Sean Tarry has won three Grade 1 events on one day before but statistically his achievement at Scottsville on Saturday was his best ever day as he sent out the trifecta in the main race and he was arguably unlucky to have not been the first in the country to ever win a Jackpot of Grade 1s.
Tarry joined Dennis Drier as a trainer who had won one of the Festival Of Speed’s Grade 1’s six times this century when Celtic Sea won the SA Fillies Sprint, although Drier’s six wins of the Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion have all come this decade.
In the first leg of Saturday’s Jackpot Tarry’s charge Cavivar managed to produce a late charge but had her momentum affected by the tiring Yessiricanboogie, who hung outward and bumped her about 25 metres from the post. Cavivar managed to rally and was beaten a head by the Justin Snaith-trained Miss Florida, who provided Nic Jonsson with a Grade 1-winning homebred and a first Grade 1 winner for apprentice Luke Ferraris.
Jockey Lyle Hewitson decided to object on the grounds that Miss Florida had hung outward and possibly intimidated Yessiricanboogie into shifting sideways and bumping Cavivar. Tarry was not so confident as he believed Yessiricanboogie was hanging that way anyway, but he encouraged Hewitson to go with his instincts. The stipendiary stewards overruled the objection and Tarry was certainly not upset by the verdict.
Cavivar runs in the famous brown and white Beck colours and two runs later these colours were carried to victory by Celtic Sea, who was ridden by Hewitson. It was the second Grade 1 winner on the day for the late great sire Captain Al as Miss Florida is also by Captain Al. It was the tenth win of the progeny of Captain Al in Scottsville Grade 1’s.
Celtic Sea produced a swooping run on the outside to overtake another Captain Al filly, the Snaith-trained Snowdance, and beat her by 1,70 lengths.
Tarry said, “I don’t need to run Celtic Sea again this season, but I will consider various options, including the Jonsson Workwear Garden Province and the Mercury Sprint, but if I don’t find a very good option, she may not run again this season.”
Earlier, the Avontuur Stallion Var had his eighth Grade 1 win at this meeting through the Tarry-trained two-year-old colt Eden Roc, who was also ridden by Hewitson.
Tarry said he was always going to be running at them, as he had won well effortlessly 1400m on debut. However, he added the day did not necessarily favour those who came from off the pace, pointing out that there were very few leading contenders on the day who were known to be effective front-runners in the mould of National Colour, Via Africa and Val de Ra etc.
Eden Roc is likely to be seen in the Grade 2 Golden Horseshoe over 1400m on Vodacom Durban July day.
In the big one, the R1 million Tsogo Sun Sprint, Tarry chose his riders carefully. Trip To Heaven had had a new lease of life since partnered by Hewitson and Luke Ferraris had won twice on Africa Rising in two rides. This left the ride open on the favourite Chimichuri Run for Raymond Danielson, who a few years ago gained the nickname “Super Sub” for his unerring ability to win big races when landing chance rides, a number of them for the Tarry yard. Once again Danielson delivered, driving the three-year-old Trippi colt through a gap towards the outside and overtaking the running on Africa Rising. Trip To Heaven ran on well on the very outside, after his customary slow start, to pip Africa Rising for second. It was a memorable moment in Tarry’s career and probably the first trifecta success for one trainer in this race.
Chimichuri Run’s obvious next target is the Grade 1 Mercury Sprint over 1200m on Gold Cup day at Greyville, although Tarry said he would likely not run him from an unfavourably wide draw.
Trip To Heaven could also be a candidate for the Mercury Sprint. Tarry said in a full field draws were not imperative for him due to his tendency to lose ground and run on.
Tarry pointed out Trip To Heaven had also never been disgraced before in the Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge over 1600m. He lost this race on objection three years ago and finished second two years ago. That weight for age mile is another consideration for him and so is the Grade 2 Post Merchants over 1200m where his current merit rating will be in his favour.
The Post Merchants is also a possibility for Africa Rising and so is the KZN Breeders Million Mile.
Tarry said another horse who might be aimed at the Post Merchants could be Social Order, whom he said had found form again since dropped in trip.
Meanwhile, Legal Eagle will run in a Pinnacle event over 1400m on June 9th as his Vodacom Durban July preparation.
Tarry also warned the public not to write off Tilbury Fort, whose last run he said could have a line completely drawn through it.
Tarry’s form continued into yesterday and his unbeaten Silvano colt Al Mutawakel, a full-brother to SA Derby winner and July runner up Al Sahem, looks to be an exciting prospect after making it two from two. This big horse sauntered through under Hewitson to win a 1400m handicap against older horses in just his second career start. He was only running off a 72 merit rating but is crying out for further.
By David Thiselton