where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2023-11-25 19:39:59  
Lerena Speaks: 4/10 Sandringham Summit Defeat

Jockey Gavin Lerena, as honest and open as ever, spoke about his disappointment with the whole Sandringham Summit race where the Dingaans 4/10 shot was beaten by 2 lengths and ran well below his rating. Lerena spoke to SAHorseracing exclusively about the race and what went wrong.

Sandringham Summit is as good a 3 year old as we've seen in South Africa for a while and it takes exceptional circumstances with horses to get them beaten in this fashion. This was obviously the case in point over the 1600m trip at Turffontein on Summer Cup Day as the David Nieuwenhuizen trained runner was beaten but there were reasons.

"In the running, after 200m into the race I was behind Guy Gibson. Sandringham Summit was in a beautiful rhythm and he switched off well under me. Approaching the corner Dennis Schwartz on Fire 'N Flame hampered me twice. Sandringham Summit wanted to jump on that horse on the inside (Mexican Pete) and got a fright. I was under pressure from Schwartz on the outside of me continously at that stage. Sandringham Summit was not conformable," Lerena stated.

"Then as the race developed, I was galloping on the heels of Fire 'N Flames and I pulled him off his heels. Then I ended up behind him and got him relaxed but the rhythm was gone on the horse. This rhythm that I had in the first 200m, gone!" Lerena exclaimed.

"At about the 600m pole I thought I was going to run last. There was no horse under me. Then when I got him into the open he kicked on from about 250m out and found his action. He finished the race off strong. He strode like a leopard. He is very good."

Lerena didn't have the best of days but did finish with a winner in the last. He was kind enough to let the public know about the ride and knows this star will come back to his best again. He did mention that he is still learning and immature and as he rises in distance he will be effective.

This group 1 winner was an unbelievable winner of the Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes at Greyville as a two year beating Main Defender and confirmed his form with that horse last time out. Once he puts it together and furnishes into the horse he is touted to be, he will be difficult to oppose in the country.



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