Barree Stable’s racing colours which have become so recognizable in Singapore through the deeds of 2016 Horse of the Year Debt Collector, and stable mate Could Be Pearls again saluted on Sunday 29th, this time with Don De La Vega in the restricted maiden over 1400m.
The son of Loup de Vega which was purchased by Cliff at the Inglis Classic Yearling sale in February 2016 for $45,000 had only had three previous starts, and showed he had his foot on the till with a close up second to Silent Boss on October 8th. With Barend Vorster committed to another ride, apprentice I Amirul was giving the job of guiding the big gelding on Sunday.
Amirul had Don De La Vega right on the speed early from barrier rise, and after traveling about 400m took over the lead. Given a breather mid race, The Don entered the straight with Basilisk right by his side. The two had a couple of lengths up their sleeve on race favorite Tesoro Privado and settled down to an epic battle up the straight. Don De La Vega did not yield and pulled out all stops to win by a half a length, with a perfectly executed ride by Amirul.
Barree Stable Manager Glenn Whittenbury has a soft spot for the Don, as he very much enjoys the attention of his owner when he visits the stable when in Singapore, unlike a certain other horse he owns which is affectionately known as the snake. The Don wouldn’t hurt a fly. The Snake (Debt Collector) on the other hand would rather bite a finger or an ear off his loyal owner when he’s in his box and to the great amusement of staff, many have witnessed DC’s antics with his owner. Once outside his box however, Debt Collector is much more pleasant and will happily be patted and pose for photographs.
Don De La Vega on the other hand loves attention and gratefully receives the affection of his owner. Now taking his record to a win an a second from just 4 starts and a tick over $57,000 in stakes, I’m sure the Don can look forward to some more kind attention from his happy owner, and maybe an extra mint or two.