KZN Breeders Mile

KWAZULU-NATAL BREEDERS MILE (Non-Blk Type) – 1600m -R 600 000                   


Trainer: Sean Tarry 

Jockey: Richard Furie

Winner: MRS GERIATRIX Vercingetorix – Velvet Glove by Kahal (GB)

BRED BY: Clifton Stud

OWNED: Magical Lady Syndicate (Nom: Natalie Turner)

Mrs Geriatrix wins the Breeders’ in style

MRS GERIATRIX, with Richard Fourie up, wins the KwaZulu-Natal Breeders Mile for trainer Sean Tarry at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday 29 June 2024.
Picture: Candiese Lenferna

Andrew Harrison

It was David and Goliath in the finish of the KZN Breeders Mile as the diminutive Mrs Geriatrix finally found winning form to hold off the challenge of the giant Prince Of Taranto.

Last season’s champion two-year-old filly, bred by Peter and Jenny Blythe at their Clifton Stud, was up against it this season against a particularly strong sophomore crop led by the unbeaten Gimme A Nother but she was never far off the action.

As Sean Tarry illuded to post-race, Cape Town did not go their way and on the back of it, neither did the Highveld season.

Tarry did have the Gr1 Ridgemont Garden Province in mind this coming Saturday but Mrs Geriatrix drew wide and with Richard Fourie committed to Double Grand Slam, the Breeders Mile was the obvious choice with a good draw and weighted to win.

Sign Of Fate was in no great hurry in setting the pace and the race turned into something of a canter/sprint which suited the filly perfectly as she moved in smoothly to challenge and was never in danger of losing in spite of the attentions of the giant on her inside.

Sun In My Pocket came in for some solid market support in the first and Serino Moodley took off as if he had a fire under his tail. For some time it looked as if he had stolen the race but Richard Fourie had him in his sights and when the filly emptied out, he was there to send the favourite Dantonfromsanton into the lead to open the day for Sean Tarry. Philasande Mxoli, who has his first ride in the Hollywoodbets Durban July next Saturday when he partners Purple Pitcher, had trouble getting Wild At War around Sun In My Pocket who wandered off course, but was closing fast over the last 100m.

Daring Dash may have missed out by a short head for a chance to run in the Gr1 Gold Medallion but Weiho Marwing’s charge made up for it in fine style when winning The Forst Stud Maiden in eye-catching fashion. He quickened up at the top of the straight under Diego De Gouveia and cruised home by the best part of seven lengths with Marwing singing his praises post-race.

Big winning margins were the order of the day at Animal Impact gave S’Manga Khumalo an armchair ride in the Blue Sky Thoroughbreds Maiden. Wendy Whitehead’s gelding was always in contention as stable companion Gijima Mfana set the pace, but turning for home it was a one-horse race as Animal Impact quickened away from his rivals to win as he liked.

That all changed in the fourth as Proud Master came from the clouds under Sean Veale to snaffle pacemaker and long-time leader Mr Henly literally in the shadow of the post. My Henley looked to have the race all sewn up approaching the final 100m, but Stuart Ferrie’s charge motored home to get up on the line as the afternoon shadows lengthened. 

Magic Tattoo let the side down but Tarry and Fourie were back in the winner’s enclosure as Willow’s Wish put the field to bed at the top of the straight and was paid for his consistent form as he went to the line with three lengths to spare.

There are not too many horses around that have managed eight wins in their career but Giambattista showed plenty of pluck to reach that milestone as he held off a determined challenge from Lucky Dollar in the Clifton Stud Breeders 1600. Khumalo had him in the lead early in the straight and the son of Wylie Hall kept to his guns all the way to the line to give Whitehead her second winner on the afternoon.

Brave Voyager lived up to his name for Dennis Bosch as he kept finding to hold off a wall of challengers in the Declarationofpeace Handicap.

After a couple of near misses Rachel Venniker finally got one home for Alyson Wright. The gap opened up like the Red Sea and Imaginable took advantage coming from well off the pace to catch long-time leader Bennie In The Area.