One of the most celebrated travelling trainers on the South African racing landscape, Vaal-based Corne Spies’ international raiding pair of dual Gr1 winner Van Halen and 2020 Gr2 Golden Horseshoe victor Nourbese leave their quarantine base of Mauritius on Monday evening en route to Belgium and the next leg of their incredible journey.
The duo, a son of Avontuur’s Oratorio and Drakenstein sire Futura respectively, cost R240 000 between them, and are mobile billboards for the great value of South African horses on the world stage.
The pair fly to Liege in Belgium tonight and then travel on by road to Abington Place in Newmarket.
The Covid-19 travel restrictions have made the hands-on supervision plans by trainer Spies, very difficult.
“Jane Chapple-Hyam will be looking after them at Newmarket. Plans are fluid at this stage – Nourbese won’t be ready but Van Halen did receive an invite for the $1 million Gr1 Al Quoz Sprint over 1200m at Meydan on Dubai World Cup night. So our hopes are alive there. But we will re-assess our position over the next few weeks,” added the former Zimbabwe champion.
On the local scene, he told the Sporting Post that he has opted to bypass the richly endowed Cape Yearling Sale Cup on Derby day with his sensational record-breaker, Captain’s Run.
The daughter of Captain Of All shattered the Vaal 800m course record that stood for 35 years – carrying 4kgs more than the previous holder – at her second outing on 17 December last year, and was expected to travel for the R550 000 race on 27 February.
“I nominated her for the Listed Storm Bird and the Ruffian Stakes today. That is at Turffontein on the same day as the rich Cape Yearling Sale Cup at Kenilworth. It’s a tough choice – the lure of the big money versus staying at home and going for the black-type. The reality is that we can’t have both now – but we rate her and we decided to stay home. It’s a twenty hour road trip. That can also be hard on a 2yo filly.”
Corne paid R80 000 for Captain’s Run at last year’s Mistico Cape Yearling Sale.
“That’s a lot of money,” he laughed as he praised the regional sale for its great value. He bought the black-type filly Me Time at the same sale. She ran second at the Vaal last Thursday and he says she could win again soon.
Will he be down at Mistico for the sale on 28 February, or will he be buying online – registration facilities are available via Zoom?
“Call me old school – but I like to see the horse in the flesh. And Murphy’s law – my internet will be hanging or something will go wrong as I am making that lifechanging bid. Full marks to BSA for offering online options for those who can’t be there. But we will be there in body!”
The 2021 BSA Cape Yearling Sale will be held at Mistico on Sunday 28 February at 12h30.
Declarations for the Cape Yearling Sale Cup are due at 11h00 on Monday 22 February.
CAPE YEARLING SALE CUP (Non-Blk Type)
|Back To You
|Jet For Time
|Master Of Time
|Rod The Mod
|Tout A Fait
|Sharon B Kotzen
|What A Bolt