Golden Horse Sprint

TSOGO SUN SPRINT (GRADE 1) – R1,000,000 – 1200m – Hollywoodbets Scottsville

1st R625,000, 2nd R200,000, 3rd R100,000 – May 25


3yo ch.c. by Trippi – Spiced Gold (Kahal)

      2nd dam: Little Legend (Complete Warrior)

      3rd dam: Little Inagua (Welsh Harmony)

      Owner: C J H van Niekerk

      Bred by Drakenstein Stud

      Trainer: S G Tarry

Jockey: R Danielson

2.   Trip To Heaven      

      7yo b.g. by by Trippi – Helleborus Blue (Cee’s Tizzy)

      Owner: C J H van Niekerk

      Bred by Highlands Farms Stud (Pty) Ltd

3.   Africa Rising

      5yo ch.g. by Visionaire – Sucha Looka (Braashee)

      Owner: C J H van Niekerk

      Bred by Summerhill Stud (Pty) Ltd

Then came: Undercover Agent, Bold Respect, Down To Zero, Palace Chapel, Sunset Eyes, Prince Of Kahal, Search Party, Attenborough, Tribal Fusion, Mardi Gras, Van Halen, Dutch Philip, Sniper Shot

Won by: 0.75 – neck – head

Time: 66,84

The hits just keep coming for owner Chris van Niekerk and trainer Sean Tarry. In an all blue and red finish, the powerful team stepped into the history books with a sensational trifecta as CHIMICHURI RUN led home stable companions Trip To Heaven and Africa Rising.

For the winner, it was a triumphant return to the track where twelve months ago he had finished third in the Gr1 Gold Medallion. This time round, he made no mistake and came storming into the lead to take the honours by the best part of a length while lowering the new record time set by Celtic Sea barely half an hour earlier!

The colt, also a five-length winner of the Gr3 Umkhomazi Stakes at two, has danced every dance this season. After defeating a field of older, battle-hardened opponents in the Spring Spree Stakes, he chased home One World in the Concorde Cup but was soundly beaten in the Cape Guineas and CTS 1600, before running a length third in the Gr2 Diadem Stakes. Back on the Highveld, he added to his string of places when third in both the Gr3 Man O’War Stakes and the recent Gr1 Computaform Sprint.

Chimichuri Run was originally earmarked for export to Hong Kong, but that fell through after he failed the necessary vet tests. Hong Kong’s loss has been Van Niekerk’s gain, for not only is the colt now a Gr1 winner, he is also racing’s newest millionaire, this career-best score taking his earnings past the R1,5-million mark.

Bred at Drakenstein Stud, Chimichuri Run is the latest top level winner for resident champion stallion Trippi, who stamped his authority on the 1200m dash by siring both the winner and runner-up. The winner’s dam Spiced Gold won the Gr1 SA Fillies Classic, while grandam Little Legend is an own sister to the dual stakes winner Main Warrior. Drakenstein sold an own brother to Chimichuri Run for R600,000 at this year’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

TSOGO SUN GOLD MEDALLION (GRADE 1) – R750,000 – 1200m – Hollywoodbets Scottsville

1st R468,750, 2nd R150,000, 3rd R75,000 – May 25


      2yo b.c. by Var – Townsend (Captain Al)

      2nd dam: Palace Gossip (Dominion Royale)

      3rd dam: Island Aloah (Tilden)

      Owner: C J H van Niekerk

      Bred by Varsfontein Stud

      Trainer: S G Tarry

      Jockey: L Hewitson

2.   Frosted Gold (NZ)

      2yo gr.c. by All Too Hard – Mary d’Or (Verglas)

      Owner: D D MacLean

      Bred by JML Bloodstock Ltd

3.   Wave

      2yo b.g. by Mogok – Seaview (Miesque’s Approval)

      Owners: Lucky Vest 12 CC, Team G Racing, E A Budlender, P R Rencken and Mrs C C Naidoo

      Bred by Scott Bros

Then came: Got The Greenlight, African Warrior, Alramz, Master Jay, Spring Beak, Special Blend, Cartel Captain, Master Of Illusion, Emerald Band, Guantanamo Bay, Loosen Your Tie, High Voltage, Candy Apple

Won by: 0.50 – head – 0.75

Time: 67,99

Trainer Sean Tarry opened his magnificent Gr1 treble on the day when he saddled Chris van Niekerk’s EDEN ROC to victory in the Gold Medallion.

Dropping back from a debut win over seven furlongs, the stiff six furlong trip was right up the colt’s alley and he ran on stoutly to open his Gr1 account at the expense of the unlucky favourite Frosted Gold, who had to switch for a clear run at a crucial stage and was flying at the end.

The winner, whose victory acted as a precursor to his owner’s magnificent trifecta in the subsequent Gr1 Tsogo Sun Sprint, is the second Medallion winner for Avontuur Stud stallion Var, sire also of 2009 victor Villandry.

Eden Roc is the latest Gr1 winner to emerge from the Varsfontein paddocks and is the first stakes winner out of the well-performed Townsend. A dual Graded stakes winner of the Gr2 Odessa Stud Fillies Championship and Gr3 Diana Stakes, she is a half-sister to the Tarry-trained Regal Ransom (Caesour), who scored a career high in the Gr1 Champions Challenge. The pair are the only foals produced by multiple Gr3-placed eight-time winner Palace Gossip, a grandaughter of the Zimbabwe Oaks victress Island Farewell (Jamaico).

