TWO-year-year-olds can improve dramatically, in a matter of weeks, as they mature – making comparative race form unreliable.
Nourbese (Futura), trained by Corne Spies and ridden by Stuart Randolph, had made a promising start to his career, winning his fourth outing. However, he was drawn a little wide at 10 in this sharp 1,400m Grade 2 Golden Horseshoe on July Day, 2020. Also, he was bumping some of the most precocious young runners from around the country.
Erik The Red, from the Cape Town stables of Justin Snaith, started as the 5-2 favourite, with 28-10 shot Ashford Castle and 4-1 chance Ecstatic Green deemed his main rivals.
Spies’s other runner, Karnallie, set the pace from the 1400m start, with Ziva La Winter and The Contractor on his heels. Veale had Nourbese in touch and when Erik The Red and Portico (another outsider at 20-1) drew ahead and looked like fighting it out, he was poised to strike.
And strike he did, winning by half a length from Portico, with the favourite fading to third.