The Vodacom Durban July winning combination of trainer Sean Tarry and jockey Piere Strydom lifted yet another Gr1 trophy when The Hangman bounced back to his best in winning the R500 000 Premier’s Champion Stakes on Super Saturday. The son of Jallad always had the measure of the fancied Black Toga.
The Hangman’s sire Jallad produced Gr1 winners from 1000m to 3200m in an illustrious career and has sadly retired from his outstanding work in the paddocks. The winner hails from Jallad’s penultimate crop of only 31 foals.
One always has to be wary of excuses in horseracing, and The Hangman came out of his disappointing tenth place finish in the Golden Horseshoe on July day with a litany of reasons for what should have been and what could have been.
After being beaten 5,25 lengths by War Horse in that race, he reversed matters over the extra 200m by beating the Spies horse by 3,35 lengths on Saturday.
It is puzzling as to why Piere Strydom and Sean Tarry don’t shake hands and formalise their partnership. With the new season looming it would be a perfect time to do just that. When they combine resources they have proven a deadly Group-winning team and The Hangman was given a perfect ride by the blonde jockey. He tracked the pacemaking 13-10 favourite Black Toga all the way around, before pouncing at the 250m marker to win going away.
The race worked out largely as planned and quite predictably with the free-striding Black Toga posing comfortably out front as Strydom eyed him in second, while the favourite War Horse was slightly unsettled with an awkward head carriage and galloping wide in third. They were just ahead of Love Struck and the well-fancied Shimmer And Shine.
Turning for home, Marcus still looked at ease as Black Toga gave a kick to move further ahead but Strydom was wide awake and switched The Hangman in for a run with 300m to go. At this point War Horse looked a little comfortable as Felix Coetzee got to work.
In a matter of strides the long-striding The Hangman had commenced the chase and it was only deep inside the final 200m where he found his feet and collared Black Toga, who had no answer to his superior finishing effort.
The gelding had drifted from 8-1 to 10-1 and won easing up by 2,25 lengths in a time of 94,65secs.
Paul Lafferty’s Love Struck stayed on well for third and confirmed the form of his great effort in the Golden Horseshoe on July day, where he had run a cracker from a bad draw. The beautifully named Heavenisaracehorse also kicked on nicely for fourth, just ahead of an improved Sabadell and a most disappointing War Horse. The Spies’ colt was just not up to the test on the afternoon and he finished 3,35 lengths off the winner and just 1,25 lengths ahead of Shimmer And Shine. They ran first and second in the Golden Horseshoe, and turned the form of that race on its head.
The Hangman was bred by Highlands Stud and is by Blushing Groom stallion Jallad out of the American-bred Helleborus Blue.
He was a R450 000 purchase at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale, and is now a winner of 2 of his 6 starts with 2 places, for career earnings of R388 125. When questioned in the post-race interview on his extensive investment in bloodstock, owner Chris Van Niekerk was quick on the retort as he always is, suggesting that ‘investment in horses seldom pays off financially, but has its attractions ten times over in emotional terms.’
Plenty will be heard of The Hangman in the season ahead and he should be an even better proposition over more ground.
Premier’s Champion S. (SAf-G1) (7/28)
Greyville, South Africa, July 28, R500.000, 1600m, turf, good, 1.34.65 (CR 1.32.77).
THE HANGMAN (SAF), 58.0, b g 2, Jallad – Helleborus Blue by Cee’s Tizzy. Owner C J H van Niekerk; breeder Highlands Farms (SAF); trainer S G Tarry; jockey P Strydom (R312.500)
Black Toga (SAF), 58.0, b c 2, Black Minnaloushe – Bridget’s Academy (AUS) by Royal Academy
Love Struck (SAF), 58.0, b g 2, Kahal (GB) – Particular Passion (SAF) by Rambo Dancer
Margins: 2 ¼, ¾, hd
Also ran: Heavenisaracehorse (SAF) 58.0, Sabadell (SAF) 58.0, War Horse (SAF) 58.0, Shimmer And Shine (SAF) 58.0, King Of Torts (SAF) 58.0, Act Fast (SAF) 58.0, Lehaaf (ARG) 58.0, Fly Me Over (SAF) 58.0