Sunday, 8 July 2012
: A veteran warhorse, jockey Jeff Lloyd, pushed the emerging War Horse, a strong bay colt, to an emphatic win in the R500,000 Grade 1 Zulu Kingdom Explorer Golden Horseshoe (1400m) for two-year-olds at Greyville in Durban on Saturday.
Lloyd had flown in from Australia in a bid to fill the one major gap on his home-country CV, the Grade 1 Durban July, but had to settle for third — for the seventh time — on Chesalon in the headline race.
But he won't go back to Brisbane empty-handed, his ride on War Horse giving him another South African Group 1, only two weeks after netting Australia's final Group 1 of the season, the Tattersall's Tiara (1400m) on Pear Tart for Patinack Farm at Eagle Farm.
Lloyd, a six-time South African premiership winner, settled in Sydney with his wife and three children late in 2007 and, after upping sticks to chase the big money over three seasons in Hong Kong, recently returned to Australia — this time to Brisbane as Patinack Farm's rider.
Lloyd, who said it was great to be back in South Africa, was impressed by War Horse. “He showed a lot of early speed, but he is a bit keen and over-raced and it was important to get him back behind the lead and sit in the box seat to get him to settle.
“He is still a very green horse, still doing a lot wrong. But he has ability.”
Trainer Corne Spies described the win as a “a real nice achievement”.
“War Horse ran an excellent race,” he said. “This is a serious horse. We're looking for next year's (Durban) July … three weeks from now we've got the 1600m Group 1 (at Greyville again). If he pulls up all right from this race we've got to go for that.”
Spies said of Lloyd: “He had two rides for us (the filly Straight Set ran second to Rumya in the Grade 1 Golden Slipper, the previous race). He placed them excellently, he produced them at the right time.”
Fred Crabbia, owner of Singapore's star sprinter Rocket Man, had six of the 16 runners in the Golden Horseshoe. Shimmer And Shine was the best of them, finishing second for Bernard Fayd'herbe.
The only filly in the 16-horse field, the Australian-bred Honorine (Redoute's Choice -Zaldivar, by Honour And Glory), ridden by Anthony Delpech, carried 55kg into third place.
The colts carried 58kg.
The best-known winner of the Golden Horseshoe, Musir
in 2009, will stand at Coolmore
in Australia's Hunter Valley this spring.
War Horse is by Victory Moon out of the Deputy Governor mare Star Deputy. This was his third win from five starts and with one place he has earned stakes of $510,875 for owner Mr FN Englezakis.