Vaal-based Gokhan Terzi took the plunge a year ago to leave Zimbabwe and face the more competitive demands of racing in South Africa. At Turffontein on Saturday he reached a welcome turn in the road when saddling his first Gr2 winner here.
While most punters were reeling after the Century Stand gelding Tandava had appeared out of nowhere to win the Gr2 Senor Santa Stakes at any price, it was a moment of unbridled joy for the 28 year old trainer and Harare based lawyer David Rosser, who bred and owns the winner.
“It has been tough to get Glenwood Racing up and running in a new country. I have been scratching my head at times out of despondency. Horses have off days. They run below par. We have had viruses. I only have thirty horses and sometimes it’s hard to be competitive. But Tandava has been a soldier and he came to the party in a big way on Saturday. What a boost a win like this is for the whole team,” said the Zimbabwean of Turkish descent.
Tandava’s biggest career win was Terzi’s eighth SA winner. He has held his licence since the age of 21.
“We quietly fancied him after he ran fourth in the Tommy Hotspur and came in with a lighter weight here. But his prep run may have put form studiers off. You will note that it is recorded in the racecard that his saddle slipped. Gunter (Wrogemann) managed to right the saddle – but by then Tandava had lost interest and he ran no kind of race. Jarryd Penny kept a cool head on Saturday and rode a great race to get him up.”
Gokhan confirmed that Tandava would not go the Computaform Sprint route.
“He had three races in February and two in March. He deserves a short break now. I will freshen him and prep him for the Scottsville Gr1 at the end of May. That timing works well,” he added.
On Saturday Tandava took on 17 proven sprinters over the Turffontein 1160m and after bustling him along in midfield, Jarryd Penny produced the bright blinkered chestnut through a gap between Wonderwall and Wrecking Ball at the 350m marker – and the race was on.
With Pure Blonde galloping powerfully for the line, Penny kept pushing and Tandava got there with a quarter length to spare in a time of 66,6 secs.
The smart filly Green Pepper came out of the pack late under replacement rider Piere Strydom to grab fourth ahead of the improved again Wonderwall.
Bred and owned by Harare lawyer Dave Rosser, Tandava is a son of Century Stand (Marauding) out of a giveaway mare in Davuli (Kitalpha).
Tandava arrived in South Africa a four-time winner and has now chalked up 9 victories with 8 places from 30 starts for stakes of R587 430.
A son of Australasian champion and Gr1 Golden Slipper winner Marauding, Century Stand was a high class 2yo, who won first time out by over four lengths. He achieved fame as one of just two horses ever to defeat the legendary Horse Chestnut – Century Stand ran second to Clifton King (Horse Chestnut finishing third) in the 1998 Morris Lipschitz Juvenile Plate.
He would go on to win three more times (winning a total of four races from 1000-1600m) and also finished fourth (to Horse Chestnut) in the 1999 Gr1 Cape Argus Guineas.
Retired to stud in Zimbabwe, Century Stand enjoyed plenty of success with his progeny including the remarkable Gr1 winner Earl Of Surrey among many other classy Zimbabwean performers.
Century Stand hailed from a strong female line, with his dam Pier being a full sister to Gr1 Sussex Stakes hero Rousillon (who later achieved immortality through the deeds of his son Vintage Crop). This family was also responsible for US Broodmare Of The Year In Neon, whose progeny Royal Anthem and Sharp Cat won no fewer than 10 Gr1 races between them.
Sarahdane Stud reported in February 2016 that Century Stand had passed away after undergoing a colic op.
Gokhan Terzi said that his brother had invested in his yard and had brought some nice horses in training at Kenilworth a few weeks ago.
“One needs the horses. I truly appreciate the support I get from my brother and the likes of Dave Rosser and others. And thanks to all the folk who have sent me good wishes,” he said.
Gr2 Senor Santa Stakes (SAf-Gr2)
Turffontein, South Africa, March 31, R400k, 1160m, turf, good, 1.06.06
1 – TANDAVA (ZIM), 52.0, ch g 5, Century Stand (AUS) – Davuli (ZIM) by Kitalpha (USA). Owner Mr D W Rosser; Breeder DW Rosser; trainer GG Terzi; jockey J Penny
2 – Pure Blonde (SAF), 54.5, b g 5, Kahal (GB) – Legally Blonde (SAF) by Qui Danzig (USA)
3 – Green Pepper (SAF), 55.5, b f 4, Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) – Pimento (SAF) by Fort Wood (USA)
Margins: 0.25, 0.40, 0.40