had a rather profitable encounter with the famous Irish jockey AP McCoy last week.
Education and horse racing are not often bracketed in the same sentence.
Kimberley was once a lot more than a hole in the ground. It was arguably the most important place in South Africa, and possibly even the world.
The L'Ormarins Queen's Plate is getting a Yankee connection.
THE good racehorse "will find you", so it's pointless searching too hard for it.
A neck-and-neck race between two Ants is the main game in town.
A SPIV with a pencil-thin moustache and a cocked fedora hat is the caricature of the villain in horse racing.
Racing is full of chance, luck, fate, serendipity and curious happenstance - as was evident at the Durban July last weekend.
TOMORROW'S Durban July is really all about one horse: the three-year-old filly Igugu, whose Zulu name means "jewel" or "treasure".
THERE'S nothing like a bracing winter morning to make one feel alive.
As you give, so shall you receive.