The frustrating quarantine hullabaloo involving Corne Spies’ ace runners Van Halen and Nourbese has finally come to and end.
Several weeks ago Nourbese was sold to trainer Ricky Maingard to continue his career in Mauritius, and now Gr1 winning sprinter Van Halen has arrived at the famous Chantilly training centre to continue his own career in France.
Corne commented: “After we missed the Saudi races we had a few options, and the owners of Van Halen, who includes myself, Xander Spies, Freddie van Wyk and Alfred Pawson, made a decision to race in France because we believe he is good enough to compete there at high level.”
Van Halen has joined the youthful and up-and-coming Irishman Gavin Hernon at Chantilly. Hernon spent 3 seasons learning from the legendary Jim Bolger in Ireland, 2 seasons with the equally accomplished André Fabre and time with Nicholas Clement, a season with Ed Dunlop at Newmarket and a year with Graham Motion in the US. He got to work with some top class runners such as Teofilo, New Approach, Lush Lashes, Dawn Approach, Intello, New Bay, Flintshire, Romantica, Baltic Baroness, Irish War Cry and Thewayiam.
Hernon, who already has a Group 3 winner in France to his credit, as well as a Group 1 third on ‘Arc’ day, said on Thursday, 3 June: “Van Halen has just arrived from a pre-training facility, he’s been here a few days and we like him, he’s a beautiful horse. He has a natural, massive stride and I’ve watched his replays, he is smart.
“We’ll be looking at a six-furlong Gr3 race midway through July at Deauville to start him off, take it step by step to see where he’ll be fitting in. He is settling down very well with us!”