HERO’S Honour has proven that he is capable of relaxing and firing from off the pace a few times, and having won a strong Assessment Mile at Turffontein Saturday, the connections of this smart 2018 SA Derby winner have set their sights on the 2019 Vodacom Durban July.
Hero’s Honour rallied from seven lengths off to win under a good ride from apprentice Denis Schwarz and fended off a strong challenge from Approach Control in doing so.
Assistant trainer Dean Alexander, speaking on behalf of his brother Gary, noted: “This was a commendable performance because Hero’s Honour didn’t have an ideal preparation. The training tracks have been water-logged recently. And he’s a 2000m-plus horse, his good runs over shorter shows his class.
“Hero’s Honour was not near wound up, he’s going to get better. He’s got stamina, he’s got speed and a turn of foot, all the attributes you need to be competitive in the Durban July,” said Dean, who came very close with Piere Jourdan when Igugu won the big race in 2011.
The gelding’s route to VDJ has not been finalised and Dean said: “We’ll discuss and plan his races into the July. Off his current 109-rating he will come into the July with a decent galloping weight and if we go for Conditions races on the way it will mess with his ratings. We’ll have a look it at.”
He said about Schwarz: “He’s a youngster with a good work ethic and he is willing to learn, he is riding well.”
Hero’s Honour, the best progeny of the sadly ill-fated Await The Dawn, was a R300,000 buy from the 2016 CTS Ready To Run Sale. The Summerhill-bred is three from eight for the Wernars family, Bruce and Jo Gardner and Greg Sadie, with stakes approaching R1,5-million.