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IN January 2016, bloodstock agent Justin Casse embarked on a maiden voyage to South Africa attend the Cape Premier Yearling Sale. The younger brother of trainer Mark Casse watched Saturday morning from Kinsman Farm in Ocala as one of the two purchases he made in partnership, the 2-year-old colt Big Pleasure (SAf) (Horse Chestnut {SAf}), graduated at second asking at Kenilworth.

“He was a phenomenal individual by a sire I was familiar with,” Casse said of the bay son of Latifah (SAf) (Captain Al {SAf}), who he purchased for R500,000 (US$29,850) in partnership with Markus Jooste’s Mayfair Speculators and fellow bloodstock agent Mick Flanagan. “He was just a beautiful horse who was early in the sale, not overly fashionably bred, so we knew he wouldn’t cost too much money.”

The partners turned their purchase over to trainer Joey Ramsden, and Casse received positive reports when he went to see the colt when in the Cape for this year’s CPYS.

“I saw the horse train and Joey told me how nice a horse he was,” Casse related. “He told me that he didn’t expect him to win first time out and that he would improve with added distance.”

A midpack fifth in a 1200m Kenilworth maiden Feb. 22, Big Pleasure was stretching out to seven furlongs for Saturday’s race, for which he was a 9-1 chance. In touch with the early pace, Big Pleasure was very rank and proved a tricky ride for jockey Grant van Niekerk. Fourth and outside of horses off the home turn, he loomed a chance into the final furlong and put the race to bed in the final 30 metres to score by 1 1/4 lengths.

Casse said the win helps to validate the time and effort invested in getting to South Africa for the sale.

“It’s always exciting to know that you can go and find a horse that has some ability and not pay a lot for it,” he remarked. “Anytime you have a 2-year-old who can win going seven furlongs, really no matter where it is, it gives you something to look forward to with the big races at longer trips in the future.” – Alan Carasso/TDN

Photo: Justin Casse. (Wikipedia).