Brendan Gaillard: Former champion trainer Sean Tarry will be pulling out all the stops in a bid to lower the colours of his more-fancied rivals in Saturday’s World Sports Betting presents the Gauteng Summer Cup over 2000m on Turffontein’s Standside track.
Tarry has won the race four times in its prestigious history – Aslan was his first back in 2009 before Liege (2017), Tilbury Fort (2018) and Zillzaal (2019) completed a hat-trick of ‘Cup’ wins – and sends out a five-pronged attack in this year’s renewal in an attempt to regain the ‘Cup’ won last year by Paul Peter-trained Equus Horse Of The Year Summer Pudding.
Regarding the chances of Tierra Del Fuego, who Tarry believes has acquitted himself well at level weights against top horses in the race, he said: “I think the 6kg (that he gets from top-weight Got The Greenlight) will come in handy, and he loves the course and distance. I tried something with the blinkers in his last start and it backfired. But his coat has turned, he’s moving beautifully and his gallop was exceptional. He’ll be ready to fire!”
Dingaans winner Shango, runner-up in the Grade 1 SA Derby, showed he retains his ability after gelding by winning the 2200 consolation race on Vodacom Durban July day. “He hasn’t been the soundest individual since last year’s July but he’s come back nicely,” adds Tarry.
“I was a little nervous to run him in the Victory Moon (won by Mike de Kock’s charge Sparkling Water) fearing a penalty, so decided to just keep him down the straight and look after his rating. He’s in a very good space and certainly has the form (to be competitive).”
Flying Carpet finished a creditable third in the Victory Moon and there may be more to come from the four-year-old Judpot colt according to his trainer. “I think that run (which was his second after a rest) he did really need and that’s now brought him to his peak. He’s really fit and well for this engagement and last season’s three-year-old form (against the likes of Malmoos and Linebacker, who he raced against at level weights) tells its own story. I’m very happy to have him in, he’s in receipt of a bit of weight and I expect a decent showing.”
Leading Cape Town rider Grant van Niekerk travels north to partner Seehaam in Summer Cup and this well-bred Vercingetorix filly, who is closely related to the stable’s former Grade 1 winner Al Sahem, is easy to back at long odds – bearing in mind she did give 0,5kg and a five-length beating to Sparkling Water in the Jacaranda Handicap back in March.
“I think she’s had a lovely preparation. I don’t see where the chinks are and believe she’s a worthy contestant. I think she’ll have a say in the finish and run a race way bigger than her price!”
Tarry isn’t too perturbed by the wide draw Tree Tumbo has to negotiate. “He’s a horse who likes to run on from off the pace, so the draw isn’t too much of a concern. He ran third in this race last year carrying the same weight, so I’m taking the blinkers off and expecting improvement.”
A perennial force to be reckoned with on big-race days, Tarry has other runners engaged on the 10-race card and was kind enough to provide comments regarding several of his other charges in their respective races for bettors to make note of:
In Race 4, the Grade 3 Magnolia Handicap over 1160m, he has four runners and Zimbaba is now likely to take her place as her race at the Vaal on Thursday was called off due to rain. Top-weight Tropic Sun needed her comeback run and an improved effort is expected over a course and distance that she enjoys.
Sound Of Warning and Full Velocity are both expected to be competitive and have eachway chances.
“I was very happy with Sound Of Warning’s comeback run, she’s a classy sort, and I’m putting blinkers on Full Velocity as she tends to give start – she’s consistent and should run well.”
Stablemates Chimichuri Run and Ikigai are also expected to acquit themselves well in Race 5, the Grade 3 Merchants over 1160m.
“Chimi is in a good space and will run an improved race with the blinkers and Gavin (Lerena) back on. And Ikigai showed pace over further last time, so a return to sprinting should suit.”
Pyromaniac has the widest draw to overcome in the Grade 2 Dingaans (Race 6) but has a winning chance. “I was very happy with his comeback run. It won’t be easy from the draw and I would’ve liked one more run but he should enjoy the extra (ground) and will be a factor.”
One of his most interesting is last season’s Champion Two-Year-Old filly Rain In Holland, who contests Race 6, the Grade 2 Ipi Tombe Challenge over 1600m. Tarry said: “She’s come out of her last race well, she needed that. She’s fitter and unbeaten over the distance, so I’m expecting a big run.”