The intrepid Corne Spies has never been afraid to run his horses, but there have been changes to his Saudi plans for Van Halen and Nourbese.
Turf Talk spoke to Corne in Mauritius and the always upbeat trainer explained: “Sadly it’s a non-starter. “For obvious reasons this has been the worst year to try and travel, and we were delayed inleaving South Africa, which means we have always been working against the clock.
“So our horses are still in Mauritius, and have to spend 40 days in the UK before heading on to their final destination. So Saudi on February 20 is not going to happen.
“With luck we could make it to Dubai on World Cup night (March 27), and if not then the Queen Elizabeth meeting on Hong Kong on 25 April. Once you are out (of SA) the opportunities open up – places like the USA and Australia are also not out of the question.”
Part of the same shipment now in Mauritius are the undefeated pair of Cape Winter Series winner Katak and brilliant young sprinter War Room, as well as listed winner Celtic Voyager. All three are ultimately Singapore bound.
The latter two have new owners, but their journey has been facilitated by Green Street Bloodstock’s Justin Vermaak.
“Getting them out of SA took longer than it should have with COVID. War Room was originally supposed to be on the same shipment as Hawwaam. But they will all be leaving the island on 30 January and will then be boarding and put into full training with Jane Chapell-Hyam, courtesy of Mary Slack’s Abington Place near Newmarket.
“For Singapore you have to spend 90 days in the UK, so they could be travelling on by May.”