Corrie Lensley spoke to Turf Talk on Hollywoodbets Durban July day and revealed his Grade 1 Golden Horse winner Alesian Chief will be coming back down on Marshall World Of Sprts Gold Cup day to run in the Grade 1 Mercury Sprint, provided he lands a good draw.
He will also be bringing his promising two-year-old Now I Got You (Admiral Kitten) to run in the Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Stakes over 1600m.
He said, “If he (Alesian Chief) is drawn anything outside of six or seven, we won’t bring him. The way he races if he is drawn out wide he will burn himself out to get to the front. He is just a bull when he jumps out of the gates, he wants to break all the china in the shop!”
The three-year-old Vercingetorix colt proved himself up to weight for age class when winning the Golden Horse with 58.5kg off a 119 merit rating.
He is now merit rated 123, which is just two points lower than the three joint-highest rated sprinters in the country Rio Querari, Master Archie and Bohica.
Lensley’s Now I Got You led the Grade 1 Gold Medallion over 1200m before being swamped and then amazingly fighting back for second place.
He then came out and finished second in the BSA Sales Cup for colts and gelding over 1300m on Hollywoodbets Durban July day.
He said, “He’s still learning the game. He’s still a big baby. But he is an absolutely beautiful horse. We will come back fighting with him. You will hear a lot more about this horse. He will be a maiden until he wins a Graded race! Muzi got off and said he will definitely take them on over 1600m. He wasn’t overly tired when he got back. He was still full of himself and not blowing a lot. If you go and look at the times, the times are a bit slower than the fillies race and I think it just caught him out a bit that they went a bit slower than they normally go. But that’s racing.”
Now I Got You runs in the same colours as the great J J The Jet Plane as his chief owner is Coenie Strydom.
Coenie owns him in partnership with PJ and BA Victor.
Now I Got You is one of four “very decent horses” Coenie and his partners have bought for the Lensley yard.
Corrie said, “I was introduced to the owners, it is the first time they have had horses with me, and we are now like one big happy family!”
Things didn’t look to good for Corrie one year after Flamingo Park’s closure as he had moved to Cape Town and it was tough to compete with his relatively cheaply bought string in a centre which has the highest class of horse in the country.
However, he said, “My wife Emmie always reminds me that if we had not gone to Cape Town we would not have Alesian Chief.”
Corrie secured Alesian Chief for a mere R50,000 when visiting Ambiance Stud thanks to owner Peet Boonzaaier giving him the go ahead over the phone.
Corrie later relocated to the Vaal and his first runner was Alesian Chief on March 3, 2021. He then ran second and less than two months after his debut gave Corrie his first Highveld winner.
Corrie said, “He was my kick off in Jo’burg and since he’s been running everything has just been snowballing slowly, slowly and you know what I am feeling good at the moment. I was down for a while before we came back to the Vaal but I am now feeling positive about racing and positive about myself and my horses.”
In fact at Hollwoodbets Greyville on Saturday, he was approached by an owner and he is going to be sent another two horses.
Corrie has always been a respected trainer and remembers once when he was training out of Bloemfontein bringing nine horses down to Durban and getting five seconds.
There was also the famous occasion when he took a Kimberley maiden to run in the Grade 2 SA Fillies Nursery at Turffontein and this filly, King’s Temptress, upset the big guns to win at odds of 150/1.
However, he said, “These kinds of races (July day features) I call them pressure races and even although I am 58 years old for me it a learning curve. I have to learn how to work with it and how to keep my self calm and keep all the horses around me calm. So I can be proud of it (his recent success in big races).”
He added, “But the positivity comes out when you win races. As soon as you don’t win races, you start doubting yourself. As soon as you start winning you feel you can compete. But you need the horses. Every trainer needs good horses. Anybody can get a horse fit, but good horses win big races.”
Corrie is one of the lucky one who got a Vercingetorix early.
He said, “The guys who have got Vercingetorix’s in the next two or three years they’re going to think it’s raining porridge. They are going to make money. I actually had a filly by him in Cape Town, she was very nice bit she was just small, and there you could see already he was throwing very nice horses.”
Corrie has 45 horses now having earlier set a limit at 40.
He said, “If they come and are good enough horses we will go up to 50. My wife Emmie works full time for me now. She’s not in the medical profession anymore. We relate to each other well. It is not like the normal assistant being civil, she can shout back at me if I make mistakes!”
