A top-class ride on what looks like an emerging three year old star sired by a relatively unfashionable stallion was the highlight of the R200 000 Gr3 Schweppes 2200 run at Greyville on Saturday. Tribal Dance’s consolation July victory provided trainer Vaughan Marshall with a minor bonus on what was to prove an otherwise disappointing afternoon for a stable that has enjoyed a great season to date.
Marshall has been around for a good few summers and will know only too well that the adage of ‘you can’t win ‘em all’ applies most appropriately to horseracing. The former KZN conditioner may not have realised the magnitude of Tribal Dance’s outstanding victory when he unsaddled the big lad after his momentous win in the Place Accumulator opener. The subsequent disappointing efforts of the likes All Is Secret, Top Seller and Tales Of Bravery bore this out.
The Mike De Kock-trained Captain’s Wild was backed into favourite and went down to post with a companion, while 8yo Keat’s Drift made his appearance in club colours – a rather unusual occurrence on such a big day .
With no apparent willing Pied Piper, Richard Fourie took the initiative and grabbed the early lead somewhat reluctantly on the Silvano gelding Astro News, one of only two 3yo’s along with Tribal Dance. He led Roman Wall at a fair clip, with the bright yellow silks of Tribal Dance further back. The well-backed Captain’s Wild was also in close attendance.
Jeff Lloyd took the initiative at the 1600m marker and upped the ante on the Tarry gelding Roman Wall, who had not cantered to the start too impressively. The son of Count Dubois led from Soul Master who took over from him at the 1000m marker.
Turning for home Strydom was hard at work as Soul Master shortened his stride dramatically. MJ Byleveld had been lurking in the shadows and he could wait no longer as he skipped clear and grabbed a decisive lead on the long-striding Tribal Dance who was full of running as he went away to win decisively.
The consistent Blake had been winding up down the outside and the older stayer finished with a flourish to stay on best of the rest for second place, 0,75 lengths adrift. Dean Kannemeyer will be well pleased with an excellent Gold Cup trial by his consistent Dynasty gelding.
Silent Partner ran a fair race in third, while his stablemate Captain’s Wild disappointed again after being backed from 11-2 to 33-10, to run on tamely into fourth. He was not far off though.
A big gangly colt, Tribal Dance has been brought along slowly by trainer Vaughan Marshall, and the teamwork in this race showed the benefit of having a jockey aboard who knows his mount.
Byleveld, who has ridden him in all of his 10 starts, showed the wisdom of the expensive lesson of the recent KZN Derby, when he was outpaced late, and went for home at the right time, rather than risk a late sprint shoot-out, in what was a top-class riding performance.
This was a smart win by a 3yo and Tribal Dance was making only his tenth racecourse appearance and registered a third win with 5 places to boot. He has earned R555 330 and is proving remarkable value for his R40 000 Two Year Old Sale price tag.
He was bred by the Armitages and is by the Storm Cat stallion Tiger Dance. The three year old has the distinction of being the first stakes winner for his stallion when winning the Gr3 East Cape Derby at Arlington in mid-May. Tiger Dance, a full-brother to one of the world’s great stallions, Giant’s Causeway, stands at Georg and Dorothee Kirchner’s Druk My Niet Stud in Tulbagh, in the Boland Winelands.
The winner is out of the three –time winning Australian-bred Navajo Angel, a daughter of Vettori. His dam is a granddaughter of Machiavellian and was bought in foal to Tiger Dance for R35 000 at the 2008 Equimark Vintage Broodmare Sale.
This is a top family and it is notable that Tribal Dance’s third dam, Navajo Princess, a sixteen time winner in the USA, produced English Horse Of The Year in 1987, Dancing Brave who won the Arc de Triomphe as well as Jolypha, who won two Gr1’s in France and ran third in the Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Schweppes 2200 (SAf-G3) (7/7)
Greyville, South Africa, July 7, R200.000, 2200m, turf, good, 2.15.02 (CR
TRIBAL DANCE (SAF), 57.5, b c 3, Tiger Dance – Navajo Angel (AUS) by Vettori
(IRE). Owner R S Eckstein; breeder G J Armitage (SAF); trainer V H Marshall;
jockey M Byleveld (R125.000)
Blake (SAF), 59.0, b g 5, Dynasty (SAF) – Watercolours (NZ) by Nassipour
Silent Partner (SAF), 54.5, b g 4, Silvano (GER) – Secret To Success (SAF)
by Our Casey’s Boy
Margins: ¾, ¾, sh hd
Also ran: Captain’s Wild (SAF) 58.0, Roman Wall (SAF) 53.5, Jeppe’s Reef
(SAF) 52.0, Caymen Island (SAF) 57.0, Astro News (SAF) 56.0, Vengence (SAF)
52.0, Bulsara (SAF) 59.5, Keat’s Drift (SAF) 52.0, Soul Master (SAF) 57.0,
Ice Diamond (SAF) 52.5, Sunningdale (ANY) 52.0, Lion In Winter (SAF) 60.0