South African Champion trainer Sean Tarry has a terrific seven months to look forward to and he added another bow to his SA Triple Crown ambitions when the Vercingetorix colt Ikigai ran out a facile winner of the R200 000 Gr3 Tony Ruffel Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday.
Fair enough, a seven horse field for one of Gauteng’s leading classic pointer features doesn’t exactly get the juices flowing and the Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes winner Got The Greenlight was clearly ring-rusty after a 23 week break.
But the handsome chestnut Ikigai could not have been more impressive and the Tarry-Van Niekerk gold club duly rubbed their five opponents noses in it by banking the top two cheques.
The 1400m feature was, unlike the fairer sex equivalent a half hour earlier, mostly uneventful,
Calvin Habib did the donkey work up front on the newly gelded Westlife (33-1) and Avontuur-sponsored Luke Ferraris produced the magic at the 300m, with the favourite Ikigai (5-4) streaking past his stablemate to win by an unpressured 4,50 lengths in a time 84,30 secs.
The Tarry pair stayed on ahead of the balance.
The fancied John Hancock (7-2), racing at level weights with the top two, finished 0,75 lengths back in third.
Topweight Gr1 winning 2yo of last season Got The Greenlight gave them 7kgs and more and ran 6.25 lengths back in fourth – clearly in need of it.
If anything, Gary Alexander’s paper-weighted filly Gaian Glory was disappointing, running out of the money and beaten 8 lengths.
Bred by Klawervlei Stud, the winner has registered 3 wins with 2 places from 5 starts for stakes of R274 375.
He is by the exciting Vercingetorix out of the one-time winning Al Mufti mare, Al Shiba.
A son of reigning South African champion sire Silvano, Vercingetorix has 14 yearlings on offer at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale on 16 January.
Ed – according to Wikipedia, Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means ‘a reason for being.’ The word ikigai is usually used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile. The word translated to English roughly means ‘thing that you live for’ or the reason for which you wake up in the morning.
Gr3 Tony Ruffel Stakes (SAf-Gr3)
Turffontein, South Africa, January 4, R200k, 1400m, turf, good, 1.24.03
1 – IKIGAI (SAF), 53.0, ch c 3, Vercingetorix (SAF) – Al Shiba (SAF) by Al Mufti (USA). Owner Mr C J H Van Niekerk; Breeder Klawervlei Stud; trainer SG Tarry; jockey L J Ferraris
2 – Westlife (SAF), 53.0, b g 3, Pomodoro (SAF) – Westwardly (SAF) by Silvano (GER)
3 – John Hancock (SAF), 53.0, b g 3, Toreador (IRE) – Mrs Hancock (SAF) by Fort Wood (USA)
Margins: 4.50, 0.75, 1.00