Sean Tarry has a strong hand in all four of the Grade 1 features at Scottsville’s Festival Of Speed meeting on Saturday.
In the R1 million Tsogo Sun Sprint he has three contenders and has kept Lyle Hewitson aboard Trip To Heaven, who has had a new lease of life since the champion jockey first climbed aboard him towards the end of last season. He said loading him early had not helped his cause in the Computaform Sprint, as he had lost more ground than his customary couple of lengths, so he is hoping he is one of the last to load on Saturday. The 1200m trip allows him plenty of time to make up the ground and he is attractively weighted on his best form.
Luke Ferraris has ridden Africa Rising twice for two wins so Tarry has put him back aboard this honest five-year-old gelding. Tarry said his win three runs back in the Grade 2 Merchants over 1160m at Turffontein had been impressive, while his following run could be ignored as he did not pull up well. His last outing was very much a preparation run for Saturday’s big race.
The consequence of those two riding arrangements is that Raymond Danielson lands the ride on the ruling Track And Ball favourite, Chimichuri Run. Tarry pointed out Danielson had had Grade 1 success with him in the past.
Tarry said it had probably been a mistake to put the blinkers on Chimichuri Run last time as he had hung a bit worse than usual. He had originally thought of avoiding this race for the three-year-old due to his high merit rating but when he was surprisingly set to carry only 54,5kg, due to the presence of Undercover Agent, he kept him in. He said 1200m was arguably his best trip. He added he was tailor made for 1200m around the turn or 1400m at Greyville but said there had been little wrong with his form down the straight. He finished third in the Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion last year.
Tarry said all three runners had enjoyed good preparations.
Tarry believes the Johannesburg two-year-old form could well be the strongest in the country particularly among the fillies. He pointed out the time of the Grade 2 SA Fillies Nursery had been faster than that of the SA Nursery. He has thus kept SA Fillies Nursery runner up Cavivar against the girls in the Allan Robertson Championship, but has put his other good filly Spring Break in the Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion against the boys.
He said Cavivar’s penultimate start could be ignored as she did not settle with a tongue tie on. He said watching her 0,3 length second in the SA Fillies Nursery, where switching inward might have been costly, he believed Scottsville might well be to her liking and hoped she could turn the tables on Basadi Faith.
Spring Break was much talked about before staying on strongly to get up on debut and she must have a shout receiving 2,5kg from the boys in the Gold Medallion.
Tarry said it would have been pointless putting his well beaten SA Nursery unplaced runners in this race. He decided instead to opt for Eden Roc who did admittedly win over the further trip of 1400m on debut but Tarry pointed out he had won effortlessly in that Juvenile Plate event.
He said all three of his SA Fillies Sprint contenders Celtic Sea, Green Plains and Exquisite Touch had been doing well and had enjoyed good preparations.
He said Celtic Sea’s most disappointing runs had been when stepping her up to a mile, so maybe he had misinterpreted her strong finishes over 1400m and had thus decided she might be effective over 1200m.
“She is a very good filly and will be right there,” he said.
He believed Green Plains had hit the front quite early last time out when finishing a 2,75 length third in the Grade 2 Camellia Stakes with topweight and he believed she would benefit from a more patient ride.
In that same race he pointed out Exquisite Touch was unable to get a run so it could be ignored. She had previously been doing well against the boys.
Green Plains ran a 2,40 length sixth last year and Exquisite Touch a 5,65 length ninth, while Celtic Sea was a half-a-length second in the Allan Robertson.
By David Thiselton