Van Halen, the top class Gr1 winner, will be leaving his base at the Vaal for Cape Town this Sunday. This follows his effortless comeback win in 1200m contest on Turffontein’s inside track, Thursday.
The Tobie Spies stable has their sights sets on the ultimate prizes offered by CTS on Sun Met Day 2019, with a choice to be made between the CTS Sprint and the CTS Mile. Van Halen, a R100,000 2017 Cape Premier Yearling Sales purchase, will be a strong contender.
Spies was delighted with the way the three-year-old gelding disposed of Green Haze and others in a competitive Assessment Plate. He got over onto the rail from a wide draw, settled nicely, five or six lengths adrift, and quickened away smartly when Craig Zackey shook him up.
Spies commented: “The way Van Halen settled is what we wanted to see. He was calm and relaxed in the ring and he ran like a professional. He has matured and judged on the manner he won this race, he has given us options for the Cape season. We’re sending him down early so he can acclimatise. He will be stabled at Milnerton.”
Spies added: “There is not a lot of horses who will go with Van Halen over 1000m and on what he’s showing is in work I think 1600m is well within his reach. When we sent him to the front in the past he ran out of steam late, he prefers racing from slightly off them, this win was very encouraging. He’s really good.”
Spies added: “We’ll be aiming him at the Cape Merchants over 1200m in November and then we’ll pick our races, there is the Gr1 Cape Guineas to consider and the two Million Dollar races on SunMet day, the sprint or the mile.” Van Halen is by Oratorio from Rock Concert, bred by Limpo Trading. He races for Fito Englezakis, Rob MacNab, Freddie van Wyk and Alfred Pawson.