World Pool Gold Cup

WORLD POOL GOLD CUP (Grade 3) – 3200m – R 1 000 000

FUTURE PEARL              

Trainer: Sean Tarry

Jockey: Richard Fourie   

Winner: FUTURE PEARL – Futura – Arabian Pearl by Al Mufti (USA)
BRED BY: Drakenstein Stud (Nom: Mrs G A Rupert)

OWNED: Mr A R & Mrs A B L Beck 

HKJC WORLD POOL CHAMPIONS CUP (Grade 1) – 1800m – R 1250 000

PRINCESS CALLA            

Trainer: Sean Tarry

Jockey: Richard Fourie

Winner: PRINCESS CALLA –Flower Alley (USA) – Princess Royal by Captain Al
BRED BY: DMaine Chance Farms (Pty) Ltd

OWNED: Mr M J A Ferreira

MERCURY SPRINT (Grade 1) – 1200m – R 1000 000


Trainer: Peter Muscutt

Jockey: Richard Fourie        

Winner: ISIVUNGUVUNGU –What A Winter – Miss Tweedy by Tiger Ridge (USA)
BRED BY: Narrow Creek Stud OWNED: Hollywood Syndicate (Nom: Mr A Delpech)

Princess Calla is crowned champion

The Sean Tarry-trained World Pool Gold Cup winner FUTURE PEARL.
Photo: Gold Circle/Candiese Lenferna

Andrew Harrison

Star mare Princess Calla gave the Equus Awards panel plenty to think about in naming this season’s Horse of the Year after storming home in the Gr1 The HKJC Champions Cup at Hollywoodbets Greyville yesterday, beating home another strong candidate for the national award, See It Again.

It was a red letter day for trainer Sean Tarry and jockey Richard Fourie, the pair in deadly form with three winners. 

Taking on a field of Gr1 winning males, Fourie was quick to place his mare a couple of lengths off pacemaker Dave The King who set a solid gallop but favourite See It Again was a tardy starter and was at the back of the field for much of the race, giving many lengths start to his rivals in the straight.

Fourie waited precious seconds before calling for maximum and Princess Calla sprinted clear of the opposition.

Piere Strydom, possibly having his last Gr1 ride on See It Again before retirement, had to weave his way through traffic and although making up some ten lengths on Dave The King, he never got within striking distance of Princess Calla.

It was Princess Calla’s third Gr1 win in succession starting with the Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint over 1200m, the Gr1 Ridgemont Highlands Garden Province over 1600 m and yesterday’s Champions Cup over 1800m.

Des Gonsalves, racing manager for owner Mario Ferreira, indicated that the five-year-old may stay in training next year and a win in the Gr1 Paddock Stakes could earn her an entry to the Breeders’ Cup, export protocols permitting.

Earlier, Lucky Lad had no luck in the Gr1 World Pool Moment of the Day Champion Stakes where he started favourite, but Future Pearl, racing in the same colours and trained by Sean Tarry, landed the odds when running out a comfortable winner of the Gr3 World Pools Gold Cup. 

Future Pearl became the first three-year-old to win the Gold Cup since Ancestral Fore in 2010 and win the unofficial stayers triple crown that consists of the WSB Gold Bowl, the Gold Vase and now the Gold Cup. Fourie, scoring his third win on the day, sat mid-field in a race that was run at no great pace down the back stretch before speeding up over the last five furlongs.

Pacemaker Sea Master was quickly swallowed up by Nebraas crossing the subway and then Future Pearl zoomed up and past them both. Nebraas battled on but was unable to hold the late challenge from Arumugam and had to settle for third.

“Lyle’s horse kicked nicely and opened up a nice smooth run for me,” said Fourie. “I know Nebraas, I’m not going to join him. I try to run past him as quick as I can. Nebraas is the kind of horse that will fight you off so great win.”

In the Gr1 Mercury Sprint there were some doubts about Isivunguvungu seeing out a hard-run 1200m and getting the better of the odds-on favourite Gimme A Prince but he proved all doubters wrong as Fourie rode a superb front-running race on Peter Muscutt’s charge in the Gr1 Mercury Sprint.

Fourie had worked out that there was unlikely to be a strong pace in the race and took his mount to the front before slowing it up.

In the straight Isivunguvungu was tackled first by Thunderstruck and then Surjay but Fourie and Isivunguvungu was not to be denied as the horse responded gallantly to his rider’s urgings.

It was the fifth Gr1 winner for leading owners the Hollywood Syndicate and a horse named by popular former Springbok and Sharks rugby winger Odwa Ndungane.

“It’s been a great pleasure to ride him in these Group 1’s,” said Fourie who recently rode his 250th winner of the season.  “Ten minutes before the race I had an idea what to do ……… I just executed it and a phenomenal win. This horse came here and showed his true potential and his real class and he deserves the win.”

Those tasked with sorting out the puzzle of Equus Three-year-Old Male were thrown another curved ball as Sandringham Summit overcame a dreaded wide gate to storm home in the Gr1 World Pool Moment of the Day Champion Stakes.

On all lines of form, there only looked to be three horses with serious chances, the unbeaten pair if Main Defender, Lucky Lad and Sandringham Summit.

Lucky Lad was the hot-pot favourite after his facile win in the Gr1 Gold Medallion. He was drawn one inside of Sandringham Summit but his chances were compromised at the start as Pure Predator jumped awkwardly, cannoning into The Africa House who in turn impeded Lucky Lad who was then caught out wide throughout and his race run a long way out.

Main Defender sat on the heels of pacemaker Longsword and got first run in the straight but Calvin Habib and Sandringham Summit were not to be denied as the colt stormed home up the outside to win going away from Main Defender with We Are The Logans a well-beaten third.

It was the first win for Turffontein-based trainer David Nieuwenhuizen and for Habib who recently returned from an aborted spell in Singapore.

“I was really just a passenger,” confessed Habib. “He came out the gates. He told me where he wanted to be and told me when he was ready to go. I can’t take much credit.”

“It’s all due to the horse, and to the groom, he’s got all the scars after being dragged around the parade ring,” said Nieuwenhuizen.

Tony Peter, who only recently took out his trainer’s license after his father Paul handed in his brief, landed his first Gr1 with Bavarian Beauty in the Douglas Whyte Stakes. It was the second win on the day for Peter and jockey Craig Zackey who had earlier triumphed with Meridius in the @ Worldpool Twitter Handicap (Listed).

 Zackey punched Bavarian Beauty clear crossing the subway and she stuck gamely to her guns as Egyptian Mau and Distant Winter chased in vain.