SMILING on the headline photo, jockey Randall Simons enjoyed the proverbial “armchair” ride on owner Costa Livanos’ newcomer, Noble Secret (17-20 favourite), who romped home by 9.25-lengths in a Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1200m at the Vaal on Thursday.
Livanos hasn’t really moved from his own armchair since his filly Flirtation won the 2010 Sansui Summer Cup under the very Simons and Mike de Kock commented: “There are two people in racing who deserve a star. Costa Livanos hasn’t owned a really top horse since Flirtation, and Chris Gerber’s Moutonshoek Stud are breeding good runners, they are due a true champion!”
Whether Noble Secret is the one, remains to be seen, but Mike was upbeat on Friday, saying: “Noble Secret shows us plenty of ability at home, he’s an impressive horse and has the right credentials. He’s by Dynasty from Arabian Secret, a mare I owned and raced. She is from an old Birch Brothers family we’ve had a lot of success with, thinking back to horses like South Lake, Totally Bold, Classic Hero and Buckarina.”
Mike said that Noble Secret will need to step up soon to show that he has the mettle: “A lot of water has to flow under the bridge, he beat a small and weak field on his debut and we can’t judge him on that, but he looks exciting, we’ll be holding thumbs.”
Mike and Jehan Malherbe of Form Bloodstock went to R700,000 to secure Noble Secret at the National Yearling Sale of 2016.