Noble Heir - Computaform Sprint (Grade 1)
(Photo : JC Photographics / Summerhill Stud)
COMPUTAFORM SPRINT (Grade 1)
David ThiseltonNoble Heir, the small but lightning fast grey filly, has come a long way since the day she was laughed at by South Africa’s current Champion Jockey, Andrew Fortune. It was her first appearance at Greyville in a D Division over 1000m.
Trainer Dennis Bosch smiled yesterday as he recalled the race, “I said to Andrew in the parade ring, ‘She’s very capable. She will win as she likes.’ Then he took a look at the filly and started laughing.” Fortune recalled, “I was going down to the start and she was tiny. She had a thin little neck and was going down like this,” he said while demonstrating a short, choppy action. “I thought to myself, what is this I’m riding. But when the gates opened she flew out so quickly I nearly got left behind. I have never gone around the Greyville turn so quickly. “I had tears in my eyes from the wind. She still had her head in her chest and when I pressed the button she leant forward and found more. I got off and said wow … this is a good filly!”
Noble Heir has been taking it easy since arriving home at Clairwood after her highly successful Johannesburg campaign that culminated in her brilliant win in the R1million Computaform Sprint (Grade 1) over 1000m at Turffontein last Saturday. Bosch was unsure of her next target and said he would be discussing it with the owners. Bosch has been around the block a few times in this game, first as a heavyweight jockey who was once well clear in the National Championship before an untimely suspension and consequent weight problems, and latterly as a trainer. “There’s talk of the SA Fillies Sprint, but firstly it’s over 1200m (the shorter the better for her) and secondly it’s at Scottsville which has a reputation as a graveyard for good horses.”
“She’s also had a tough campaign and probably deserves a couple of weeks off.”
The Computaform Sprint was the second Grade 1 win of Dennis Bosch’s training career, the first being with Mighty Crystal, who won the Administrators Champion Futurity for two-year-olds over 1600m at Greyville in 1991. He recalled the day he bought Noble Heir, who is by Kahal and bred by Connington Stud, at a Clairwood Sale for a mere R50,000. “She was very well balanced. I like the Kahal’s and I knew the mother, Irish Honour, very well.” Noble Heir showed a lot from the beginning. “She had tremendous pace and finished less than a length behind On Her Toes (subsequent winner of the Grade 1 Allan Robertson Fillies Championship) over 1200m on debut,” he continued.
“She has matured and gets better every year. She is also lightly raced. She had a high merit rating from the start so we had to earmark every race for her very carefully.” Besides Fortune’s high praise, Johnny Geroudis once told Bosch after he had ridden Noble Heir work that it was a long time since he had ridden such an “awesome filly.” Anthony Delpech added credence after Saturday’s race, describing it as one of the easiest five furlong wins of his career.
Bosch said he had targeted the Computaform Sprint after her win in the Grade 3 Tommy Hotspur against “the boys” over 1000m at Turffontein on February 16.
She travelled up to the Vaal three weeks later for the Bauhinia Handicap and finished a 0,5 length second with top weight of 60,5kg. Bosch then asked Stuart Pettigrew to look after her at Randjesfontein until the Computaform Sprint. He is most grateful to Pettigrew and said, “I used to phone him everyday and tell him what to do and I went up to see her regularly.” A month before her win in the Computaform she finished second in the Grade 2 Senor Santa Handicap over 1160m at Turffontein.
Extract from Gold Circle