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18/01/02 Ken Cheval Honoured with Award

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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 Year’s 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 race win.

Christmas 2002 will be one that the owners of Ken Cheval won’t forget in a hurry, thanks to the classy five-year-old’s 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 third place.

Real Time has since enhanced the form by downing More Action in the 2002 listed New Year’s 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.

6kencheval.jpg (11502 bytes)Since last year’s 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 Clarken’s 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 Twain.

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 promise.

Ken Cheval’s 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 year’s 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 February 18.

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 state’s 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.

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