THE well-related Alice Springs made a suitable impression when she won her Maiden over 1600m at Turffontein last month. She stepped up to a MR68 handicap to win a straight mile on turf at the Vaal on Saturday in a competitive line-up of older fillies and mares, with some authority evident in her manner of victory.
Alice Springs (nearest camera) won by just a quarter-of-a-length, but in the early part of a testing mile she ran up to the pacemakers in effortless fashion and wasn’t extended to hold rivals at bay.
While three-year-old Alice Springs won by just quarter of a length, assistant trainer Mathew de Kock felt that the Kalmansons and the De Vos family of Varsfontein Stud, who race her in partnership, could take enough heart from this success to raise a glass or two over lunch at the farm on Sunday.
Mathew said: “Alice Springs had to cut across the field from her outside draw and under her big weight that was never going to be easy, but she won a good race. She’s still quite immature, I think, so she’s got more to come.”
Mathew complimented in-form jockey Randall Simons on the way in which he handled Alice Springs, saying: “Randall rode a really smart race, I have to say thanks to him.”
Australian-bred, Alice Springs is by Hussonet from Alexandra Rose, the talented race mare who won a Gr2 in South Africa and a Gr3 in the US. The daughter of Caesour is based at Arrowfield Stud and reportedly had a filly by Dubai World Cup and Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom (USA) last month. Alexandra Rose and Animal Kingdom are part-owned by Barry Irwin’s Team Valor, well-known in South African racing circles.
Interestingly too, Alice Springs was born at Arrowfield just a month after the Stud’s most recent rising star, Majmu. One wonders if they ever rubbed shoulders growing up in Arrowfield’s paddocks near Scone, New South Wales – and whether their sharing a barn many thousands of miles away in Johannesburg, South Africa, was ever foreseen.