PIPPA Mickleburgh aptly named her own-bred son of Western Winter and In Camera, “Attenborough” – after renowned British film-maker Richard Attenborough and his equally famous broadcaster-brother David, the revered naturalist.
It was quite fitting then, that trainer Joey Ramsden’s big, powerhouse sprinter won his first Gr1 under “King Richard” himself – the mercurial Richard Fourie held Attenborough’s reins for the first time in Saturday’s Computaform Sprint over 1000m, gave it the expected super ride and actually posted his own first Gr1 sprint, quite hard to believe but true.
“When I felt how he moved to the start I knew he’d be hard to beat. He was primed, this was his for the picking and he won a tremendous race. It was flawless, it was beautiful” said an excited Fourie afterwards.
Ramsden’s always modest assistant Alson Ndzilana, who makes an annual visit to Johannesburg at this time of the year and enjoys the City Of Gold more than he purports to, said: “We gave Attenborough a prep run last time (17 April), we showed him the course.”
Attenborough had improved so much in the interim that Ramsden himself said earlier this week: “Attenborough is doing extremely well, he’s absolutely flying,” and punters who had sensed the confidence helped themselves to R16,70 for a Tote win.”
Ramsden said after the win: Wow! We knew he had it in him! A huge congratulations to his new owners who had enough faith to buy him and keep him with me. Naturally thank you to my team, Alson eats, breathes and sleeps these horses when they travel. Well done brother.
Mickleburgh said: “The connections always thought he had a Gr1 in him. I kept a small piece of him, good luck to the other partners all over the world. The mare had a baby by VAR, she has has an Oratorio at foot and more to come!”
Attenborough is 5 for 21 and has pushed his career earnings to over R2-million, the price originally paid for him at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale in 2015.
Photo by JC Photos.