The Oracy gelding Two Guns provided the Lerena family with a memorable moment at Flamingo Park on Saturday when he went every inch of the 2200m to win the R110 000 Diamond Stayers.
The 5yo relishes the Kimberley sand and he made it five wins from six starts in the Northern Cape, winning under apprentice Dylan Lerena, and owned in partnership by, amongst others, the winning rider’s cousins – top boxer Kevin and the winner’s former trainer, Stephen.
It was a polished and confident rider from the from by Dylan, whose grandfather Spike rode successfully and became one of the country’s leading trainers. His uncle Tex was a successful jockey and is today still the Chairman of the SA Jockeys Association. Tex’s son Gavin has become a world-class rider, while cousin Brandon is an up-and-coming talent in his own right.
For trainer Sarel von Willingh Smit, the victory was the first leg of a feature double.
Young Lerena never panicked and kept his mount well balanced to stave off a late challenge by 44-1 outsider Assisted Take Off by a neck in a time of 150,65 secs.
The 33-1 Calls To Heaven was finishing fastest of all under Kabelo Matsunyane to grab third – a further neck away.
The favourite Paddington failed to fire and finished out of the money and ten lengths behind.
A genuine Flamingo Park specialist, Two Guns has won 6 races with 2 places from 25 starts for stakes of R287 500.
He was bred by Klawervlei Stud and is a son of Oracy (Zabeel) out of the two-time winning Western Winter mare, Hidden Nest.
On a buzzing afternoon, the local Pick 6 reached R2 394 075.