where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2010-05-01 15:20:37  

She's tiny but she's got loads of ability and the heart of a lion(ess). Noble Heir (SAF) is well established as one the fastest fillies in the country and the grey daughter of Kahal (GB) landed the biggest win of her career as she easily disposed of her opposition in the Gr 1 Computaform Sprint over 1000m at Turffontein on Saturday. Intellectual (SAF) ran a big race in second ahead of Mythical Flight (SAF) and South Country (SAF).

Noble Heir usually tries to make all the running but she was slightly slow out of the gates and found herself in unfamiliar territory near the rear of the field as Laureal Man shot off into the lead with South Country also showing his usual good early pace. Mythical Flight was next best, racing on the outside of the field, with Strike Paradise and Private Jet tracking the leaders in the centre of the track. Warm White Night raced a couple of lengths off the speed but the most significant move of the race, as it turned out, came from Anthony Delpech (pictured), who did not panic at Noble Heir's tardy start but eased her through the field to take up a nice position along the inside rail.

Laureal Man, taking a steep jump in class, continued to run well for a long way and it was only approaching the last 200m that he was finally inhaled by the chasing pack. Of the three big guns going into the race, favourite Warm White Night was going backwards as was Private Jet, leaving only Mythical Flight in contention. South Country was still plugging away with Strike Paradise running a big race but they were all reduced to bit players once Delpech set Noble Heir alight. Incredibly, he never had to go for the stick and the filly had the race in the bag 100m out. The official margin was just under two lengths but she could probably have doubled that given the ease with which she won.

Noble Heir went off at 10/1 but her win here was hardly a major upset. Always a speed machine, she has improved conspicuously this season and seems to thrive on racing at this track. She gave notice of her ability when beating male opposition in the Tommy Hotspur Handicap over this course and distance earlier this year and came into this race on the back of creditable second to the smart-looking Moroccan in the Senor Santa Handicap, also at this track, over 1160m. That last run was particularly impressive as she was conceding 3.5kg to the winner and had done the hard work early on in heavy going, only tiring late. She did seem to have a bit to do against some of her Gr 1-winning rivals here but came into the race with at least a trifecta chance.

KwaZulu-Natal-based trainer Dennis Bosch, savouring the biggest win of his career, paid tribute to colleague Stuart Pettigrew who has been looking after Noble Heir in Gauteng over the last couple of months. Bosch revealed that he had been conferring with Pettigrew by phone in respect of the filly's preparation.

"He's done a superb job so thank you very much to him. Thank you also to the owners. As for the filly, as I've said before, she's a bomb!"

Delpech said after the race that he had aimed for the inside as he believed that that was where the best going on the day was located. Asked about her relatively small size, he responded: "If they've got a big heart and the will to run and win, that's what matters, and she's certainly got that."

Intellectual is another horse who seems to be getting better with age. He was a rather unlucky second when touched off in the Lebelo Sprint over this course and distance earlier in the season and he ran on well from off the pace here.

Mythical Flight was the only one of the big names to shine. He's lost some of the out-and-out speed he showed earlier in his career and had to be ridden along to stay in touch in the early stages but he showed plenty of fight when the pressure was on. This was only his second start back home following an international campaign and he could be making a long-awaited return to the winner's enclosure if he can build on this performance.

South Country and Strike Paradise (fifth) both emerged with plenty of credit. They've been found to be just a couple of lengths of short of the very best sprinters around but continue to run consistently well and did nothing wrong here.

4 gr f Kahal (GB) - Irish Honour by Kilconnel (USA)
Messrs Sean Franken, A Hadden and D Holder
Bred by Connington Stud

Winning trainer: Dennis Bosch

Race 5 - R1M - COMPUTAFORM SPRINT (Grade 1)
Weight for Age - 1000m
No Horse Jockey Al/Bl Kg Dr Fin Dist Time OP SP
10 NOBLE HEIR Anthony Delpech A 57.5 8 1 0.00 57.44 16/1 10/1
4 INTELLECTUAL Raymond Danielson A 60.0 6 2 1.75 57.75 16/1 18/1
3 MYTHICAL FLIGHT Johnny Geroudis A 60.0 11 3 2.25 57.84 5/1 13/2
5 SOUTH COUNTRY Bernard Fayd'Herbe A 60.0 9 4 2.50 57.88 25/1 33/1
6 STRIKE PARADISE Brandon Lerena A 60.0 7 5 2.55 57.89 40/1 50/1
12 ESTEREL Francois Naude A 55.5 2 6 3.00 57.97 40/1 66/1
9 LAUREAL MAN (BRZ) Derreck David A 58.0 3 7 3.25 58.01 50/1 50/1
8 OPENING NIGHT Marco V'Rensburg A 60.0 5 8 3.50 58.06 66/1 66/1
7 LIGHTNING LECTURE S'Manga Khumalo A B 60.0 10 9 4.25 58.19 66/1 66/1
1 PRIVATE JET (ARG) Piere Strydom A 60.0 4 10 6.00 58.51 3/1 9/2
2 WARM WHITE NIGHT Anton Marcus A 60.0 1 11 7.50 58.78 7/10 11/20F
11 GOLDEN SECRET Scratched


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