Townsend foaled a Gimmethegreenlight colt in 2018 before returning to Master Of My Fate.

ALLAN ROBERTSON CHAMPIONSHIP (GRADE 1) – R750,000 – 1200m – Hollywoodbets Scottsville

1st R468,750, 2nd R150,000, 3rd R75,000 – May 25


      2yo b.f. by Captain Al – Diva’s Daughter (Trippi)

      2nd dam: Love’s Desire (Braashee)

      3rd dam: Lover’s Bid (Auction Ring)

      Owner: N Jonsson

      Bred by owner

      Trainer: S J Snaith

      Jockey: L J Ferraris

2.   Cavivar

      2yo ch.f. by Var – Control Freak (Tamburlaine)

      Owners: Mr A R and Mrs A B L Beck

      Bred by Lammerskraal Stud

3.   Singforafa

      2yo b.f. by Potala Palace – First Whistle (Whistling Wood)

      Owner: X Spies

      Bred by N J Swart

Then came: Yessiricanboogie, Royal Lily, Roll In The Hay, What You Are, Me Time, Rio’s Winter, Gaian Glory, Somewhere In Time, Vandah’s Spirit, Basadi Faith, Travelling Light, Naoshima, Miss Honey

Won by: head – shorthead – 1.50

Time: 68,23

Nic Jonsson, the owner of last year’s Durban July winner Do It Again, tasted Gr1 success as a breeder for the first time when his juvenile filly MISS FLORIDA got up in the dying strides to prevail in a tight, three-way battle.

While making the transition from maiden to top level winner on just her second outing, inexperience almost cost her the race, as she wandered under pressure and had to overcome an objection lodged by the runner-up for interference in the closing stages.

The Justin Snaith-trained juvenile is the third Allan Robertson winner for Klawervlei Stud’s late champion Captain Al, sire also of the own sisters All Is Secret and The Secret Is Out, who took the honours in 2012 and 2016 respectively.

Miss Florida is the first foal of Diva’s Daughter, a stakes-placed winner of five races. She too, was trained by Snaith and was the final foal out of the winning Braashee mare Love’s Desire, who proved an above-average broodmare, four of her seven foals earning black type. To Rambo Dancer she produced Gr3 The Debutante victress Rambo’s Love and her stakes-placed own brother Dance All Day, while Manville (London News), took third in the Gr3 Umkhomazi Stakes. A half-sister to multiple Stakes winner Brief Affaire (Elevation), Love’s Desire is out of Irish import Lover’s Bid, a three-time winning half-sister to champion Pass The Peace (Alzao), who won the Gr1 Cheveley Park Stakes, as did her champion daughter Embassy (Cadeaux Genereux) nine years later.

Coincidentally, Miss Florida is the second South African Gr1 winner to descend from Pass The Peace, whose Gr2 winning daughter Tarfshi (Mtoto) is the grandam of Computaform Sprint  hero Pacific Trader (Sail From Seattle)

SA FILLIES SPRINT (GRADE 1) – R750,000 – 1200m –
Hollywoodbets Scottsville

1st R468,750, 2nd R150,000, 3rd R75,000 – May 25


      3yo b.f. by Captain Al – Ireland (Mark Of Esteem)

      2nd dam: Dear Celina (Roi Normand)

      3rd dam: La Belle Celina (Ghadeer)

      Owners: Mr A R and Mrs A B L Beck

      Bred by Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein

      Trainer: S G Tarry

      Jockey: L Hewitson

2.   Snowdance

      4yo b.f. by Captain Al – Spring Lilac (Joshua Dancer)

      Owners: Drakenstein Stud and Late Mr W J C Mitchell

      Bred by Cheveley Stud

3.   Vision To Kill

      5yo b.m. by Kildonan – Royal Vision (Alami)

      Owners: M J  Mauvis and S Osman

      Bred by M J R Mauvis

Then came: Neptune’s Rain, Juniper Spring, Temple Grafin, Schippers, San Fermin (Aus), Green Plains, Freedom Charter, Rose In Bloom, Mighty High, Nafaayes (Aus), Exquisite Touch, Anime, Elusive Heart

Won by: 1.75 – 2 – 1.50

Time: 66,90

A return to sprinting brought out the best in CELTIC SEA, who stormed up the Hollywoodbets Scottsville track to register a first Gr1 success. The blinkered three-year-old came from off the pace and once in full cry, streaked clear to score by an emphatic margin in a time which bettered the old track record of 66,98.

This victory, her fifth overall made amends for her half-length defeat in last year’s Allan Robertson, which was followed by a win in the Gr2 Golden Slipper.

Although not disgraced when third in the Gr2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas this season, a return to sprinting looked a given, considering she failed to stay a mile in her last two starts, the Gr1 Empress Club Stakes and the recent Gr2 KRA Fillies Guineas.

Celtic Sea races for Kentucky-based, Gainesway Stud master Anthony Beck, in the silks made famous by his late father and former Highlands owner Graham Beck.

One of a red-letter trio of Gr1 winners on the day for the Tarry stable, she also completed a notable double for Captain Al, who for good measure, also sired the runner-up Snowdance.

The three-year-old is a half-sister to the multiple Gr3-placed Cashel Palace (Fort Wood) and is out of Brazilian import Ireland, who scored twice in South Africa. The mare is a half-sister to Brazilian Gr1 winner and Oaks third La Defense (Nedawi) and hails from the family of Gr1 winners Art Variety, Implausable and Urudonal.