EFFORTLESS Reward (AUS) completed last Friday night’s The Independent on Saturday Sports and Racing Dash over 400m in 24,18s, about 19s faster than Wade van Niekerk, the human world record holder for the distance.

In horsepower vs human ability this statistic probably makes van Niekerk look good, even more so if one considers trainer Louis Goosen’s assessment that five-year-old Effortless Reward is the “fastest racehorse I have ever laid my hands on!”

With praise like this, one would expect Effortless Reward to have had more than seven career wins to her name, but Goosen explained that she has a breathing problem which has prevented her from “running through” in races over 1000m.

“Effortless Reward video-scoped clean when we bought her in Australia, but she started making breathing noises here and the vets discovered she had a birth defect in her throat, the scientific name for it is baffling but suffice to say it is an inoperable defect and she’s been running like that.”

The 400m novelty race was made in heaven for Effortless Reward, who is not affected by her problem until late in a 1000m sprint, and Goosen was confident she’d win it. A scholar of the late “sprint magician”, Buddy Maroun, he also sharpened her for the dash and the stable’s confidence reflected in apprentice Jason Gates celebrating his success well before the line.

Effortless Reward, formerly owned by Mario Ferreira, was bought back at the Shongweni Sale by Suzette and Basie Viljoen and partner Laura De Haast, who paid just R50,000 and got it all back with Friday’s R81,000 winner’s cheque.

Goosen said: “Mario and his racing manager Des Goncalves decided to let her go, she doesn’t have black type and they didn’t want to breed with her, but I’m glad we kept her and thanks to her new owners for stepping in.”

Viljoen and De Haast invested even more at the recent National Yearling Sale, buying a Soft Falling Rain colt from Mauritzfontein Stud for R900,000. “I am thankful for their support. This is the first time I’ve gone to a sale and got three of the top five I wanted. Mauritzfontein has also kindly leased me a half-sister to Zen Arcade, by Global View.” 

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