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Coin Spinner (Picture: Candiese Lenferna)
Tony Rivalland is targeting the Grade 1 Golden Horse Sprint with the talented William Longsword gelding Coin Spinner, but he admitted not knowing quite what to think of his comeback run on Sunday, although he said he was not unhappy with it.
Following a layoff of more than seven months, Coin Spinner stayed on at one pace in the closing stages for a 4,60 length 8th of nine in a Pinnacle event over 1000m at Hollywoodbets Scottsville.
Tony said 1000m was a a tad short of the four-year-old sprinter’s best and he added the course had been running very fast too. However, he said he did have him fit. He explained he would never run a good horse unfit, because the good ones tended to give their all and could damage themselves if unfit. He said one could maybe get away with running a lesser horse unfit, because that class of horse tended to give up when becoming tired. So, initially, after seeing Coin Spinner just stay on at one pace in the last 200m, he believed he might not have done enough with him. However, when he then looked at the horse’s post-race readings it was clear he had recovered extremely well. That left him a touch disappointed in the performance.
So, he is not quite sure what to think of the run, but said he would know more after the Listed In Full Flight Handicap over 1100m at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on April 30.
Another, exciting KZN speedster who will be in the In Full Flight is the progressive Wendy Whitehead-trained Eightfold Path four-year-old gelding Beechamwood Boy.
Rivalland is confident Coin Spinner will be at his peak by the time of the Golden Horse. However, he said it was going to be difficult to do that and qualify him at the same time, because he was only rated 101 and would probably either have to win the In Full Flight or a later Pinnacle Stakes event.
Coin Spinner has been a tremendously unlucky horse. An example was him sustaining a rare injury, i.e. a tendon injury of the shoulder when walking back from track one morning, shortly before the Grade 3 Betway Merchants at Turffontein. Rivalland had been extremely confident of him winning that race.
Rivalland has been training for some 38 years and made a fine start to his career, selecting the 1985-born Senor Santa at the sales (and naming him) and nurturing him into a Champion Two-year-old before losing him halfway through his three-year-old season due to an unfortunate fall out with the owners. The next trainer benefited from the early work Rivalland had put in and Senor Santa is recognised today as one of the all time greats of the SA turf.