Skip to main content

Picture: The Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained Laurence Wernars-owned Tuscan Winter (What A Winter) storms through to win over 1160m on Tuesday (JC Photos).


It is not always the best horses that gain a following and on a personal note one of my favourite horses in the late 1980s was one called Break Even (Gatecrasher), a low division Highveld horse who ran in middle distance races and could only perform if put into a tailed off position by the jockey. 
He then used to produce an exhilarating finish from way back in the running and usually only just failed to get there.
Tuscan Winter seems to be a similar type, but is being held back in tailed off positions in sprint races and still getting up to win. 
He did it again on Tuesday at Turffontein Standside in an 1160m race .
This time most who were on him would surely have believed he was being asked to do just a bit too much by Gavin Lerena or others might have believed something was amiss.
“And Tuscan Winter is far, far back at this stage,” said commentator Clyde Basel as they approached the 400m mark, “He is still seven, eight lengths off the leader.”
However, Lerena switched him for a clear run towards the inside of runners and he began his electrifying finishing effort.
It was soon clear he was going to get there and in the end won by a comfortable 1,25 lengths to justify the heavy support that saw him ousting Far Away Winter as favourite.
He started 11/10 as the latter drifted from odds-on to 33/20.