Tuesday, 24 April 2012
: The Grade One Computaform Sprint at Turffontein on Saturday is likely to be glamour mare Val De Ra's final race in South Africa.
What happens next with Val De Ra
will depend on whether the ban on South African equine exports is lifted according to Pippa Mickleburgh, manager fort owner Lindy Taberer of Avontuur Stud.
“Nothing's changed since January, but she'll be on the first plane out once we can start exporting horses again,' said Mickleburgh of the champion filly.
“She might race in Europe or go straight to stud there.'
Many people will be a trifle concerned that the lightning-fast filly, who won the Computaform Sprint last year, has not had a preparatory run leading into this year's race.
However her trainer Dennis Drier is not at all concerned.
“I think she'll be spot-on,' he said, mentioning that Val De Ra would travel to Johannesburg
from Durban on Thursday.
“So far, so good. It's all on track and I can't wait to get there.
“I think she's better than last year. She's a year older, a year stronger.
"Yes, she's had major issues in her time but those are behind her, thank God.
"She's an absolute pleasure and an easy filly to train. She's one of my favourites.'
Led out unsold after failing to reach her R300,000 reserve at the 2009 National Yearling Sales, Val De Ra was retained by the Avontue Stud and has earned R1.8 million in stakes to date.
She has won 11 of her 12 career starts for Drier, including the G1 SA Fillies Sprint and the G1 Cape Flying Championship. In that race she beat both her main rivals, JJ The Jet Plane and What A Winter.