Tarry’s Armed Force

Son of Count Dubois wins well - despite the pace

A small field is often a bear trap for punters and class horses but top jockey Anton Marcus had dual Gr1 winner French Navy wide awake from the jump as the son of Count Dubois ran a terrific ‘Met trial in the weather delayed R250 000 Gr3 London News Stakes.


French Navy (Anton Marcus) wins the Gr3 London News Stakes (Pic-JC Photos)

The Turffontein Saturday 1800m feature was delayed a week following an electrical storm at the track seven days earlier. This did nothing to stop the Sean Tarry machine as French Navy pitched up in a galloping mood to show that he boasts versatility, beyond his galloping brilliance.

After Legal Eagle’s cracking win in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, Sean Tarry saw his Met hand strengthened dramatically – and while it has always been his intention to favour Legal Eagle to spearhead his Cape big-race attack, who knows what will happen come Monday’s Met declarations at 11h00, as regards French Navy?

The London News Stakes field was reduced to just seven runners following the scratching of French Navy’s stablemate Whiteline Fever at the start, and 50m after the gates opened, French Navy was in front.

Marcus was obviously well aware of the dangers of settling the 4yo too far back and would have been thrilled to see Flying The Flag and Master ‘N Commander go past him after 150m.

Polished ride by Anton Marcus

Polished ride by Anton Marcus

French Navy was three lengths off them in third as Flying The Flag led the field for home, with Mac De Lago producing a goodlooking finish down  the middle of the track.

Anton Marcus set French Navy about his business at the 500m marker and the son of Count Dubois lengthened like a class horse to run away from his field.

Despite shifting slightly he was too classy and drew off to win by 2,20 lengths in a time of 110,32 secs.

Killua Castle (recent conqueror of Queen’s Plate winner Legal Eagle) came out of the pack to finish best of the rest and bank the second cheque, just ahead of De Kock Met entrant, Flying The Flag.

Mac De Lago’s effort petered out disappointingly and he ran fifth, 3,40 lengths behind.

French Navy was bred by Sandown Stud’s Geoff Armitage and is by Count Dubois out of the five-time winning Elliodor mare, Redoubtable.

He was bought for a bargain R100 000 on the 2013  CTS Ready To Run Sale held at Durbanville and took his career earnings to an impressive R3 550 375, with 6 wins and 6 places from his 15 starts.

Whether he goes for the Met, or stays at home for the season, we are bound to hear plenty yet about French Navy.


Gr3 London News Stakes (SAf-Gr3)

Turffontein, South Africa, January 16, R250k, 1800m, turf, good, 1.50.32

1 – FRENCH NAVY (SAF), 60.0, b g 4, Count Dubois (GB) – Redoubtable (SAF) by Elliodor (FR). Owner Mr C J H Van Niekerk; Breeder GJ Armitage; trainer SG Tarry; jockey A Marcus
2 – Killua Castle (AUS), 58.5, b g 6, Churchill Downs (AUS) – Prayers’n’promises (AUS) by Encosta De Lago (AUS)
3 – Flying The Flag (IRE), 57.5, ch h 6, Galileo (IRE) – Halfway To Heaven (IRE) by Pivotal (GB)
Margins: 2.20, 0.20, 0.70


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