Kasey Besanko had been waiting almost a decade to honour her late grandparents with the naming of a horse, but it had to be the right one.
Racing is in the Besanko blood and before there was Kasey and her father, veteran trainer Ray Besanko, it was legendary horseman Jack and his wife Ivy Besanko who were the flagbearers of the family business.
So it was fitting that on the fifth anniversary of Jack Besanko’s death, the family welcomed a Toronado colt into the world out of their prized broodmare Stiletto Rock.
Now a gelding, Jakivy will debut in Saturday’s $250,000 VOBIS Gold Rush (1000m) at Bendigo and Besanko is optimistic that he can show enough to warrant her early faith in him.
“I’ve been saving this name for nine years,” Kasey Besanko said.
“I decided to call him Jakivy after grandma and grandpa – it’s their two names together.
“He was actually born on the same date that grandpa passed away, so it made him the obvious choice, but I said to Dad that I wanted to trial him first and make sure.
“I didn’t want to waste the name on a horse that wasn’t much good.
“He’s got a lot of pressure on his shoulders.”
The mare, who raced briefly for the Besankos before succumbing to injury, has a perfect record on the track with her three older progeny all winners, including Flemington winner Rock Prophet.
“She’s been an amazing mare for us,” she said.
“We didn’t breed horses when she retired.
“She had a bad fracture to the knee and Dad spent nearly $12,000 on her for the operation, which she needed to have for quality of life, regardless of whether she raced again or was retired to be a broodmare.
“We thought that being by Fastnet Rock she’d be worth a bit of money, so we tried to sell her but only got offered $5000 because apparently she wasn’t commercial.
“The first foal out of her was Rock Prophet and I think we only paid about $1000 for that service fee to Moshe because we didn’t have the money to spend on a stallion and didn’t know much about the breeding game to be fair.
“We went to Toronado before they all started to hit the track and win some nice races, so we got him for about a $12,000 service fee.
“He’s not big but he’s a magnificent type.
“The others – even the three-year-old filly She Daresthe Devil – are all bigger than him but he’s very compact.”
Ray Besanko has never been one to get too carried away with his young horses before they hit the track and, while he’s hopeful Jakivy can run a cheeky race on Saturday, he knows he faces a tough assignment.
The youngster has performed well in two Cranbourne jumpouts and is rated $41 in Sportsbet’s Gold Rush market, which is headed by Lindsay Park’s dual winner Croatian Belle.
“I wanted to see him do something in the last 50 yards of his most recent trial – I think he could’ve won the trial easy, but he (Joe Bowditch) just held him up,” Ray Besanko said.
“With babies, you just don’t know how much ability is there.
“I think he’s a nice horse, but he’s drawn wide and it’s his first start at the races so I’m not going there with confidence he can win.
“He’s going to want a lot of luck, especially with the race experience of a couple of others that look to go pretty well.”
Stiletto Rock has a weanling by Earthlight and was served by Dirty Work last season.