trainer of pierre jourdan, gary alexander, receiving joburg spring challenge trophy
trainer of pierre jourdan, gary alexander, receiving joburg spring challenge trophy

Gary Alexander - Joburg Spring Challenge (Gr3)

(Photo : JC Photographics)


27 November 2010 

Pierre Jourdan on Saturday showed he will be the horse to beat in the R2million Sansui Summer Cup when the field for that Grade 1 race lines up at Turffontein on 27th November.

The son of Parade Leader, who had the racing world on its feet on 1st May as he attempted to become only the second horse to win the South African Triple Crown, made a successful return to racing following a 161 day break.

Irish Flame may have shot down his Triple Crown hopes but Pierre Jourdan announced to the world that he is back by winning the Grade 3 Joburg Spring Challenge over 1450m at Turffontein on Saturday. Trainer Gary Alexander admitted beforehand that he was not sure what to expect from his charge but said he would be happy for him to finish in the first three. Pierre Jourdan drifted from 12-10 to 16-10 but came back like the champion he is. He looked well enough on his way to the start and produced his usual finishing burst when asked for an effort.

Jockey Andrew Fortune had him in midfield on the heels of Havasha, one of only two horses to have beaten Pierre Jourdan, while Exclaim ‘N’ Exclude went to the front. “The panic button was always in my ear”, said Fortune. “At the 400m mark I pulled him out, in a little bit of a panic. I slapped him once and he just went to finish it off”.

He came forward in the centre of the track accompanied by Captain Scott and surged ahead late. Fortune said Pierre Jourdan “dug his toes in”, but he had done enough to win. Galanthus, who went off at 66-1, sneaked up late to get within 0,50 lengths of Pierre Jourdan with Captain Scott a short head adrift in third.

Fortune gave all the credit to Pierre Jourdan. “I didn’t think it was a great ride. I didn’t trust him at all, but he was good enough. As jockeys, all our lives we hang around to ride horses like this”.

Alexander said Pierre Jourdan will next race in the Grade 2 Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile on 6 November followed by the Summer Cup three weeks later. “There’s a lot more to come from him”, he predicted.

The fillies race went to Mike de Kock’sIgugu, who is now unbeaten in three starts. Jockey Randall Simons had her near the back of the field but when he switched her out for a clear run, the 22-10 favourite easily passed the front runners to win by 2,75 lengths from outsides Queen Mira and Stella Mia.

Headstrong set a decent pace but faded and could only manage fourth, 3,50 lengths behind the winner.

De Kock, who is in Mauritius for Johnny Geroudis’ wedding, had previously said he saw Igugu as a contender for the Grade 1 SA Fillies Classic over 1800m next year.

Article by Jack Milner in The Citizen, Monday 11th October