Pierre Jourdan and Derreck David
(Photo : JC Photos / Summerhill Stud)
NO VODACOM DURBAN JULY FOR PIERRE JOURDAN
David ThiseltonPierre Jourdan will be given a break after the Grade 1 SA Derby over 2400m on April 24 at Turffontein and will not come down to Durban for the Vodacom Durban July.
The magnificent Summerhill-bred gelding by Parade Leader will earn a R2million bonus if he wins the SA Derby and thereby become the first horse since the great Horse Chestnut to complete the Triple Crown.
Trained by Turffontein trainer Gary Alexander, he was an easy winner of the first two legs, the Grade 2 Gauteng Guineas over 1600m and the Grade 1 SA Classic over 1800m. The racing public are waiting with bated breath for the final hurdle.
Alexander realises the magnitude of the possible SASCOC Triple Crown achievement and said magnanimously after his last win, “He no longer belongs to us. From now on he belongs to the racing public. He is the people’s horse.”
Dean Alexander, assistant to Gary, said that there had been offers for Pierre Jourdan and there would no doubt be more if he won the SA Derby, but added that if he stayed in the Alexander yard he would be giving the KZN Champions Season a miss. “He is still immature and has had a tough season,” said Dean. “He deserves a break.”
The Alexander siblings, Gary, Dean and Julie, sat around a table together at Summerhill Stud on a November day in 2008, as ardent supporters of the Breeze Up Gallops and the subsequent Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale.
Late in the afternoon the always high-spirited Dean led the table banter and it was obvious that the trio had no inkling that they had just seen a horse they would later regard as the best the yard had trained. “He had all the right lines,” said Dean, referring to his conformation. “He didn’t put up a specially good gallop, but was an athletic sort and had everything we look for in a horse.”
Pierre Jourdan was knocked down to the Alexanders for a mere R60 000 and Gary took a share along with one of the yard’s loyal patrons, Emilio Baisero.
Dean has little doubt that Pierre Jourdan will stay the 2450m trip of the Derby. “He did it the hard way in the SA Classic. He came from a wide draw and hit the front early in the straight. “He always relaxes in the running and there seems no reason why he shouldn’t stay.”
He described Pierre Jourdan as a very laid back sort when back at home, although added that like most top horses he knew he was good.
The Alexanders are steeped in racing and are all too aware that horses like this don’t come around often. They are subsequently enjoying every moment of Pierre Jourdan’s career as is their father, the former top jockey, Duncan Alexander.