Anton Marcus put the memory of a rather ordinary Champions Day on Saturday well behind him and made all the difference to the result of the R135 000 Listed The Sledgehammer run over 1800m at Scottsville on Sunday. Marcus produced a top drawer ride on the Vaughan Marshall trained Tribal Dance.
Marcus’ winning ride here was very reminiscent of his effort for the same yard just a half hour earlier in the the Listed The Scarlet Lady.
He had his mount within striking distance for much of the journey, and pounced at just the right moment. It’s all about timing and we probably make it sound a touch simpler than it is!
Territorial Waters set the early pace, as he enjoys doing, and he led the charge by three lengths into the home run as Indian Hawk and then Tribal Dance moved in for the challenge.
At the 200m marker Tribal Dance hit the front with Big City Angel looming dangerously down the middle and Jet Explorer sneaking through the bushes down the inside.
Glen Hatt looked to have it in the bag as he punched Jet Explorer out as the big finisher, but Marcus had things packed and locked away.
The winner started at 11 to 2 and hung on by a short head in a time of 108,92 secs.
Big City Angel maintained his consistent formline by running on a further half length away in third after looking dangerous, while the favourite Liancourt Rock ran on well enough for fourth. He was reported not striding out afterwards.
Tribal Dance has now won 5 races from 17 starts with 6 places for stakes of R729 080.
He was bred by Geoff Armitage and history shows that he was a first stakes winner for Storm Cat stallion Tiger Dance.
Tiger Dance is a full-brother to one of the world’s great stallions, Giant’s Causeway.
Tribal Dance is out of the three –time winning Australian-bred Navajo Angel, a daughter of Vettori. His damis a granddaughter of Machiavellian.
The Armitages bought Navajo Angel in foal to Tiger Dance for R35 000 at the 2008 Equimark Vintage Broodmare Sale.
James Armitage is on record as saying that she appealed to them as a well conformed and very well bred individual.
It is notable that Tribal Dance’s third dam, Navajo Princess, a sixteen time winner in the USA, produced English Horse Of The Year in 1987, Dancing Brave who won the Arc de Triomphe as well as Jolypha, who won two Gr1’s in France and ran third in the Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Classic. They were both sired by Lyphard.
Described by Armitage as a tall, leggy, athletic youngster, Tribal Dance was sold for R40 000 at the National Two Year Old Sale.
He was subsequently sold as the highest price lot on the Eckstein Dispersal Sale for R1,2 million to present owner Brigitte Radebe.