GAVIN Lerena has started his job as retained rider to Wilgerbosdrift/Mauritzfontein with two winners for in-form Mike de Kock, who shows a stable tally of nine winners in the first 10 days of November.
Lerena booted home Protea Paradise (Mary Slack) in a Maiden Plate over 1600m at the Vaal on Thursday and followed up with Storm Destiny (Slack and Michael Javett) in an Assessment Plate over 1600m at Turffontein Saturday. Both quickened well and won with their ears pricked, signalling more to come!
Protea Paradise was fancied over 1200m on his debut but misbehaved and ran unplaced. Mathew said: “He is naughty, coltish and we tried a few new things and put him over more ground, he liked it and should go on with more improvement.”
Protea Paradise is by Dynasty from Slack’s erstwhile stakes winner Honorine, by Redoute’s Choice, a pedigree that will probably hold his connections back from gelding him just yet.
Storm Destiny (Randall Simons) was rested after just missing a place in the Gr1 Thekwini Stakes, obviously talented and she was fit enough to win, though the stable felt Green Top would be hard to beat off her 103 rating.
But Storm Destiny was more than equal to the task, won in commanding fashion and will now be aimed at races like the Graded Fillies Mile and the Ipi Tombe Stakes.
The other Vaal winner was Blonde Vision, who races for the team of veteran owner Mike Destombes and his nephew Anthony. Blonde Vision is by Visionaire from Destombes’ stalwart mare Legally Blonde and Mike de Kock commented: “It’s nice to have a winner in the Destombes silks again. Blonde Vision has improved, she strengthened up nicely since her debut and she’ll win again.”