Skip to main content

Strawberry Bear just prevails in the Grade 3 Byerley Turk (Picture: Candiese Lenferna).

The magnificent looking Mike Miller-trained grey by Flying The Flag led from start to finish in the Grade 3 Byerley Turk over 1400m and downed the hotpot favourite Cousin Casey by 0,60 lengths.

It was a first stakes win for jockey Tristan Godden and also a first stakes win for part-owner Tony Jelinski, who owns the three-year-old gelding in partnership with Sterling Miller.  

Jelinsky said, “He is a very, very good horse and you can’t give him 6kg.”

Cousin Casey had to give the entire rest of the field 6kg, because his various Graded wins carried penalties under the conditions of the race.  

However, Strawberry Bear beat third-placed Erico Verdonese-trained  Jimmy Don by 0,65 lengths at level weights and the latter is a top horse, proven by his flying second in the Grade 1 WSB SA Classic, where he came from last.

Trainer Glen Kotzen will likely be unconcerned by Cousin Casey’s defeat and might in fact see it as a good omen.

He came to KZN in 2009 confident he could win the Durban July with Big City Life and the Casey Tibbs colt started off with a second in the Byerley Turk followed by successive wins in the KRA Guineas, the Daily News 2000 and the July.

Cousin Casey, who is by Vercingetorix, is out of a full-sister to Big City Life and will follow exactly the same route.

He has achieved the same result in leg one and Kotzen will obviously be hoping history repeats itself in the next three legs too.

The B.A.M. Giddy-bred Strawberry Bear’s route will provide a bit of a headache for the Miller yard as it will be tougher in weight for age or level weight events and he also has the option of stepping down in trip to sprints or up in trip to a mile.