Winter Smoke, Galla Vanting, Captain Lannister On CTS Horses In Training Sale At Turffontein (16 July)
Tarry Proud To Provide Cherry On The Top For Hollywood
Tarry Provides Cherry On The Top For Halcyon Hollywood Day
The Sean Tarry-trained Klawervlei Stud-bred Pomodoro gelding Black Thorn comfortably converted odds-on favouritism in Saturday’s Grade 3 DSTV Gold Vase and it was most fitting that the Hollywood Syndicate thus won a race at the first Durban July meeting with Hollywoodbets as sponsor.
Tarry said, “I was relieved. He really did look a hard horse to beat and had a perfect prep. Hollywood were always mindful of me being quite bullish about this horse on the day and I think it is maybe the cherry on the top for their day, which I am every proud to have supplied.”
Black Thorn’s wide draw had been a concern for supporters, but Keagan de Melo skillfully dropped him in and he had cover near the back throughout.
De Melo was aware that Imperial Ruby is able to stay on strongly from the front if given an easy lead and he eased Black Thorn around horses approaching the straight.
He moved up under the hands until getting to work at the 250m mark to collar Imperial Ruby at the 100m mark.
He beat the running on Rex Union by a comfortable 0,80 lengths.
Black Thorn has actually taken the lead in the Equus Stayers award points log, one point clear of both Nebraas and July heroine Sparkling Water, who won the Grade 2 New Turf Carriers Western Cape Stayers over 2850m.
That provides a good example of why the points accumulation system only constitutes a third of the total Equus Awards judgement, the other two-thirds being made up of a panel vote and a public vote.
Nebraas gave Black Thorn 6kg and a beating in the Grade 3 Caradoc Gold Cup and 8kg and a beating in the Grade 3 The Citizen Gold Bowl and the human element to the awards judging will likely see him come out ahead of Black Thorn as things stand.
However that could all change in the Gold Cup.
Nebraas will defend his title there but will likely have most to fear from his stable companion Black Thorn, who is still merit rated 18 points lower than him.
Picture: Black Thorn (Candiese Lenferna Photography).
Rouge Allure, The Last Kahal In Training, Wins Her 100th Start
The Stehen Moffatt-trained Rouge Allure is the last progeny of Kahal still in training in South Africa and yesterday in her 100th career start at the Vaal she claimed her 14th win.
The only other progeny of the stalwart former Summerhill Stud stallion still in training is the seven-year-old mare Dunzie and amazingly enough she won her last start in Mauritius on June 25.
However, most extraordinary is that Rouge Allure, who is eight years old, earned her first ever bold black type only on March 19 this year.
She gave her four-year-old stable companion Opera Glass 1kg and a length beating in the Listed Jacaranda Handicap over 1800m, carrying 53kg off a 90 merit rating.
Moffat said chief owner Albert Rapp initially said he would retire her after her 100th run.
However, Moffatt said if Rapp did not get a good enough price for her as a broodmare she might carry on racing.
She also has a Grade 3 runner up spot to her name, which occurred in the WSB Club Prive Acacia Handicap over 1600m, also in March this year.
Moffatt pointed out she was superbly bred too, being out of a Pivotal mare.
He added, “She is like iron, she has never had a problem and has always been as sound as a bell. She is like a three-year-old in the mornings, you would never think she is a rising nine-year-old.”
The Summerhill-bred mare is also still part-owned by Micky Goss’s Summerhill Stud Syndicate.
She has been in the Moffat yard since being purchased by Rapp as a yearling and Stephen broke her in.
She initially showed a lot of early speed and was an effective front-runner or handy horse over 1200m to 1400m trips.
However, she now stays middle distances and can come from off the pace.
Stephen said, “She is a bit sluggish out the gates these days. She never used to pull when she was younger, she just liked to be up there. She now sits back and can come from anywhere.”
The key to her win yesterday was she broke well.
It was like the old days as she was sitting in the box seat in third place, although this time it was over 1800m and she was carrying 62.5kg off a 94 merit rating.
She travelled comfortably under Gavin Lerena and in the long Vaal straight the blinkered mare continued to relax as she followed the pacemakers.
She then responded well to his urgings when switched in for a run at the 500m mark.
