Ruling champion Sean Tarry increased his lead at the top of the SA Trainer’s title log with a superb Gr1 double at Scottsville on Saturday.
Tarry, who leads Justin Snaith by R14 million in stakes with just over two months left of the current season, added the R1 million Gr1 Tsogo Sun Sprint trophy to his SA Fillies Sprint silverware of earlier, when the lightly raced Toreador gelding Bull Valley stormed clear to record a deserved maiden Gr1 success.
SA Champion jockey S’manga Khumalo was in the irons for both of the Tarry feature wins, and he displayed his usual fine judgement in a star-studded field of proven sprinters.
The jointly least experienced runner in the sixteen horse field, Bull Valley defied the favoured inside draw theory and his general unsoundness to win a cracker.
Khumalo had him tucked up four lengths off the lead down the outside and stalked Barbosa through the 600m.
With his jockey sitting dead still, Bull Valley got the signal just past the 500m and accelerated into the lead.
With a stampede on inside the distance, that included an eyecatching late charge by title-holder Talktothestars, Bull Valley drew away to register an emphatic 1,50 length victory in 67,72 secs – the fastest of the day’s four Gr1 winning times.
Cape Merchants winner Search Party gave plenty of cheek to bank second cheque, ahead of the 7yo Barbosa who ran a shunter at 50 to 1 to shade the runner-up’s stablemate, Gulf Storm in third.
Local hope London Call showed good pace but folded late, to run seventh and 3,15 lengths back, while 2016 hero Talktothestars was a half length behind him, after looking dangerous.
It was not a memorable race for the Mayfair Speculators runners from the Joey Ramsden stable. Brutal Force appeared to go wrong in running and was never going well, while classy Australian-bred Table Bay finished a length in front of the more fancied and smart 3yo Attenborough, in the bottom half of the field. Don’t write them off!
Sean Tarry said that Bull Valley had his soundness issues but that he was top-class on his day.
“This is one for the team. We can’t do this on our own,” he said.
Originally trained by Tellytrack manager Dom Zaki, Bull Valley was bred by Ambiance Stud and is a 4yo gelded son of Danehill stallion Toreador out of the two-time winning Saumarez mare, Star Of Liberty.
He cost R180 000 on the BSA National Yearling Sale and took his earnings to R1 111 125 with his 5th win and 3 places from 9 starts.
On the subject of the historical Scottsville draw bias, it is worth noting that 75% of the afternoon’s features were won from the outside. Maybe the Scottsville track management deserve an acknowledgement.
Gr1 Tsogo Sun Sprint (SAf-Gr1)
Scottsville, South Africa, May 27, R1 million, 1200m, turf, good, 1.07.72
1 – BULL VALLEY (SAF), 58.0, b g 4, Toreador (IRE) – Star Of Liberty (SAF) by Saumarez (GB). Owner PCS (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Mr P Botha) & Messrs G L Blank, Z L Nassif, G Nichas & J Sarkis; Breeder Ambiance Stud; trainer SG Tarry; jockey S Khumalo
2 – Search Party (SAF), 56.5, b g 4, Captain Al (SAF) – Princess Magdalena (GB) by Pennekamp (USA)
3 – Barbosa (SAF), 55.5, b g 7, Captain Al (SAF) – Fine Feather (SAF) by Best By Test (USA)
Margins: 1.50, 1.00, 0.05