A fast rising star in the two year old ranks played his first major leading role on Saturday. The R500 000 Gr1 Zulu Kingdom Explorer Golden Horseshoe was turned into a procession by Corne Spies’ War Horse, who also gave jockey Jeff Lloyd a reason to remember his return to one of his old hunting grounds with some fondness.
Spies’ booking of Lloyd for his two year old double Gr1 assault was a shrewd move that produced a second in the fillies race and a glorious first in this colt’s equivalent. A winner of the Listed Protea Stakes at the end of March, War Horse can only get better as he goes more ground, and looks a very exciting prospect.
A balance of power and strength can only be a positive for horseracing, and it is heartening to see one of the lesser yards producing the Gr1 goods in the manner that Corne Spies did on Saturday. And everything went right, despite War Horse hanging out over the final 400m
The maiden Blushing Peter led the pack at a fair clip with a keen as mustard War Horse in second and the De Kock filly Honorine loping along in third position.
Turning for home, the pacesetter fell away as Honorine moved up smoothly looking very dangerous. But Lloyd had been sitting with a double handful of dynamite and he detonated the explosive burst at the 200m marker as the colt swept forward to win by 2,25 lengths from a flying recent maiden winner Shimmer And Shine, who ran a cracker from a wide draw.
Honorine ran on gallantly for third place to hold off a flying American Storm, who ran a great race for Spike Lerena from his 15 draw.
War Horse’s winning time of 82,30 secs was slower than that of Rumya in the fillies’ equivalent run 45 minutes earlier. One horse who caught the eye was Paul Lafferty’s Love Struck, who jumped from the outside draw and was used liberally by jockey Raymond Danielson during the race. The son of Kahal stayed on well after all that tu run a 3,20 length fifth.
Sean Tarry’s The Hangman was backed in to 11-2 and was the street-corner whisper. But after jumping next to the eventual winner, a series of events led to his undoing. Gavin Lerena’s foot slipped out of the left side iron at approximately the 400 metre mark which he regained at approximately the 300 metre mark. He was then steadied off the heels of Danesco for a number of strides and switched out to obtain a clear run at approximately the 100 metre mark.He eventually finished tenth 5,25 lengths off the winner, and may well be worth another chance when reverting to Novice company next time out.
A winner of 3 of his 5 starts with 1 place to his credit, War Horse has now earned R411 375. He was purchased for R275 000 on the inaugural Cape Premier Yearling Sale.
The War Horse story is covered in more depth in the Louw Flyer column in this issue.
He was bred by Mr and Mrs Erasmus, by the deceased Al Mufti stallion Victory Moon, who achieved a notable Gr1 double on the July afternoon. He is out of the three time winning New Zealand bred Deputy Governor mare, Star Deputy, who interestingly won up to 2600m.This gives this youngster plenty of scope to go on to bigger and better things from here.
In the elated high of the post-race interview, trainer Corne Spies marked him as a prospective 2013 Vodacom Durban July contender. What do they say about aiming for the moon? If you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars.
And those dreams are why we race these beautiful animals in the first place.
Golden Horseshoe (SAf-G1) (7/7)
Greyville, South Africa, July 7, R500.000, 1400m, turf, good, 1.22.30 (CR
WAR HORSE (SAF), 58.0, b c 2, Victory Moon (SAF) – Star Deputy (NZ) by
Deputy Governor. Owner F N Englezakis; breeder Mrs & Mrs J Erasmus (SAF);
trainer C Spies; jockey J Lloyd (R312.500)
Shimmer And Shine (SAF), 58.0, b g 2, Kahal (GB) – Shimmering Sea (SAF) by
Model Man (SAF)
Honorine (AUS), 55.5, b f 2, Redoute’s Choice (AUS) – Zaldivar (AUS) by
Honour And Glory
Margins: 2¼, nk, nose
Also ran: American Storm (SAF) 58.0, Love Struck (SAF) 58.0, Danesco (SAF)
58.0, Fly Me Over (SAF) 58.0, Ottimo (AUS) 58.0, Blushing Peter (SAF) 58.0,
The Hangman (SAF) 58.0, Go Again (SAF) 58.0, My Jelly Bean (SAF) 58.0,
Captain Dino (SAF) 58.0, Sabadell (SAF) 58.0, Rock Of Arts (AUS) 58.0,
Forest Fighter (SAF) 58.0