Magic & A Mile

Gr2 The Dingaans at Turffontein on Saturday


Danger. The Australian bred Umgiyo could prove the value from a good draw with Bernard Fayd’herbe in the saddle

Trainer Sean Tarry bids for a double in Saturday’s R500 000 Gr2 The Dingaans run over a mile at Turffontein. He sent out the ill fated The Hangman to win last year’s renewal, but faces a poser with an unknown, albeit very talented sort, over the mile this time round.

The race should really be simple on paper, assuming the handicapper has his sums correct and the Australian bred Willow Magic stays the trip.


The highest rated runner by quite some distance, the son of Dubawi who won the Gr1 SA Nursery last season, was given an indifferent ride by S’manga Khumalo, when nailed in the dying strides of the Gr3 Graham Beck Stakes at the beginning of this month. Drawn in midfield in that 1400m feature, Khumalo took the fight to the opposition by hitting the front at the 500m marker and grabbing what looked a race winning few lengths halfway down the straight.

As it tends to be in life, when the story ends well, one is a hero. In this case, Khumalo landed up being the villain, when the Mike De Kock trained Whistle Stop flew late to catch the runaway in the final 40m of the race.


We can look at the extra 200m here from various vantage points. It could suit the smashing Whistle Stop even more than the platform last time. But one just knows that Willow Magic will be ridden far more astutely by the brilliant Piere Strydom.

Willow Magic jumps from an 11 draw, and besides the terrific earlier pace shown in his initial starts, he also has the knack of turning it on late. The problem is that Whistle Stop is better drawn, and Strydom will not want to find himself with too much to do in the final 300m. The duel between the two should be a highlight of this future prospect pointer race and dictate whether Willow Magic makes the trip south for the Cape Guineas.

Support String

Mike De Kock has excellent back up with three solid support runners. Bernard Fayd’herbe rides our dark horse, Umgiyo.The Australian bred son of Danehill Dancer won on debut and then ran a good fourth only three lengths behind Equus champion Kochka in the Gr1 Premier’s Champion Stakes on July day.

He probably needed the outing when shockingly drawn in the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup, when making no show. He will enjoy the mile and comes in well drawn with a top jockey aboard.


Another Australian bred in the Encosta De Lago gelding Taarish, has not had the same good fortune as his stablemate with the draw. A two time winner, he looks a scopy progressive sort and is worth considering. The Lammerskraal Stud bred Gogetthesheriff has drawn against the paint, but steps up in class and needs to show his mettle in this company.

Hatt Up

Glen Hatt rides the recently gelded Heart Of A Lion. The Gavin Van Zyl trained so of Seul Amour is 3,5kgs better off with Whistle Stop and Willow Magic on his Graham Beck Stakes fourth placed. He was 4,75 lengths behind after running handily, and could improve further here.

Anton Marcus rides Weekend Temper for Charles Laird and the interesting and scopy son of Tapit ran a good third in the Graham Beck Stakes, but has to overcome a weight turnaround with the top two. Alec Laird is enjoying a great season and he sends out a serious trio, that may warrant consideration in bigger combinations.

Bezanova and As You Like step up in class and are unknown but promising quantities at this point. Robbie Fradd rides the third of the trio in the Giant’s Causeway colt Bouclette Top, who ran a poor race in the Graham Beck Stakes after being hampered in running.


Tyrone Zackey’s Miesque’s Approval colt Judicial ran on strongly for third behind Winter Star in the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup. A proven miler, he will be partnered by Grant Van Niekerk and could challenge for the places. Dominic Zaki saddles the consistent Mullins Bay colt, Mount Hillaby. A two time winner, he tries a mile for the first time and is a danger if he stays.

Weiho Marwing trains the Australian bred Henry Of York, who ran on well for third in the Listed KZN Guineas Trial earlier this month. Well drawn with the cool Kevin Shea in the saddle, he could improve to place.


The clash between the proven Willow Magic and the fast improving Whistle Stop will be the key to the outcome of this race. Two great jockeys, two top yards and two progressive 3yo’s. It is the stuff that great races are made of.

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