TURFFONTEIN isn’t quite Meydan, but Classic Day sure does provide a passionate race goer with some sparkle and this year was no different, thanks mainly to the superstar that is Abashiri and my personal favourite, Legal Eagle.
The Van Vuuren family has paid their dues in racing, after massive investment for a few years they were the successful owners of many winners, but no stand out group winners. That changed with Deputy Jud who campaigned well for them in the Triple Crown last year but they certainly have got an upgrade on him in the form of the supremely talented Abashiri. This guy looks set for a massive career which should herald a handful of Gr1 wins and very deservedly so for his owners who have got themselves a champion in a relatively short owning career compared to most owners, well done to them!
Legal Eagle is a horse I rate at the very top. Unlike most people I thought he was well worth his MR120 after the Jubilee Handicap and tipped him a sure thing in the July, unfortunately that wasn’t his run that day but he has definitely shown since that he is top notch, surely at his best over 2000m. ironically he looks unbeatable as the Equus Champion Miler this year after grabbing the two big WFA Gr1 1600m contests, with only the Gold Challenge to come in June.
The hospitality itself on the day was fantastic as always, had the pleasure of hosting Green Street client Pieter Brown on the deck with Anthony “The Prof” Destombes, another GSB client and founding owner. After races it was off to a good friend and also GSB client, Floyd Toweel, his wife Candy celebrated her birthday party and “The Prof” was in scintillating form as usual. Another guest Alistair Cohen, the famous race caller, proved he is more of a miler than a stayer and luckily found a driver quite smoothly.
The next day I turned 28, not feeling so fresh I was dragged to a quiet birthday lunch with Floyd and Candy hosted by “The Prof” and joined by longtime friend Chesney Van Zyl with his bride to be Candice, followed by a not so quiet sundowner session at Katy’s Palace where “The Prof” was yet again unplayable, the ex-pro footballer was showing off his control and technique to the present party goers with an invisible football, not looking at all like he has had five knee operations. Chesney, very close by, was resembling Magic Mike – his fiancée was fortunately the pole.
It’s back to the realities of the week, a Tuesday flight to Durban to sort out some work issues and watch our horse Zelig run at Greyville on Wednesday, he will run well. Thursday it’s a quick flight to Cape Town with the RA Board meeting on the agenda. I will have my CTS Select Yearling Sale catalogue with me on the plane to keep marking away at those pedigree pages! Till then!