Click above to watch Vangelis in the Fairview Mile
(Footage : Tellytrack)
FAIRVIEW MILE 2010
Music lovers have long been followers of the dulcet tones of the pop group Vangelis. Last Friday, the equine version destroyed a field of the East Cape’s best milers in the Fairview Mile, chalking up his 11th career victory, for earnings of R628 125.
But our Vangelis’ story is somewhat different to the glamorous road the pop group have travelled on their way to the top. Vangelis the horse, was born as good as an example of the now-famous Kahal/ Northern Guest cross, from an old Rondebosch family which counts Champion Stayer, Travel North among its members. Somewhere along the line, he suffered a traumatic injury to his shoulder, and he looked like a euthanaze case. He struggled manfully for more than a year, all the while growing into an imposing specimen of a horse. To put it mildly, it was hard for us to look at such a magnificent animal, knowing that in time, we might have to consider putting him out of his pain.
There are fairytales in our business though, in racing, as we all know, and there came a time when our resident vet, Dr. Allen Bechard decided to simply inject him and see if he could work through the pain. The rest is history. He responded magnificently, and one day, while on a visit to Summerhill, big owner Robert Muir was smitten by the horse’s appearance.
That he’s now won 11 times and placed in ten of his 25 starts, is not only a tribute to his own toughness, but it says something for the training skills of Gavin Smith and his team.