Romany Prince gave his legendary trainer Ormond Ferraris the 2500th winner of his illustrious career when winning the Listed Drum Star Handicap just under a year ago.
The now 4yo son of Kahal was back in the winner’s enclosure at Turffontein on Saturday when grabbing first cheque in the R250 000 Gr3 London News Stakes.
The rain delayed feature only attracted seven runners, but the lack of numbers was adequately compensated for by the competitive nature of the contest.
And it was Gavin Lerena, in prime form at the moment, who gave us a great demonstration of pace judgement as he made it look easy for his second consecutive win on the Rathmor Stud-bred gelding.
Well fancied at 16-10, Romany Prince was relaxed two lengths back in third as customary front-runner Stonehenge led Supreme Cup winner Deputy Jud for home.
The astute Lerena was wide awake to what was required and shook his mount up to get first run on Deo Juvente at the 300m.
A former Summer Cup runner-up, Deo Juvente looked likely to find his feet and make a battle of it, but he changed legs and took a while to catch his footing as Romany Prince galloped powerfully.
Lerena had a half length to spare at the line as he took it easy in the final strides to register Romany Prince’s biggest career win in a time of 111.82 secs.
Samurai Blade never showed but came on steadily for third, a further 1,25 lengths behind.
Romany Prince, who races in the famous Peter Dimakogiannis white and blue, has earned R544 525 in 18 career starts, with 5 wins and 5 places into the bargain.
A R450 000 National Yearling Sale graduate, he is by the ill-fated Kahal out of the Royal Chalice mare, Gypsy Queen – a full sister to two past winners of the SA Oaks in Royal Prophecy and Noble Destiny.
That makes the winner a half-brother to former KZN based US Gr1 winner Gypsy’s Warning (Mogok)
Like Romany Prince, Gypsy’s Warning was bred by Mike and Tanya McHardy at their Rathmor Stud in Nottingham Road, KwaZulu Natal.
Gr3 London News Stakes (SAf-Gr3)
Turffontein, South Africa, January 14, R250k, 1800m, turf, soft, 1.51.82
1 – ROMANY PRINCE (SAF), 56.5, b g 4, Kahal (GB) – Gypsy Queen (SAF) by Royal Chalice (SAF). Owner Messrs P T & P Dimakogiannis; Breeder Rathmor Stud; trainer OA Ferraris; jockey G Lerena
2 – Deo Juvente (SAF), 59.0, b g 5, Trippi (USA) – Circle Of Life (SAF) by Complete Warrior (ANY)
3 – Samurai Blade (AUS), 56.5, br g 4, Where’s That Tiger (USA) – Shao Shao (AUS) by Shinko Forest (IRE)
Margins: 0.50, 1.25, 1.50