Dreamland Wins Hennenman Memorial Day Feature

Betway Mythical Flight Sprint

Lancaster Bomber’s son Dreamland has come into his own as a 3yo and flashed his speed to go all the way to win the R150 000 Betway Mythical Flight Sprint at Turffontein on the Hennenman Memorial Raceday on Saturday.

Gavin Lerena steers Dreamland to victory in the feature (Pic – JC Photos)

Starting a 9-4 favourite under the in-form Gavin Lerena, Dreamland controlled the gallop for the 1100m of the non black-type feature, and then stayed on strongly to hold off a late challenge by Richard The First (4-10) by a quarter length in a time of 64,51 secs.

The Candice Dawson-trained Just Be Lekker (11-2) was the first fairer sex galloper home in third.

Bred by Avontuur, the Lucky Houdalakis-trained Dreamland is a son of ill-fated War Front stallion Lancaster Bomber, and is out of the beautifully bred Dream De Ra.

The latter was bred by Avontuur in Britain, and is a daughter of Green Desert’s champion sprinter Oasis Dream, a three parts brother to champion Kingman. Dream De Ra is out of the brilliant Val De Ra who won 11 of her 13  starts, including four Gr1’s: the 2011 Computaform Sprint, the SA Fillies  Sprint (twice in consecutive years 2010 and 2011) and the Cape Flying Championships. Crowned Equus Champion Sprinter for the 2010-11 season, the lightning fast daughter of Avontuur superstar Var was out of the Elliodor mare, Minelli. Val De Ra’s greatest moment arguably came when she beat present day Drakenstein sire What A Winter in the 2012 Cape Flying Championship.

Dreamland is raced by the Wernars family and was a R300 000 National Yearling Sale purchase.

He has now won 3 races with 6 places from 13 starts for stakes of R317 000.

Saturday’s Turffontein racemeeting marked the 36th anniversary of the Hennenman air crash of 1988, the worst disaster in the history of local racing.

On Tuesday 12 April 1988, a United Airways charter flight crashed into a field outside the Free State town of Hennenman, claiming the lives of all 24 on board.

Those lost were members of the racing community returning from a Bloemfontein race meeting and included jockeys Keith Basel, Lawrence Riley, Johannes “Rooies” Fourie (leading Transvaal Jockey at the time), Warren Baillie, Bennie de Wet, Greg Holme, Douglas Roper, Danny Lombard, John McMurtry, Mark Nel, Michael Coetzee, Simon Rahilly and Gordon Sterley; trainer Hennie van Wyk; owners Jacobus Viljoen and Neville Blignaut; racing officials Graham Kent, Dave Bullock, Henry Havergall, Ginger Masterton and Johannes van der Linden and 3 air crew, Jacob Kalt, Harold Whitehead and Jacqueline Henderson.

Andrew Bon produced this excellent tribute:

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