WHEN two-year-old filly Mighty High (Mark Khan) came with a sustained finish to win Saturday’s Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship over 1200m going away, trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren was finally able to celebrate his first Gr1 success.

Every racing fan who got the news said, “No, can’t be, Johan must have had a few of those already!”

But true it is. The popular Vaal trainer has saddled five close Gr1 seconds (Brazuca, New Predator, She’s A Giver and Negroamaro), three thirds (Brazuca and New Predator), and two fourths (Brazuca and New Predator). Added to a number of Gr2, Gr3 and Listed wins, Janse van Vuuren’s had prominent campaigners at the highest level for the last three years and one would have thought…

The bridge is crossed, however, the ice is broken and 36-year-old Janse Van Vuuren will be hoping that the flood gates can open now. Interestingly, the Gr1 win came courtesy of a filly that almost never made it to his stable.

He explained: “We quite liked Mighty High at last year’s National Sale, but there were several others we liked more. In the end she didn’t make our shortlist, but Tim Bootsma of Maine Chance came over and said, “Johan, you’ve come to look at her three times, you may as well take her!” So in the end we put in a bid and we got her for only R120,000!”

Mighty High is owned by the partnership of Braam van Huyssteen, Laurence and Jared Wernars. She’s by Pathfork from a mare by Shamardal and Janse van Vuuren said: “Mighty High has turned out to be a very good filly. We’ll probably put her away for a while now, bring her back to Gauteng for the spring season.”




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