Pierre Jourdan - SA Classic (Gr1)
(Photo : JC Photographics / Summerhill Stud)
R1,5 Million SA DERBY (Grade 1) 2450m
3rd Leg of the SASCOC Triple Crown
Turffontein, 24 April 2010
Nicci Garner writes that it’s all systems go for Pierre Jourdan in his bid to become only the second horse in history to win the SASCOC SA Triple Crown after his facile victory as even-money favourite in the R2-million SA Classic at Turffontein last Saturday.
His excited trainer and part-owner Gary Alexander said Tuesday that the Summerhill-bred R60,000 yearling purchase had “pulled up lovely’’ after scoring arguably the toughest win of his career to date.
Gary Alexander was most impressed by Pierre Jourdan’s win. “The others didn’t make it easy for him. They tried to slow it down and make him work from the (No 13) draw. Although handily placed, he was caught out wide and had no cover, so had his work cut out for him from the 1400m onwards. But he came through it with flying colours.’’
It’s history now that Pierre Jourdan pulled his way to the front as the field cornered and kept rolling to hold off Irish Flame down the straight. Bulsara loomed up late for second, 1.75 lengths behind Alexander’s star and 0.50 lengths ahead of Irish Flame.
“It’s a fact that if you’ve got a really good horse, a quality individual, he’ll come through for you,’’ enthused Alexander.
Pierre Jourdan now has the R1.5-million SA Derby firmly in his sights. “We won’t do anything different with him in the next few weeks and he’ll be spot-on for the Derby,’’ said Alexander. “Let’s see if we can pull it off.’’
Gary Alexander does not believe the Derby will be a cakewalk for the son of Parade Leader. Alexander has won the race twice in his 36-year training career - with Silver Sliver in 2000 and Timber Trader in 2002 - and believes he has the right sort of individual to take the trophy again. “All I have to do is keep him fit and make sure he’s at a peak on the day.’’
However, he says Pierre Jourdan will face stiffer competition from some of the horses he has beaten before who are better suited to the 2450m than the 1600m of the Gauteng Guineas and 1800m of the SA Classic.
“But,’’ Alexander says, “Pierre Jourdan is bred to enjoy the trip on his great-dam’s side - and the way he finishes in his races indicates he is unlikely to be troubled by the 650m longer trip.”
“I’m also not too worried about the 2450m because he is a laid-back, relaxed horse who switches off and doesn’t fight or pull. And not many horses can turn it on like he does. He’s a lovely individual.’’
Pierre Jourdan has now won nearly R2.9 million for Alexander and Emilio Baisero, who will only consider his future after his big date on 24 April.
“We’ve had some interest in him, but might decide to take him to the Vodacom Durban July, or even go overseas with him,’’ said Alexander. “That’s a question for another day. We’re taking it one step at a time with this horse.’’