Click above to watch Havasha and Pierre Jourdan battle…
(Footage : TellyTrack)
RACING EXPRESS FACT FILE ALLOWANCE PLATE 1450m
16 JANUARY 2010
“It’s good to see the good horses fight it out…” were the words of jockey Anthony Delpech following the “Race of the Weekend” at Turffontein on Saturday where hot favourite Pierre Jourdan tasted defeat for the first time in his short career when beaten a whisker by challenger Havasha.
Nicci Garner writes for Racing Express that both horses looked a picture in the parade ring but Pierre Jourdan had beaten Havasha on Turffontein’s standside track in last November’s R1,5 million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup over 1400m and, having won twice over the course and distance before that, was fancied to confirm the form.
Havasha had not raised a gallop in the Dingaans in his previous start, but that run was obviously not a true reflection of his ability. Added to that, the son of Kahal was a little better drawn than in the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup and was meeting Pierre Jourdan on 2.5kg better terms.
Flybyme and Echohawk were the other runners expected to perform.
“Bionic Man” Donovan Habib bounced Echohawk to an immediate lead from Flybyme, who Piere Strydom battled to restrain in the early stages. Danse To Destiny and Pierre Jourdan disputed third place with Havasha making up ground, racing three wide before being edged in front of the leader. Another Storm and Powerful Gift raced ahead of Forestation and Calpurnius.
Echohawk, who pulled a good couple of lengths clear of Flybyme as the runners cornered, was still in full cry halfway down the straight where Havasha had started making up ground and Pierre Jourdan had still not turned it on.
The race was wide open 250m from the line with Echohawk still holding a narrow advantage over Havasha and Pierre Jourdan pulling alongside them. Soon after that, though, the pacemaker tired under pressure and veered away from Havasha, hampering Powerful Gift on the rail.
A hundred metres later, Havasha and Pierre Jourdan had started to draw clear and they fought out an exciting finish with Havasha reaching the post a short head in front of the favourite. Another Storm finished powerfully for third, 2.20 lengths further back, as Flybyme and Echohawk ran out of steam close to home.
Anthony Delpech said afterwards: “I don’t know what went wrong last time (in the Dingaans). He’s always been one of our better three-year-old colts - I always rated him highly. I was a bit concerned about the (No 9) draw because he can travel a bit keenly. But even without cover, he relaxed nicely. And he ran a very good race. I think both he and the second horse needed the run a little bit. It’ll be a nice race when they meet again.”
Havasha’s merit rating has been raised to 98 from 94 and he is likely to bump heads with Pierre Jourdan again in next months’ Gauteng Guineas, the first leg of the Triple Crown. They could clash with such names as the country’s top-rated three-year-old Curved Ball, who won the 1600m Dingaans and followed up over 1800m next time out, as well as his stable companion Galileo’s Galaxy.
Mike de Kock
ANOTHER STORM (Aus)
DANSE TO DESTINY