The Mark Lewis trained sprinter Ken Cheval has grabbed the
final monthly award in the race to become the South Australian Horse of the Year with a
dashing win in the Group Three Christmas Handicap at Cheltenham Park on Boxing Day.
Already having been a stakes placed performer after being
beaten by the narrowest of margins in the New Years Gift at Victoria Park on January
13, the wait for his owners was nearly a year before they would taste the joy of a feature
Christmas 2002 will be one that the owners of Ken Cheval
wont forget in a hurry, thanks to the classy five-year-olds comprehensive win
in the Group Three Christmas Handicap over 1450 metres.
Back in the ruck during the race, jockey Damien Holland was
then able to weave a passage before bursting clear in the home straight to down Real Time
by a length and a half, while the evergreen More Action was a half length further back in
Real Time has since enhanced the form by downing More
Action in the 2002 listed New Years Gift at Victoria Park in January.
Ken Cheval had always shown plenty of ability from the
moment he first hit the track. At his first ever start he ran an eye catching third at
Morphettville. Then three runs later his maiden status was broken with a more than four
length demolition job at Victoria Park.
A second win would be just around the corner. After being
beaten in a heartbreaking photo finish at Cheltenham Park he reversed the result a month
later with a thrilling win over New Nephew at Morphettville.
Since last years Christmas Handicap when he
suffered interference after a tardy getaway, the gelding has never finished further back
than sixth or beaten further than three and a half lengths.
His sire Kenvain was a track record breaking Oakleigh Plate
winner at Caulfield during a short career on the track. After being retired to stud in
Victoria he has been standing the past few seasons at Daniel Clarkens Toorak
Thoroughbreds near Macclesfield. He has recently been sold to Western Australia, where he
will relocate for next season.
Among his stakes winners to date are Sedation, Rain Gauge,
Work and Turn, Dallaeni and Romilada. His stakes placed horses include Kensign, Mister
Bow, Kena, Cafe Who, Cybervain, Wiradancing, Colosseum, Land of Dreams, Work and Play and
Perfect Idea, a Vite Cheval mare, the dam of Ken Cheval won
six races. She won two races at two and then trained on by winning another four. A half
sister to the stakes placed Bon Poupee, her three runners to date have shown great
Ken Chevals full sister Princess Nicky is a recent
winner for the Stuart Gower stable, while Boss Uma her only other starter was last season
placed in Perth.
This years Adelaide Magic Millions Yearling Sale will
give the opportunity for buyers to get involved in this exciting family. A full brother to
Ken Cheval has been catalogued as lot number 18, to be sold on day one of the sale, on
The announcement of the 2001 Yalumba Horse of the Year will
be made at a glittering awards night and dinner at the Adelaide Convention Centre on
Saturday February 16. There will be no better way to unwind from the Magic Millions
Raceday at Cheltenham Park, than joining the states leaders in the thoroughbred
industry in crowning our best achievers for the year. Tickets, which are just $80 (inc.
GST and fully inclusive) can be booked through Elaine Robertson (08) 8297 0733.
PICS - Jenny