SA Derby Knockout

Striker genius wins the day

The shock withdrawal of boom 3yo Hawwaam cast a dark cloud over Derby Day at Turffontein on Saturday. The smashing bay colt was a hot order to follow up on his SA Classic success and was backed and bankered by many as if the result was known.

Nobody’s fault – tough luck – rub of the green.

Call it what you choose, but the big bay colt’s absence knocked the wind out of the SA Derby for over 80% of Pick 6 players, the disappointed connections, as well as the pressured racing operator who really don’t need more bad news stories at this stage to detract from their big days.

Piere Strydom drives Samurai Warrior powerfully as Zillzaal (Lyle Hewitson) and Marchingontogether (Warren Kennedy) chase (Pic – JC Photos)

An excitable Hawwaam was being led by two grooms in the front parade ring with jockey Gavin Lerena yet to mount, when he is believed to have been startled. Hawwaam backpedalled through two sets of, thankfully plastic, rails.

Damned if he did, and damned if he didn’t, the Course Vet had little option but to withdraw the favourite.

Sean Tarry’s Zillzaal ended up tote favourite – but that was of little help to Pick 6 and Jackpot players as the genius judge of pace Piere Strydom rode Weiho Marwing’s Samurai Warrior to an end-to-end victory, winning by a length in a time of 159.55 secs.

Piere Strydom – great ride

Strydom, who had to survive a race review, recalled that the last time he was involved in a Derby finish was when Yard Arm had come off second best in a an objection.

“I was wondering when I’d ride my next winner when I arrived today. Never thinking it would be a Gr2 (Return Flight) then a Gr1!” laughed the blonde champion, who rode a peach of a race to give the Potgieters – celebrating their wedding anniversary – a first Gr1 success.

“I heard months ago that we have the Derby winner on our hands. But you know racing – it’s in one ear and out the next,” laughed the elated owner.

Trainer Weiho Marwing has been through a tough time and paid tribute to his mentor, Ormond Ferraris, as well as his loyal owners and champion jockey brother, Weichong.

The Hemel ‘N Aarde bred R50 000 2017 CTS Emperors Palace Select Yearling Sale buy-back is a son of Ideal World (Kingmambo) out of the one-time winner, Bangor Bay (Casey Tibbs).

A winner of 2 races with 6 places from 10 starts, Samurai Warrior has earned R1 381 525.

The Pick 6 ended up paying R2 489 909!


Gr1 SA Derby (SAf-Gr1)

Turffontein, South Africa, March 30, R2 million, 2450m, turf, good, 2.39.55

1 – SAMURAI WARRIOR (SAF), 60.0, ch c 3, Ideal World (USA) – Bangor Bay by Casey Tibbs (IRE). Owner Mr L & Mrs H Potgieter; Breeder Hemel ‘n Aarde Stud; trainer WH Marwing; jockey P Strydom
2 – Zillzaal (SAF), 60.0, b c 3, Silvano (GER) – Zulaal (USA) by Giant’s Causeway (USA)
3 – Marchingontogether (SAF), 60.0, b c 3, Pathfork (USA) – Souen (IRE) by Montjeu (IRE)
Margins: 1.00, 0.20, 0.50


Have Your Say - *Please Use Your Name & Surname

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages readers to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that the Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their actual name and surname – no anonymous posts or use of pseudonyms will be accepted. You can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the EditorThe Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Please note that the views that are published are not necessarily those of the Sporting Post.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Popular Posts

From Chaos To Reform

Charl Pretorius writes in his Off The Record column on the 4Racing website that owners, trainers and racing fans are gravely concerned about the state of our industry

Read More »