Trainer Ricardo Le Grange confirmed that the Argentinian-bred son of Pure Prize will make full use of the five weeks leading up to the fifth and final Leg of the two-year-old series to freshen up and get ready.

An impressive winner in the first Leg two weeks ago, the Kranji Nursery Stakes (1000m), Pennywise was unsurprisingly sent off the even-money favourite in the $90,000 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale Stakes (1100m) on Sunday, but had to, however, dig down deeper to maintain his unbeaten record intact. 

After sweeping past the tiring pacesetter Good Luck Charm (Vlad Duric) upon straightening, the race indeed looked like it was slipping away from Pennywise when second fancy ($18) Autumn Assault (Benny Woodworth) loomed large down the middle of the straight, even heading him, and was being hailed the winner by all and sundry.

But Pennywise’s never-say-die attitude came alive as he came battling his way back to reclaim the lead under hard riding from Nooresh Juglall before claiming victory by a neck from an equally gallant Autumn Assault.

My Big Boss (Daniel Moor), who dropped to last from the start, steamed home late to grab third place another two and three-quarter-length away. The winning time was 1min 5.72secs for the 1100m on the Polytrack.

“The best part about this horse, if you ask me, is how he shows so much guts,” said a clearly endeared Le Grange.

“It’s difficult for a two-year-old to do what he’s done in such a short time. He’s had two great wins and he will now go for the Aushorse Golden Horseshoe in July.

“He will have a five-week break. We will just keep his form going until then.

“He’s better over more ground. The second horse (Autumn Assault) was highly-fancied and he came back and beat him. What I really liked was how he did it in style.

“He’s a nice horse for the future and a massive thank you to (owner) Bernard (Kantor). He has every confidence in me and never tells me what to do with his horses.”

Juglall said Pennywise will develop into a serious racehorse once he puts his mind into the racing caper better.

“I thought we were beaten in the straight. I should have probably gone early at the start, but when I saw Vlad kicking on the inside, I decided to drop back,” said the Mauritian jockey.

“But Vlad’s horse (Good Luck Charm) was not going anywhere. I didn’t want to go too soon, but I didn’t have much of a choice.

“I also dropped the reins in the last 50m, but to my horse’s credit, he fought on really well to score a gutsy win.

“Thank you to the owner, Mr Bernard Kantor. He’s got a good horse here and I think he will get even better when he gets his mind right.”

With that second win from as many starts, Pennywise has already earned close to $100,000 in prizemoney for the prominent South African owner.

Le Grange, whose second runner Jumpin Jack (Barend Vorster) made late ground to run sixth, will also always associate Pennywise with a happy event in his family.

“My little niece Isla was born the day before Pennywise won his first race,” said the South African handler.

“I’d like to dedicate that second win to her again. She’s brought me luck for sure.”



Michael Lee