VAN Halen will be leaving for Cape Town this Sunday following his effortless comeback win in 1200m contest on Turffontein’s inside track, Thursday.

The Spies stable was delighted with the way the three-year-old gelding disposed of Green Haze and others in a competitive Assessment Plate. He got over onto the rail from a wide draw, settled nicely, five or six lengths adrift, and quickened away smartly when Craig Zackey shook him up.

Tobie Spies told Turf Talk: “The way Van Halen settled is what we wanted to see. He was calm and relaxed in the ring and he ran like a professional. He has matured and on the manner he won this he has given us options for the Cape season. We’re sending him down early so he can acclimatise. He will be stabled at Milnerton.”

Spies added: “There are not a lot of horses who will go with Van Halen over 1000m and on what he’s showing is in work I think 1600m is well within his reach. When we sent him to the front in the past he ran out of steam late, he prefers racing from slightly off them, this win was very encouraging. He’s really good.”

Spies added: “We’ll be aiming him at the Cape Merchants over 1200m in November and then we’ll pick our races, there is the Gr1 Cape Guineas to consider and the two Million Dollar races on SunMet day, the sprint or the mile.”

At this stage, a local runner who has revealed himself as one of Van Halen’s main future rivals is Sean Tarry’s smart Chimichuri Run and Spies said: “He is an impressive horse. He won a Gr3 feature recently on his return and we won an Assessment Plate. We beat him in the Gold Medallion, but he’s obviously an improving type and we have a lot of respect for him.”

Van Halen is by Oratorio from Rock Concert, bred by Limpo Trading. He races for Fito Englezakis, Rob MacNab, Freddie van Wyk and Alfred Pawson.

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