Sean Tarry is a valued customer when it comes to KZN-bred horses and he often reaps the rewards on KZN Breeder’s day where his runners generally excel. Tarry targets this day of inflated stakes and won six of the nine races, including the Million Mile with Matador Man, back in 2017.
Matador Man is back over his favourite course and distance at Hollywoodbets Greyville tomorrow in an effort to regain his crown, and along with stable companion Africa Rising, gives Tarry a strong hand in the race.
With Do It Again playing up in the start of the Gr1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge, Matador Man was forced to stand in his gate for some time, Tarry commenting along the lines, “That will do for Matador Man. He will be slow to go.”
They were prophetic words as Matador Man ‘walked’ out of the gate and was never in the hunt.
The Million Mile field does not stack up to the strength of the Gold Challenge field and with Lyle Hewitson back in the irons, a reproduction of his penultimate start when comfortably accounting for Vodacom Durban July hopeful Head Honcho in a Pinnacle Stakes, he should take some beating.
Africa Rising comes off a tremendous effort behind stable companion Chimichuri Run in the Gr1 Tsogo Sun Sprint where he was beaten less than a length. The majority of his recent form has been over sprints but from a good draw he will give Matador Man a run for his money.
Camphoratus, was first reserve for next week’s Vodacom Durban July and with the scratching of Magnificent Seven, she has made it into the 18-horse field. As a result Robbie Hill has been given permission to scratch from the Mile.
Of the balance, evergreen Unagi pops up on occasion and with Marcus in the saddle must be respected along with Wynkelder who is an accomplished sprinter stepping up to a mile for just the second time.
Given the nature of the meeting, many of the runners are under sufferance in the handicap that should give punters an edge over the ‘Olde enemy’.
The first of the plums could come in the fourth, opening lg of the Pick 6 where top weight Vision To Kill should have the wood on her rivals. Paul Gadsby’s mare does not have the best of legs but she can get along a bit. She was a good third in the Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint behind Celtic Sea and Snowdance, either of which would be odds-on should they have been in this line-up.
Cumulus and Hard To Play are weighted to fight out the fifth, Hard To Play is marginally better off at the handicap but Cumulus is in receipt of 6kg from his rival and goes very well over course and distance. Hard To Play has earned his weight with some consistent form in useful company. These two look set to fight it out.
By Andrew Harrison