Hang ‘Em High

Tarry yard set for a winning execution at Greyville today

The Hangman

The Hangman – back on his Gr1 stomping ground

“We are taking it one race at a time with The Hangman and trying to build some positive momentum. He is a course and distance Gr1 winner and this little handicap presents a perfect stepping stone for him.

The words of trainer Sean Tarry on today’s R200 000 Gr3 Kings Cup prospects of his once-upon-a-time prospective champion 3yo.

Sean Tarry - having a super season

Sean Tarry – having a super season

Tarry is certainly worth listening to.

Besides leading South Africa’s national trainer log at close of business on Sunday, he just dooesn’t talk his horses up.

He has notched up 106 winners (a strike rate of 16%)  and R13 709 775 in stakes earned, which gives him a cushion of R2,4 million over Mike De Kock and puts him R4,6 million ahead of current champion Justin Snaith.

“You can put a line straight through The Hangman’s two runs with blinkers. That experiment failed horribly. But I was impressed with his last win and he is slowly edging back to the fitness levels required to be competitive. I have no major plans at this point and I am taking it slowly with him. I think he will be competitive on Sunday,” he said sincerely.

Real Ability

The Hangman has the ability – of that there is no doubt.

He won the Gr1 Premier’s Champion Stakes as a 2yo and then captured the Gr2 Dingaans before being touted as a potential Guineas winner.

Things went badly wrong in Cape Town and a year break followed.

His win at the Vaal three weeks ago in a modest MR 92 Handicap was the first sign that things are returning to normality.

Having run off a lifetime peak of 103, he runs off a 99 on Sunday.

Howells Duo

Duncan Howells

KZN champ Duncan Howells

KZN Champion trainer Duncan Howells saddles a 5yo coupling of Royal Zulu Guard and Zestful.

Howells has done well with the Australian-bred Royal Zulu Guard, who won a cracker at his penultimate start when clinching top honours in the Listed Michael Roberts Handicap at Scottsville.

He confirmed his versatility and his fitness with a pacy second in an MR 101 Handicap over the Greyville polytrack mile at his last start.

His stablemate Zestful is no slouch but has produced two low-key runs.

He finished last in a 2000m polytrack event behind subsequent dual winner Double Clutch last time out.

Our Dear Uncle

Uncle Tommy wins the Listed Highveld Sand Challenge at Vaal on 2014-04-22

Evergreen Uncle Tommy – always thereabouts

The 7yo Uncle Tommy carries a back-breaking 62kgs, but is a consistent sort who will always be doing his best.

With the Marwing Ashburton yard now established, Uncle Tommy has had pundits arguing the surface debate with his last two polytrack runs being run off his turf merit rating.

This highly-rated sand performer has proven consistent with a good win and then a narrowly beaten third to the rated Stormy Eclipse last Friday evening.

He also ran a decent fifth behind Fourth Estate in the Christmas Handicap over Sunday’s course and distance.

Laff’s Bid

Paul Lafferty - saddles Auction King

Paul Lafferty – saddles Auction King

Paul Lafferty’s Auction King ran a 3,25 length fourth in the Listed Michael Roberts and is 3kgs better off with Royal Zulu Guard. This son of Miesque’s Approval is often in the places but appears to battle to convert the small change to winning efforts.

The Dennis Drier trained King Neptune is a powerful front-runner but has not won a race since October 2013.

He was reported lame when fading late to finish 4 lengths behind Double Clutch on the polytrack last time and looks more competitive on the turf.

He carries a handy galloping impost of just 53kgs.

Sweet Thing

Paul Gadsby’s Candy Moon is a course and distance winner and has a victory over Royal Zulu Guard to his credit in November last year.

That short head win was achieved giving away 6kgs and he is 1,5kgs better off on Sunday with the Howells runner.

At his penultimate start he ran on steadily for a 3,30 length fourth in the Gr3 Christmas Handicap.

Fourth Estate - won the Christmas Handicap but is getting on

Fourth Estate – won the Christmas Handicap but is getting on

Colin Scott’s coupling includes Christmas Handicap winner Fourth Estate and recent poly winner Stolen Destiny.

Both are 7yo’s and probably past their prime but Stolen Destiny did beat Royal Zulu Guard on the poly last time but loses the 1,5kg advantage he enjoyed there – and now has to repeat the feat on turf. He looks unlikely.

The Hangman’s stablemate Kolkata is a quality staying sort on his day but returns from a 64 week rest and besides needing it, will need further.

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