They say that blood rules the land. It doesn’t get too much better on paper than the Joey Ramsden Tapit mare Grey Light who steps out in a modest handicap at Greyville today. The daughter of North America’s most expensive stallion found her winning stride last time and she could go in again.
Despite the absence of black type and her relatively ordinary track record of 3 wins from 23 starts, Grey Light looks to have been an astute buy at R700 000 on the Cape Premier Yearling Sale Book 1 for Brian and Kathy Finch.
Grey Light’s Dad, a striking son of Pulpit, was bought at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2002 by longtime thoroughbred owner and breeder Verne Winchell who picked out the last horse he would ever buy – the hammer falling at $625 000.
Tapit won 3 of 6 starts during his racing career. He captured the Gr3 Laurel Futurity in just his second start and then scored in the Gr1 Wood Memorial in just his fourth start. He finished ninth to Smarty Jones in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.
Tapit’s stud fee was set at $300 000 for 2015, making him North America’s most expensive stallion – and, moreover, the first to stand for that amount since 2008, when Storm Cat, A.P. Indy, and Distorted Humor each commanded that fee.
When he entered stud at Gainesway Farm in 2005 he was tagged at a modest fee of $15 000 but quickly began climbing the ladder.
In 2014, Tapit broke through with Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner and champion Untapable, and Tonalist, who won the Belmont Stakes and went on to win two editions of the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Tapit’s combined progeny earnings stand at over $95 million and that adds to the excitement with the news that Klawervlei Stud has acquired Coup De Grace, who is the first son of Tapit to stand in South Africa.
But we digress, from the R98 000 MR 86 Handicap, where Anton Marcus rides Grey Light again after winning on her last time at the track. Prior to that she had run on steadily for third in the Queen Palm Stakes.
Sean Tarry has a trio of runners dominating the eight horse field.
Topweight Lady Of Kildare could have the run of the race from her 1 draw and is an eight time winner who found her best form beating her stakes performing stablemate Enchanted Silk last time.
Chennai Babe was beaten 4 lengths by Lady Of Kildare last time but is 5kgs better off with the topweight, courtesy of apprentice Diego De Gouveia.
Wandie’s carries a handy galloping weight and has won her last two on the trot – including a lower rated course and distance victory last time.
Music World is a consistent daughter of Ideal World and gets the services of Anthony Delpech who has won 2 of her last 3 starts in combination.
The 7yo Silvano mare Vogue Idea is effective over the course and distance and could surprise on her better form.
Weichong Marwing’s Terepova is another whose recent form may not do justice to her true ability.
The daughter of St Petersburg has decent form to stronger and may have needed her last run.
The lightly raced Reigning Wave gets the apprentice claim. She was slow off last time but ran on nicely for a 1,75 length second to Wind Singer.
It would be nice to see Grey Light maintain her form and Anton Marcus has most to fear from the Tarry trio and Terepova.
If they flop it is quite tricky – and shrewd exotic players may want to go the field in Pick 6’s in the hope of a longshot winning.