Fairytale $1-million win for young apprentice

Fairytale $1-million win for young apprentice

January 25, 2016 / 4 years ago

Haevelon van der Hoven, a 23-year-old apprentice, made his connections $500,000 (R16,47 million) richer in the first CTS Million Dollar over 1400m at Kenilworth on Saturday.

Van der Hoven, a 2,5kg claimer, replaced an indisposed Weichong Marwing in the inaugural Million Dollar on Glen Puller’s Trippi colt Illuminator , who is owned by FM Carruthers and Port Elizabeth pharmacist Ian Robinson. They won going away.

Top filly Silver Mountain was all the rage although she drifted from odds-on to 17-10 with Seventh Plain next on offer at 5-1 and Exit Here going through the stalls at 13-2. Illuminator. A R180,000 buy at the Cape Yearling Sale in 2014, was a 16-1 chance.

At the 300m marker the horses were fanned out across the track, with Silver Mountain seeming to have a slight advantage over her rivals. Victorious Jay, however, took off and snagged her 100m from the line and Illuminator, hauled out towards the outside rail by Van Der Hoven about 300m out, made progress once he saw daylight. 

He became a little unbalanced 100m from the line, but then quickened gamely to win by 0.75 lengths from a game Silver Mountain, who fought off Victorious Jay to snatch second by a head. Seventh Plain was edged towards the outside rail by jockey Anton Marcus but could only stay on at one pace for fourth, another two lengths behind Victorious Jay and a neck in front of Hard Day’s Night.

The race was restricted to graduates of two Cape Thoroughbred Sales auctions held in 2014 and the win was worth $500,000 to the connections of the winner, while the second prize was $200,000, third was $150,000, fourth was $100,000 and fifth was $40,000. Klawervlei Stud, which bred Illuminator received $10,000 and the winner’s groom received $1,000. 

Van der Hoven (23), scoring his 23rd career win, asked Puller for the ride at stables on Saturday morning as soon as he heard Marwing would not be able to take the mount. “I know the horse very well and we get along,” he said, having ridden Illuminator to both his previous wins with other jockeys aboard in his other three starts.

Puller said: “Putting Heavelon up was taking a big chance in a race like this but he knows the horse so well and has done so well on him. He rides him at home all the time. He’s a difficult boy – both of them, no Heavelon is good.

“We discussed the race before and he did exactly what he needed to do, bring him right out for a run. It was a bit of a chance coming out that far but when he’s won before on this horse, that’s how he won on him. And he’s won well every time.