Young Calvin Habib produced another top drawer performance when he unleashed the Australian-bred Being Fabulous from the clouds to score an upset victory in the R150 000 Listed Syringa Handicap at Turffontein on Sunday.
The 22 year old Habib has formed a feature winning partnership in the Wernars silks for the Van Vuuren team and could well grab the opportunity of his first Vodacom Durban July ride this year with his regular mount Divine Odyssey at 13th position on the big race log published recently.
And Sunday was another opportunity for him to showcase his ample skills.
The usual front-running Being Fabulous, the least fancied of the Van Vuuren trio, was dropped out from her wide draw in a match winning change of tactics.
Scything through a stampede fanned across the track at the 200m, Habib kept his balance and his head as he pointed Being Fabulous in the right direction and the daughter of High Chaparral took off to grab her maiden stakes success, catching Bullsade in shadow of the post to win by a head in a time 97,69 secs.
In a great result for the Van Vuuren team, the winner’s stablemates Penny Royal (20-1) and Regal Graduation (9-2) grabbed third and fourth positions respectively, in a tricky result for punters – that was more than underlined by the R66 000 quartet dividend!
The favourite Rockin Russian finished well downfield.
No official margins were published, but the result was a feather in the cap of the handicapper with a blanket covering the top six.
Johan Janse van Vuuren, who recently underwent back surgery, paid tribute to his team and admitted he had only been at the yard ‘4 days in the last 4 weeks’. He said he couldn’t understand why the mare had started at 30-1.
“Calvin wanted to go up there but she is a bleeder, so I thought let’s rather drop her in. The young jockey is doing well – he has good hands – he will be a really good rider in the next few years,” added van Vuuren.
A winner of 5 races with 10 places from 25 starts, Being Fabulous took her stakes tally to R561 575.
Consigned by Grange Thoroughbreds on the Inglis Bloodstock 2015 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, Being Fabulous was purchased by Heritage Bloodstock for A$60 000.
She is by High Chaparral, who died in 2014. His Gr1 tally, which included two Breeders’ Cup Turf victories, saw High Chaparral awarded the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Male Turf Horse in 2002 and 2003, as well as being named England and Ireland’s top-rated middle distance 3-year-old, and Ireland’s top-rated older horse.
The winner’s dam Dashing Eagle, a daughter of Danehill from Luskin Star’s dual Gr2 winner La Caissiere, was the star filly of the 1996 spring, sharing the Gr1 Flight Stakes with Assertive Lass in a dead heat, before proving superior in the Gr1 Thousand Guineas.
No filly since has been able to replicate that feat and in fact she is the only filly in the last 35 years to complete that notable double..
In addition to the Gr1 double, the Bart Cummings trained Dashing Eagle also won the Gr2 Surround and Gr3 Furious Stakes. She retired with six wins for earnings of A$500,000.
So Being Fabulous is beautifully bred and her quest for more black type may not end here.