She held off the progressive Kind Judy, to whom she gave 10kg, and won by 0,40 lengths.
Lerena was obviously aware of the occasion and waved his whip in celebration as they crossed the line.
It was a fine training feat by the experienced Moffatt and time will tell if she is seen at the races again.
Picture: Rouge Allure winning at the Vaal yesterday (JC Photos).
Spielberg Looks For Leading Role In Vaal Sprint
If the racehorse Spielberg has the talent of his namesake film director Steven Spielberg, he could play a leading role in the sixth race at the Vaal on Thursday.
Spielberg’s most famous and best-known film is Jurassic Park which broke all records at the box office.
Trained by Paul Peter, who won Saturday’s grade 2 Post Merchants at Greyville with Val D’Orcia, Spielberg started favourite on his debut at the city track last month but had to settle for third place behind Pinch Hit.
In early betting on the 1,000m sprint, bookmakers quote Adam and Mike Azzie’s youngster, Far And Away, as the market leader. The son of What A Winter started odds-on on his debut in March and after a tardy start finished fourth.
Peter has backup in the race in Uncle Ticky Bird with Raymond Danielson booked for the ride on the son of Vercingetorix.
Trainer Corné Spies will be delighted to have won with his grey mare, Snow Palace, at Greyville last Saturday and he could saddle another winner when All Of Me does duty for the stable in the seventh race.
A winner of 12 of her 72 starts, All Of Me has done her connections proud and could add to her bankroll if she can beat Rozara and Candice Dawson’s filly, Greens.
Rozara has played her part in making it a memorable season for Ashley Fortune and the daughter of Wylie Hall is knocking on the door for her fifth win.
Dawson is probably disappointed that he’s not in the first 30 in the national trainers log and will be hoping for better fortune next term. Her filly, Greens, has an each-way shout in this handicap.
In the first leg of the jackpot, Peter introduces a well-bred newcomer in Bless My Stars, a R250,000 daughter of Gimmethegreenlight. The filly won’t have to be anyone special to make a winning debut as it is a thin race with Mercurial Jet rated the chief danger.
Jockey Calvin Habib won on Dark Travel at Turffontein on Tuesday and his third race mount, Never To Clever, could finally open her account for trainer Erico Verdonese.
The advantage Never To Clever has over her seven rivals is that he is a four-year-old whereas her chief opponents, Johnny Dogs and Big Five, are two and one year younger respectively.
Robbie Sage’s filly, Verinova, makes plenty of appeal in the final race on the card as the four-year-old is 5.5kg better off with her recent conqueror, Love Bite.
Roy Magner has his team in good form and his runner, Stormy Lass, is also better off with Love Bite and warrants inclusion in all exotic bets.
1st race: (5) Lady Of Power (9) Silver Mensa (6) Memorial Day (1) Berengaria
2nd race: (5) Jimmy Don (4) Fort Lauderdale (11) Timeinthewoods (2) Brosnan
3rd race: (2) Never To Clever (6) Johnny Dogs (1) Big Five (5) Bye Bye Birdie
4th race: (3) Bless My Stars (1) Mercurial Jet (8) Queen Britannia (2) Lunar Ballade
5th race: (5) A Touch Of Sugar (6) Heart And Mind (1) Beltway (9) Silver Clock
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Which filly who made her debut 50 years ago was the most aptly named of all the great French-bred fillies and which great rival did she face six times and beat six times?
See Answer At The End Of Newsletter
Picture: Pictured above is the filly the subject continually beat (Pininterest).
Vaal Straight Course Thursday July 7 Fields
Today’s Question Answer
Allez France (Sea Bird II) won a Group 1 as a two-year-old and won the Group 1 French 1000 Guineas, the Group 1 French Oaks and Group 1 Prix Vermeille as a three-year-olds.
She was unbeaten as a four-year-old which culminated in her winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
She added another Group 1 as a five-year-old.
She faced Dahlia (Vaguely Noble) six times and beat her on every occasion.
However, Dahlia was a great traveler and earned more money.
Her victories included the Irish Oaks, Two King George and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, the first by an astonishing six lengths coming from last, two Group 1 Benson and Hedges Gold Cups at York (International Stakes), the Washington D.C, International, the Canadian International Championships, the Man O’ War Stakes, and a couple of Group 1s in France.
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