Trainer Sean Tarry threw the scalded cat amongst the pedestrian pigeons when he caused a minor sensation by stretching the R200 000 Gr3 Cup Trial field to breaking point with his pacy pensioner Buy And Sell. The end justified the means in a big way with Tarry sending out the first two finishers in an entertaining contest.
The Chris Van Niekerk red-and-blue dominated Saturday’s race with Anton Marcus getting the game 8-1 shot Gold Onyx up in the dying strides to break the heart of his 75-1 stablemate, who had cost himself dearly by staggering across the expanses of the shadows of the Clairwood winning post towards the outside rail.
Sean Tarry has taken a fair amount of flak for keeping the National Emblem gelding Buy And Sell in training and it would probably be highly unjust for his colleagues, or the media, to question the morals of his actions in creating the havoc that he did. We are in fact not so sure that the frenetic pace was entirely premeditated as it looked for a lot of the way that Buy And Sell was dictating matters to his rider.
And let’s not forget that on the flipside of the coin, we also whinge week in and out about the Cape crawl.
Gold Onyx offered his supporters some fair value at 8-1, no doubt as a result of his most recent unplaced effort behind Beach Beauty in the Betting World 1900. But Marcus treats every ride as his last and he showed his world-class value as a jockey who adds lengths to anything he throws a leg over.
The race created a clowd of stunned silence over Clairwood as the formless Buy And Sell took the early initiative. The soon-to-be nine year old ripped the hapless Muzi Yeni’s arms out of the sockets as he streaked clear to lead by an ever widening margin. Stuart Randolph did great work from the jump to drift Polar Bound towards the more economical track of the inside rail from his 11 draw and he watched Buy And Sell’s rump disappear into the distance as he lead the race within a race.
Lion In Winter followed in third with Lake Arthur and English Garden backing up almost fifteen lengths off the pacemaking action. Turning for home, Buy And Sell had increased his slice by 10 lengths and showed no signs of stopping. Polar Bound looked to be gathering his troops for an assault and Marcus was vigorously working on Gold Onyx as the chasing pack was spread across the width of the track.
It was only in the final 100m of the race that Marcus may have thought that he would catch his stablemate as Gold Onyx produced an explosive turn of foot to reel in the old man just strides from the line.
English Garden confirmed his well-being and recent resurgence of form by running on steadily late to collar Lake Arthur to nab the third cheque 2,25 lengths off the winner. Lake Arthur ran a cracker from his 14 draw under 59kgs.
The Joey Ramsden runner Lion In Winter also showed a nice return to form when he plugged on for fifth and 3,05 lengths off the winner. He just shaded Brett Crawford’s Polar Bound who did not go through with his effort after leading the bunch and seemingly having every chance.
A few runners emerged with tarnished reputations and dreams of July glory in possible tatters.
Solo Traveller had excuses as he was reported not striding out on the left-hind and the favourite Rio Carnival plodded on in midfield. Gavin Van Zyl’s Bulsara finished four from last with the terribly disappointing recently gelded Silver Flyer just behind him.
A Gr3 victor on debut and a sensational 33-1 winner of the Gr1 Premier’s Champion Stakes as a juvenile on the final day of the 2009/10 racing season, Gold Onyx has won R832 856 in the course of his 6 wins and 4 places from his 24 starts.
He was bred in New Zealand by P A Newman and Windsor Park Stud Ltd. He is by Black Minnaloushe out of the seven-time winning Kaapstad mare Egoli Lass.
To describe this four year old gelding’s career as chequered, would be stating the obvious. He has been labelled with all kinds of excuses. As a supposed Greyville specialist, who won the recent Listed Sledgehammer at Scottsville, and on Saturday he pitched up at Clairwood in fighting mood.
Gold Onyx was in the non-league fringe pool of the Vodacom Durban July prior to this effort. He obviously doesn’t always bring his best to the races, but he has surely convinced the July selection committee of his credentials this time round?
Cup Trial (SAf-G3) (6/9)
Clairwood, South Africa, June 9, R200.000, 1800m, turf, good, 1.49.18.
GOLD ONYX (NZ), 56.5, br g 4, Black Minnaloushe – Egoli Lass (NZ) by
Kaapstad (NZ). Owner C J van Niekerk; breeder P A Newman & Windsor Park
Stud; trainer S G Tarry; jockey A Marcus (R125.000)
Buy And Sell (SAF), 53.5, b g 8, National Emblem (SAF) – Trade Enquiry (SAF)
by Qui Danzig
English Garden (SAF), 59.5, b g 4, Camden Park – Royal Habit (SAF) by
Dominion Royale (GB)
Margins: 1¼, 1, nose
Also ran: Lake Arthur (SAF) 59.0, Lion In Winter (SAF) 59.5, Polar Bound
(SAF) 60.0, Solo Traveller (SAF) 59.0, Astro News (SAF) 56.0, Rio Carnival
(AUS) 52.0, Bulsara (SAF) 59.0, Silver Flyer (SAF) 58.0, Orbit War (ARG)
53.5, Dance At Daylight (SAF) 52.0