CHIMICHURI RUN wins Tsogo Sun Sprint
Trainer Sean Tarry landed a glorious Grade 1 sprint treble at Scottsville’s Festival of Speed – and came within a whisker of winning all four famous races at Pietermaritzburg’s big meeting.
The headlining R1-million Tsogo Sun Sprint was a magnificent moment for Tarry and owner Chris van Niekerk as the famous blue and red silks blanketed the finish in a stable one-two three – Chimichuri Run (8-1), ridden by Raymond Danielson, edging the thriller over stablemates Trip To Heaven (10-1) and Africa Rising (30-1).
In fourth place was Brett Crawford’s star miler Undercover Agent (5-1), who made a brave effort over ground short of his best.
The Tarry golden treble was rich compensation following disappointment in the Allan Robertson Championship, in which Cavivar (in the Beck family’s brown and white silks) went down by just 0.10 lengths to Miss Florida – and then had an objection overruled.
Later, Beck-owned Celtic Sea was all class as she cruised home in the South African Fillies Sprint for Tarry – shortly after Van Niekerk’s Eden Roc had taken out the Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion.
Celtic Sea motored past her rivals in Scottsville’s notoriously tough climb to the line, easing up for a 1.70-length victory with jockey Lyle Hewitson posing crouched, American jockey-style, for the photographers.
Highly rated Snowdance, in the vanguard for most of the 1200m journey, held on for second place for trainer Justin Snaith and rider Richard Fourie. She was not disgraced in going down by 1.70 lengths to such an obvious talent, tackling a trip short of her best and coming off a four-month break.
Eden Roc was late supplementary entry for the Gold Medallion, the day’s 1200m event for juvenile males, after having won his only race, a 1400m effort at the Vaal less than a month ago. Tarry admitted to being bit worried about the son of Var’s ability to match the speed in such an important sprint.
But a masterfully timed ride by champion jockey Hewitson saw the 12-1 shot hold off the challenge of 18-10 favourite Frosted Gold from the Mike de Kock stable.
In the Allan Robertson Championship, the venerable race for fillies, Miss Florida got her head down at just the right moment to edge out 6-1 second favourite Cavivar.
Long-time leader Singforafa was a head back in third, with Yessiricanbogie hanging on for fourth.
The thrill of the close finish was followed by the drama of an objection, with Cavivar’s rider Hewitson asserting that Miss Florida and her pilot, apprentice Luke Ferraris had caused interference in the closing stages.
The head-on video replay showed that Miss Florida, coming from just off the pace, moved outwards onto Yessiricanboogie as the latter started to fall off the lead she’d held alongside Singforafa. Yessiricanboogie then shifted out onto the charging Cavivar.
However, after reviewing the footage, the stipendiary stewards declared Miss Florida a fair winner.
From the 1200m, Yessiricanboogie and Singforafa were among the first jumpers, with Cavivar and 26-10 favourite Basadi Faith almost abreast.
Singforafa and Yessiricanboogie pulled their 14 rivals down the Scottsville straight until lungs started straining on the rising ground towards the finish.
Cavivar inched into contention as Yessiricanboogie started tiring. But young Ferraris showed his burgeoning talent in urging Miss Florida up between Singforafa and Cavivar to win by an official 0.10 lengths.
It was Ferraris’s first Grade 1 winner.