Former South African breeder Lionel Cohen trained his first winner in Australia for leading South African owners Ingrid and Markus Jooste on Sunday. He saddled the 3yo Hussonet gelding Senior Council who scored an exciting win at Hawkesbury.
Markus and Ingrid Jooste are leading thoroughbred investors in South Africa and their instantly recognisable silks have been carried most notably recently by dual SA Horse Of The Year, Variety Club.
Their breeding interests are held by Klawervlei Stud, who this season came within a whisker of toppling nine time SA champion breeders, Summerhill Stud.
With only two runners on the weekend, Lionel Cohen and his team could not have been happier with the results that the stable achieved.
Cohen, is a third generation South African racehorse breeder, perhaps best known as the owner of former champion Sun Classique and learnt the ropes at the family owned Odessa Stud in Ceres, from where many SA Champions were produced.
Cohen, an astute businessman and brilliant horseman, was looking for new challenges in the first decade of the 21st century.
He had always harboured an ambition to train racehorses but after being told he would need to serve a five-year apprenticeship in South Africa, before being granted a trainer’s licence, he made an application to train in Sydney.
Cohen was granted a licence in Australia in 2010 and in his first season prepared two provincial winners (Liquid Force and State General) before Aeronautical registered his first stakes winner in the Listed $100 000 The Rosebud in mid 2011.
The irony is that Cohen would probably be welcomed with open arms back into the South African training ranks today.
On Sunday Senior Council had to contend with top weight and very wide barrier, but proved too classy, holding off the lightly-weighted Bel Esprit filly Brilliant Crystal by a short half head with a further three-quarters of a length to the third placed Refer.
Having recorded two second placed efforts at his first two starts, Senior Council, an impressive looking chestnut, is the first runner in the Cohen stable to carry the globally recognised emerald green, yellow stars, black sleeves and cap racing silks of the Joostes.
These silks have been carried to victory over the years by Group One winners Variety Club, Delago Deluxe, Bravura, National Assembly, Happy Landing and Seventh Rock, to name but a few.
Ridden by the Group One Golden Slipper-winning jockey Tommy Berry, Senior Council is a high class galloper with form around some of the leading juveniles of his year, running very good races against the likes of Sidestep, Dothraki, Windjammer, Equator, Good Job Bro, Calming Influence, Champollion, Charlie Boy and I’m All The Talk.
Senior Council is now likely to step up further in trip at his next start in the coming weeks and now that he has found form, he should prove hard to beat again.
Twenty four hours earlier, stable star Aeronautical returned to the track in the Group Two The Shorts at Royal Randwick over 1100m. Settling back in the field for leading jockey Jimmy Cassidy, the Encosta de Lago gelding was taken to the outside to make his run as the field headed for home.
While he took a little while to warm up over the sprint trip, he hit the line extremely hard, just missing by a nose in a photo finish to Darley’s Lonhro colt Sessions who had scored an easier run and come along the rails, with a further short neck back to Spirit Of Boom who had also made his run down the outside.
With Aeronautical having a much better record as he goes further into his campaign, the gusto he showed on Saturday bodes well as an indicator of his future campaign this season.
Likely to head to Melbourne, Aeronautical could be seen in some of the lucrative sprint races in the coming weeks.