SA champion trainer Sean Tarry steps on to the Fairview R350 000 Gr3 Algoa Cup playground on Sunday – territory which has been the exclusive preserve of his Cape colleagues for as long as we can remember. While heavily outnumbered in the ‘Bay’ by the Capetonians, Tarry can’t be underestimated.
It is probably fair to say that the local attack, spearheaded by the likes of Gogetthesheriff, Kalamain and Symbolik, have the strongest chance in years to put a win on the board on their ‘July’ day.
The long-term weather outlook for Port Elizabeth on Sunday is ‘sunny and pleasant’ according to the weather men – who are often worse tipsters than the jockeys. But assuming the sun shines, then we are unlikely to experience a late switch to the polytrack, as happened in this race in 2013.
But Tarry probably wouldn’t have any issue with a switch of surface – Orchestrated has run well on both turf and sand so even if rain forces the race to be moved to the Polytrack this son of Jay Peg would be a contender. The five-year-old gelding is a four-time winner and will be fit after returning from a four month break at end September to run on well on the energy-sapping Vaal sand. Stonehenge is a two-time winner from eleven starts but the son of Seventh Rock has run a 2.25-length second behind Vodacom Durban July favourite Legal Eagle in the Listed Derby Trial over 2000m at Turffontein, so he will get the distance – even though not as well drawn as his stablemate.
Snaith & Fortune
The competitive Justin Snaith will be keen to win this feature and while he has a smaller attack than normal, with only eight runners carded on the day, he will be right in the thick of things.
Heading the Snaith attack is the 4yo Black Minnaloushe colt, Krambambuli, with a key jockey engagement of Andrew Fortune. Previously with Yogas Govender at Rondeberg, who rated him a Cape Derby candidate last term, Krambambuli is a lightly raced four-time winner, who looks set to mature as a 4yo. He beat his stakes winning stablemate Readytogorightnow three weeks back at Durbanville and will relish the 2000m test here.
The 5yo Masterly has won his last four starts, all on the polytrack and comes in with a neat draw and a handy galloping weight. His earlier turf form was not great, but if he has grown in confidence, he could come out firing.
Current Event is more of a staying type these days and while he has won at the centre over the turf 1800m, he looks to have plenty to do here.
Jacques Strydom announced the shock scratching of his Go Deputy 5yo Gogetthesheriff yesterday and now saddles Zestful, who is yet to spark in three runs in PE. The former Duncan Howells’ trained 6yo will have to pick up his feet to have a chance. This is his first turf run in the Eastern Cape, and he could sneak a quartet berth at very best.
Vaughan Marshall’s Gothic is 1,5kgs better off with Krambambuli, but was well beaten by close on 4 lengths when they met. For all of his talent, the son of Silvano has only won two races and he is something of a baby when the chips are down.
Alan Greeff saddles the ultra-consistent Kalamain, who is a versatile proven sort on both surfaces. The son of Admire Main is 4kgs better off with Gogetthesheriff, and stays well.
Glen Kotzen’ saddles the one-eyed Political Playboy after the late withdrawal of Gone Baby Gone. He looks to have it all to do.
Dorrie Sham’s yard is enjoying a great run and the consistent Symbolik comes in fighting fit after three top runs on the polytrack.
He has the beating of Kalamain on an earlier turf run, and with the high-riding Zechner Machine to aid the cause, he could pull back a long overdue win for the locals.
Mike Bass’ Mountain Master is perfectly drawn and comes in with a galloping 52,5kgs. The son of Jet Master has been largely disappointing, but did run a fair fourth to stablemate Night Trip in the Listed Darley Arabian on Super Saturday. He is 3,5kgs better off for a 5,90 length beating by Krambambuli last time.
This is a wide open event – history is on the side of the raiders and Snaith’s Krambambuli looks to be the most scopiest talent in the race. But if ever a local could grab the prized Cup, the Jacques Strydom (Gogetthesheriff), Dorrie Sham (Symbolik) or Alan Greeff (Kalamain) could be the personality for the big occasion.