Gavin van Zyl conducted a barrier trial with five unraced two-year-olds before Wednesday’s Hollywoodbets Greyville racemeeting and owing to the success of the excercise more trainers might follow suit in this initiative.
David Thiselton reports that Gold Circle went out of their way to accomodate the trial and even went as far as having saddle cloths with the runners’ names on them.
Van Zyl said besides the trial allowing the public a chance to watch unraced horses it was also a very good part of a horse’s preparation for racing.
It not only gives the horses a view of the course but gives them experience of the starting stalls in a racing situation and also the experience of running against a number of other horses.
The five runners in draw order were Prince Of Tides (Duke Of Marmalade colt) ridden by Siphesihle Hlengwa, Quantifier (Querari colt) ridden by Calvin Habib, Golden Peace (Gold Standard gelding) ridden by Kyle Strydom, Copper View (Global View filly) ridden by Rachel Venniker and Wylie Riley (Wyle Hall gelding) ridden by Tristan Godden.
The males carried 58kg and the filly 56kg. The first performance which pleased Van Zyl was the horses’ behaviour at the start.
They all loaded without any issues and jumped well. Copper View was the first to show but Wylie Riley was soon alongside her. Wylie Riley got to the line first still on a tight hold and Godden sitting motioneless.
Copper View was beaten narrowly but did require some encouragement. Golden Peace made eyecatching late progress. Quantifier weas narrowly behind the latter. Prince Of Tides was very green and at the back throughout.
Van Zyl said, “It was a lovely trial. They all went into the pens beautifully. I thought that Copper View and Wylie Riley would fight it out. Quantifier and Golden Peace were close up, that was nice to see. Prince Of Tides needs a little bit more training. All in all I think it was a very, very nice excercise for these horses and nice to show the public what we do at home with these horses and how we try and train them. It was a lovely 1200m trial, nicely controlled and it will be nice to see what the jockeys’ comments are.”
Godden said about Wylie Riley, “He was very forward. He broke well and when he got in behind he lost it a little bit and dropped the bit. But that was fine, because halfway through he picked it up again and as soon as I pulled him out I didn’t even have to smack him, I just rode him out just to keep him focused.
Very foward and has a lovely action.” Van Zyl thinks a lot of Wylie Riley and thinks he will be a warm order first time out.
Venniker said about Copper View, “She is nice, lovely filly. NIce early toe but just up the straight she was a bit unsure of herself.”
Strydom said about Golden Peace, “Nice gallop, jumped well, but when the other horse came around him he was still a bit green and put his ears back. He slowly picked it up in the straight and over ground I think he will be a nice horse.”
Habib said about Quantifier, “He has a lovely action, smart horse, he just feels like he will appreciate a little bit further and this trial will definitely bring him on.”
Hlengwa said about Prince Of Tides, “He came out the pens nicely but wasn’t sure what to do after that. But whan a horse came in front of him he went along with him and showed a nice action but I just had to keep him moving. I think he will need a bit further but he should improve a lot from this gallop.”
Loyal supporter of the yard Errol Budlender was there to watch his filly Copper View. Errol has been in ownership for 30 years and owned such horses as Dance Every Dance (Northern Guest), who won such races as the Golden Slipper and Cape Fillies Guineas (both Grade 2s at the time), Rocketball, Blackball, Marchingontogether and he also had a share in Van Zyl’s first ever winner Laser Fan.
Watch the barrier trial here: