OWNER Costa Livanos had his patience rewarded when Silvano’s daughter Flirtation, a R350 000 buy at the National Yearling Sales, stormed home to beat Quick Single in Saturday’s Grade 3 Yellowwood Handicap over 1800m at Turffontein.
Flirtation had shown top class work before the start of the KZN Champions Season in May and was expected to be one of the stable’s leading contenders, but she had a setback and wasn’t as wound up as Mike de Kock wanted her to be when constesting the Woolavington and the KZN Oaks. She placed in both, unlucky when drawn wide in the Oaks, but her Durban campain would have been more successful with an ideal preparation.
With her confidence back and her first Graded win now under the belt, Flirtation looks a strong contender for the important forthcoming Gauteng features and Mike said: “Costa is a stalwart of the stable and I am happy for him and his wife Billy Anne. He selected Flirtation himself and she’s always shown us big ability, we hope to see her realize her potential now.”
Mike was impressed with Gavin Lerena’s handling of Flirtation and said: “Gavin is maturing as a top notch jock, he rode a strong and well-timed race.”
Ilsanpietro beats Mirage Drive in the Java.
The stable also lifted the Listed Java Handicap with Ilsanpietro, the son of Mark Of Esteem bred and owned by Paulo Caesar De Castro’s Fazenda Mondesir Stud in Brazil. ‘PC’ is another who goes back a long way not only with Mike de Kock Racing, but with South African racing on the whole, having bred the likes of 2006 Durban July winner Eyeofthetiger, Cape Guineas winner Express Way and former star filly Velvet Green.
Ilsanpietro enjoyed a good prep coming into the Java and gave an indication of his well-being when looking a picture and staying on well for fourth behind Geneva over 2000m just recently. He was spot-on and competently handled by apprentice JP van der Merwe.