Sean Tarry withstood the Mike de Kock challenge to win his third successive Gauteng Chris Gerber Summer Cup at Turffontein on Saturday.
Three turned out to be Sean Tarry’s lucky number at Turffontein on Saturday for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, when Zillzaal crossed the line to win the Gauteng Chris Gerber Summer Cup, proudly brought to you by Bidvest, it gave Tarry his third successive win in this R2-million Grade 1 race over 2000m on the Standside track. Secondly, it was the champion trainer’s third successive feature win on the day, following on from victories in the Grade 2 New Turf Carriers Merchants with Mardi Gras and the TAB/Betting World Dingaans with Shango.
In fact, this was Tarry’s fourth win in this race as he also won the Summer Cup with Aslan in 2009.
In his third run since gelding, the son of Silvano (28-1) made all and held off a late challenge from favourite Soqrat (2-1) by 0.40 lengths. A head back in third came another Tarry inmate, Al Mutawakel, with filly Queen Supreme taking fourth, beaten just 1.60 lengths.
TAB paid out six places and fifth position went to Atyaab with Roy’s had Enough in sixth.
There was a load of money for Soqrat who was ridden by Anton Marcus while Queen Supreme, the mount of Callan Murray, also found support and she went off outright second favourite at 9-2 while Barahin drifted past the 5-1 mark.
But the happiest bloke on the course was apprentice Denis Schwarz, who rode his first Grade 1 winner – and what a win it was! This youngster has always had his enthusiasm emblazoned on his short and always gives a good account of himself. Going into the meeting he was 12th on the national jockeys log and leading the apprentice race, by just one win from Luke Ferraris.
Going into the draw Tarry had not named all his jockeys for his four runners and Schwarz was hoping to pick up one of the rides. “Many people thought I was waiting to find jockeys because of the weights,” said Tarry. “I already had the jockeys I was going to use, I was just waiting for the draws to see how I would use them.”
Schwarz was named on Zillzaal and Ferraris on Al Mutawakel. As the gates opened Schwarz wasted no time in taking his mount to the front from No 15 draw. When the field came for home, using his light weight of 52kg, he extended his lead and made the pack chase him. Firstly Queen Supreme and Al Mutawakel came at him but then a bigger danger loomed on the outside in the form of Soqrat.
Marcus slowly closed the gap and it looked as if he would get there but the line came in time for Tarry’s charge, owned Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Makhtoum’s Al Adiyat South Africa.
“I felt like Piere Strydom coming into the straight,” said Schwarz, comparing his ride to the six-time former champion jockey.
Tarry quipped: “My instructions were simple. I told him to go the front, and run on from there.”
He also added about Soqrat. “For a horse to run on the way he did carrying 60kg over 2000m at Turffontein, was amazing. It was a superb effort.”
On the serious subject of instructions, Schwarz said: “Mr Tarry did not give me any specific instructions. He just said I should ride my race.”
Tarry was full of praise for the 20-year-old. “I think he rode a brilliant race and I’m not saying that because he won. Even if he had got caught, I would still feel the same way.”
Soqrat did not get the best of breaks from No 14 draw and he raced wide the whole way. “Unfortunately he just got into the wrong position early and when you are that far back you need to have a plan B,” said De Kock.
“But this showed he is a really good horse and it was a super performance.”
Things don’t always work out as planned. Sometime they work out even better.
With a R5 million carryover added to the Turffontein Pick 6 pool on Saturday, the total was expected to reach R15 million. While it stuttered for a bit around the R9 million mark, the late rush saw it close at R21,202,167.32.
This is the highest Pick 6 pool ever accumulated in Gauteng.
We can all agree this was a hugely successful Gauteng Summer Cup, and we cannot wait to watch more and more new racing fans return to the track over the course of the season.
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