Very Sensible

Cape owner diversifying to KZN and Gauteng in search of better stakes

Sensible lover wins 3 Troika

Marco Van Rensburg drives Sensible Lover up to beat the fancied Lazer Star in the final strides (Pic: JC Photos)

There is no such thing as a racing certainty. We discovered that harsh reality again at Turffontein on Saturday, when two strongly fancied favourites were forced to eat humble pie. And we are embroiled in one of those ‘did they really stay?’ debates again as the previously undefeated Lazer Star went down narrowly in the R250 000 Gr3 Three Troikas Stakes.

Lazer Star came in here undefeated off four impressive sprint wins and ahead of the official handicapper in our estimation. The manner of her victories, coupled with a calculated analysis that she would at least get the 1450m, made her a firm first choice.

But enter another Marwing in trainer Weiho and his unexposed Australian-bred Sensible Lover. And some additional irony – Weichong (the jockey on Lazer Star, which is owned by his wife) had ridden Sensible Lover for his brother in her first two starts.

It is not often that a trainer gives a jockey the green light to ride 1,5kgs over but Weiho Marwing gave the nod of confidence to Marco Van Rensburg. And it worked.

When Lazer Star drew level down the inside with the pacy Sensible Lover at the 250m marker, it frankly looked race over and cheque in the bank for the Ferraris flyer.

But Van Rensburg got stuck in to his mount and showed again that he is no second-class Flamingo Park pilot by getting the extra out of Sensible Lover, who rallied as her 6kg pull with the favourite spoke loudly.

The 12 to 1 Sensible Lover was too strong in the end and beat the favourite a head in a time of 86,99 secs.

Based on this example, it would be folly to suggest that Lazer Star did not stay and she will be back.

Winning jockey Marco Van Rensburg was beaming afterwards:

“We didn’t go fast and that suited me. I gave her a chance and when she saw Laser Star next to her, she put her head down and gunned again.”

Trainer Weiho Marwing was naturally also chuffed:

“Darryl Hodgson sent her up from the Cape in perfect nick. Then Marco rode a peach of a race. It will be a case of the further the better for her.”

Cape-based co-owner Hassen Adams was at Turffontein to lead his horse in.

“I liked this filly when Chris Snaith and I picked her in Australia. I am glad that she won and this is part of my plan to race more in Gauteng and KZN. This is where the money is.”

Sensible Lover has now won 2 of 3 starts, having run a creditable third on debut. She took her earnings to R218 075.

She was bred in Australia by Cornerstone Stud Farm Pty Ltd, SA & Peter Deal and is a daughter of Good Journey, out of the five-time winning Al Mufti mare, Almah. The latter was a solid stayer who won the Gr2 J&B Reserve Stayers on Met day in 2003.

As a stallion, Good Journey may not be well known to SA racing enthusiasts.

Outside of the Hunter Valley, he is the only Gr1 winning son of the great Nureyev at stud in Australia.

Good Journey is the sire of 180 winners with earnings of over $13 million. His progeny average $58,500 earnings per runner to November 2014.

He is the sire of 12 stakes winners, including 3 new Australian stakes winners during spring 2014 and produced three new stakes winners in USA in 2013 and 2014. He finished 3rd on the California Leading Turf Sires List in 2013.

Good Journey is also the sire of stakes winner Sino Brilhante, a South Australian bred who has become a sensation in Macau for trainer Gary Moore. Having sired further winners in Singapore and Hong Kong his yearlings are becoming the focus of many trainers and buyers working in Asian bloodstock markets.

Good Journey is by Nureyev, sire of 135 stakes winners. His Dam, Chimes Of Freedom, was a precocious two-year-old winning 4 of her 5 juvenile starts in Ireland including a Group One over 6 Furlongs. She would go on at three to win the Gr.1 Newmarket Cheveley Park Sprint, finishing her career with 6 wins from 9 starts.

On the racetrack, Good Journey was as honest as he was classy. Competing exclusively on turf, from 16 starts he missed a place only once, winning 7 races and placed on a further 8 occasions. Good Journey’s Group One success came in the US$1million Woodbine Atto Mile. He would go on to win 3 more races at Group Two level including the Hollywood Citation which he won twice.

Good Journey then confirmed himself as a world class miler with his third placing in the Gr1 Breeders Cup Mile, a race in which Rock Of Gibraltar was runner-up.


Gr3 Three Troikas Stakes  (SAf-Gr3)

Turffontein, South Africa, February 7, R250k, 1450m, turf, good, 1.26.99

1 – SENSIBLE LOVER (AUS), 52.0, b f 3, Good Journey (USA) – Almah (SAF) by Al Mufti (USA). Owner Messrs H Adams & D Chinsammy; Breeder bred in Australia; trainer WH Marwing; jockey M v Rensburg
2 – Lazer Star (SAF), 58.0, b f 3, Toreador (IRE) – Empress Of Ozz (AUS) by Sri Pekan (IRE)
3 – Bichette (SAF), 52.5, b f 3, Western Winter (USA) – Bardot (SAF) by Badger Land (USA)
Margins: 0.20, 3.30, 2.00


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