Spies Strikes In Sand Nursery

1-2-3 for Vaal outfit

The Spies family have played a dominant role in the Kimberley Nursery since Indigofera opened their account in 2010 and they dominated the 2018 renewal of the R110 000 non black-type feature at Flamingo Park on Monday when saddling the top three home.

Tbie Spies leads in Van Halen after his recent Gr1 success (Pic – Gold Circle / Candiese Marnewick)

Trainer Tobie Spies has taken over the reins from his son Corne and he celebrated a nice winning double with the lightning fast Class Protector opening their winning account under Denis Schwarz in the seventh race.

But the champagne was flowing after the feature with a trifecta for the Vaal-based operation.

Marco van Rensburg rode a confident race to get the Where’s That Tiger filly Pulcheria into a winning position, 0,75 lengths ahead of her more fancied stalemates All About The Bass (Warm White Night) and Andalusian (Gitano Hernando).

The winner, who started at 18-1 maintained her 100% record in the Northern Cape – she won her last start over the course and distance after finding things a bit strong on the grass in her first five starts at Turffontein and the Vaal.

A 2017 CTS March Yearling Sale purchase by Corne Spies, she was bred by DVC’s Dr Ian Heyns and is a daughter of The Alchemy’s resident sire Where’s That Tiger out of the Damascus Gate mare Aurelia Magna.

She was the third two-year-old winner to have emerged from Where’s That Tiger’s first South African crop of two-year-olds when she shed her maiden. Others include debut winner and feature race contender Temp The Tiger and fellow first out winner Perfect Tigress.

Where’s That Tiger, runner up in the UAE 2000 Guineas, had previously made his mark in South Africa with his stakes winners Tiger’s Touch (Gr3 Sycamore Sprint), Supertube (Gr3 Racing Association Hcp) and Tiger Quest (Gardenia Handicap).

Tobie Spies is a man steeped in horses.

He grew up with animals on his father’s farm Haasfontein between Bethal and Middelburg in Mphumalanga. His father Cornelis Johannes Spies used to participate in the local “bush racing” in the area with some retired thoroughbreds that they got from the Witwatersrand.

Tobie won his first race as an amateur jockey on one of these horses at the age of 7.

Too big to be a jockey, he started a career as a surveyor on the mines and soon proved his worth becoming the youngest senior official in the Anglo American group at the time with 13 mining qualifications.

John Kramer, Kerry Jack and Tobi Spies

John Kramer (right), Kerry Jack and Tobie Spies

But his heart was always in racing and in 1977 he acquired a couple of broodmares and started breeding thoroughbreds as a hobby. When the oldest foals he produced became of racing age he applied for an Owner Trainers license with the then Jockey Club of SA and the rest is history.

Tobie’s first winner came with a little grey filly called Mantilla that he got as a present from the Goodman family.

He has been involved in the racing industry for over four decades as a  Breeder, Owner, Owner Trainer, Trainer, Stud Manager, TBA selector, Assistant trainer now full circle back training.

He won the Queen’s Plate with Yardmaster and also marked his return with a big victory in the Gr1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion with Van Halen two months ago.

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