Sean Tarry has had a few big days in the twenty two seasons since he started out with just sixteen horses at Randjesfontein in 1997. Saturday was one of those pearlers that will go down in his biography as ranking with the best he has had.
Almost everything went right – and in the absolutely no guarantee world of horseracing that’s very rare, indeed.
The 50 year old multiple SA champion trainer went from the gutted raw downer of a whisker loss after a bumping match in the Allan Robertson followed by the often perceived unsporting move of objecting, to the highs of a Gr1 treble – which included a glorious trifecta in the Gr1 Tsogo Sun Sprint for his mainstay owner – and surely one of the most loyal men in the game.
Chris van Niekerk, who is seen more often these days with his son Eric in the winner’s enclosures across the country, told us after his Gr1 Gold Medallion win that he was ‘enjoying’ his racing.
He thus could have been excused for feeling almost embarrassed as his blue and red branding stormed across the line in the Gr1 Tsogo Sun Sprint to fill the top three places – the consistent 3yo Chimichuri Run producing a storming late run under Raymond Danielson to deny his senior tardy-starting stablemate Trip To Heaven what would have been a well-deserved Gr1 success.
The time – the fastest of the four Gr1’s on the day – was 66,84 secs, with under a length separating the top two.
Luke Ferraris, who got his first Gr1 earlier, guided Africa Rising into third, a quarter length away.
Drill Hall Stakes winner Undercover Agent was a neck away in fourth and he looks set for two more Gr1 appearances before bidding us farewell as he embarks on a career in the Klawervlei paddocks – who wouldn’t want another son of Captain Al?
The Drakenstein bred Chimichuri Run is a son of Trippi (End Sweep) out of the versatile three time winner Spiced Gold (Kahal) – who won up to 1800m.
Chimichuri Run cost R1,1 million on the Cape Premier Yearling Sale and took his earnings to R1 514 875 with his fourth win with 8 places from 14 starts.
What a day. Not great for the punters with the Pick 6 not won. But we doff our caps to Chris van Niekerk, Captain Al, Lyle Hewitson, Sean Tarry and Luke Ferraris.
By our calculations that’s 54 Gr1 winners for the champion team.
Racing remains one of life’s great levellers.
Gr1 Tsogo Sun Sprint (SAf-Gr1)
Scottsville, South Africa, May 25, R1 million, 1200m, turf, good, 1.06.84
1 – CHIMICHURI RUN (SAF), 54.5, ch c 3, Trippi (USA) – Spiced Gold (SAF) by Kahal (GB). Owner Mr C J H Van Niekerk; Breeder Drakenstein Stud; trainer SG Tarry; jockey R Danielson
2 – Trip To Heaven (SAF), 55.0, b g 7, Trippi (USA) – Helleborus Blue (USA) by Cee’s Tizzy (USA)
3 – Africa Rising (SAF), 53.5, ch g 5, Visionaire (USA) – Sucha Looka (SAF) by Braashee (GB)
Margins: 0.70, 0.25, 0.10