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Exciting venture for Spies 

By Nicci Garner on July 13, 2011
Thoroughbred Yearlings at Favour StudTRAINER Corne Spies, who saddled a winner and three place-getters at the Vaal meeting on Tuesday, has expanded his operation to Stilbaai in a bid to open up avenues into the Western and Eastern Cape.
“My current base at the Vaal is ideal for racing in KwaZulu-Natal, Kimberley and on the Highveld and this new set-up will give me an opportunity to take horses to Port Elizabeth and Cape Town as well,’’ said Spies, adding that Stilbaai was situated between the two racing centres.
Setting up a stable on Ernst and Engelize Du Preez’s Favour Stud in Stilbaai was a natural progression after Spies relocated his family to the area. He now has just over 20 horses in Stilbaai and around 60 in Johannesburg and is hoping the new yard will attract owners in the area.
“I have a great team behind me in this endeavour. My father, Tobie, is still very active and is in charge of my string in Joburg, assisted by Charlene Tucker, when I’m not there, while Renate du Plessis is my assistant in Stilbaai,’’ he said. “Dad’s got a vast reservoir of experience. He taught me everything I know – but not everything he knows. So he’s a great help.’’
Spies has sent out only a few runners from his new base – “not enough to make an impact yet’’ – but Campo de Santana (his very first runner from there) finished third in the PE Gold Cup and young gun Harry Hall was third at Kenilworth last weekend in his first run after a seven-month layoff.
“So, it’s all very promising,’’ he said. “Harry Hall’s effort was a very nice one. He’s running again on Friday in Port Elizabeth and I’m expecting a good run from him.’’
Racing Yard of Corne Spies at Favour Stud