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Mardi Gras – A Popular Winner!

Oratorio sires first, third and fourth!

The Nassif and Zackey family’s favourite grey flyer Mardi Gras bounced back from a 27 week break and underlined his enormous ability and class when winning the R350 000 Gr2 Merchants at Turffontein on Saturday.

It was a superb race for Avontuur’s internationally proven stallion Oratorio – the son of Danehill sired first, third and fourth in a memorable contest and showed again that he can sire stakes winners over sprints and ground.

Gavin Lerena heads for the line on Mardi Gras (Pic – JC Photos)

Having his first run for the Sean Tarry team, who saddled the exacta, the 2019 Gr2 Senor Santa Stakes winner Mardi Gras was beautifully conserved early in the running as KZN raider Ultra Magnus and the winner’s stablemate Warrior’s Rest cut out the early fractions.

Racing on the wide outside, Gavin Lerena let the big grey go at the 200m and the 5yo charged clear to a popular victory by 2,25 lengths in a time of 66,04 secs.

His stablemate Warrior’s Rest (14-1) stayed on stoutly for second, ahead of the flying Van Halen with Ultra Magnus hanging on to fourth.

Originally the joint top-seller at R3,2 million at the 2016 Emperors Palace Select Yearling Sale, Mardi Gras changed hands following the Mayfair Speculators unbundling.

Bred by Avontuur, he is a son of champion racehorse Oratorio (Danehill) out of the classy Gr1 winner Sarabande, a powerful daughter of Goldmark, who won six races in the care of Joey Ramsden from a mile to 2000m.

Mardi Gras has won 7 races with 6 places from 16 starts for stakes of R930 037.

He could be set for a big season!


Gr2 Merchants (SAf-Gr2)

Turffontein, South Africa, November 30, R350k, 1160m, turf, good, 1.06.04

1 – MARDI GRAS (SAF), 57.0, gr g 5, Oratorio (IRE) – Sarabande (SAF) by Goldmark (SAF). Owner Messrs L & W Zackey, G J Nassif, J Nassif & Z L Nassif; Breeder Avontuur Farm; trainer SG Tarry; jockey G Lerena
2 – Warrior’s Rest (SAF), 54.0, b g 5, What A Winter (SAF) – Bardot (SAF) by Badger Land (USA)
3 – Van Halen (SAF), 60.0, b g 4, Oratorio (IRE) – Rock Concert (SAF) by Lecture (USA)
Margins: 2.25, 0.25, 1.00

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5 comments on “Mardi Gras – A Popular Winner!

  1. Lazarus says:

    ED Pls help. Am a bit confused reading the card for greyville today. Why is weights different today? Eg. Race 5. Horse no. 1 is carded to carry 56kg while horse no. 10 is carrying 61.5kg . Pls educate ED.

    1. Editor says:

      In a change from the traditional top-weight-down, or alphabetical order, horses will now be carded according to barrier positions, regardless of the allocated weights wef today’s meeting

      Read more here:

  2. Leo Murfin says:

    Ag shame wonder who’s brainwave that was ? Someone must tell him that 99.9% of punters never see the race they punted on ? So is he trying to win over a select few by changing a system that worked for decades ?

  3. Lazarus says:

    Thank you sir . Dont know how I missed that article. 🙈

  4. Kay says:

    Correct observation Leo. Just shows once again that since horse racing has become an ‘industry’ it has become a lottery. It’s just about numbers!

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