Money For Jam

Strydom genius to the fore as Tzigane comes good for Barend Botes

Tzigane wins the Sycamore

Piere Strydom has Tzigane in full flight as Virgo’s Babe stays on for second down the outside (JC Photos)

The gallant mare Tzigane looks well on track for a shot at the Gr2 Camellia Stakes on Champions Day after her breathtaking late dash victory to clinch top honours in the R250 000 Gr3 Sycamore Sprint at Turffontein on Saturday.The poster girl for equine ROI has been a loyal servant to owner Faan Mynhardt and her enthusiastic trainer Barend Botes.

The swashbuckling victory charge by Piere Strydom, who looked a man half his age and in the pink of health, as he saluted a few yards past the post, was probably the finish of the afternoon, if not the most popular for many punters. The Sycamore maintained its track record of producing rough results.

The R10 000 purchase Tzigane, like so many horses, runs for the Strydom touch and she produced an electric turn of foot that took the wind out of the sails of the Virgo’s Babe connections, after David Niewenhuizen’s daughter of Malhub had moved up looking a winner inside the 200m marker.

After the fit-as-a-fiddle Sarve had shown the way, Strydom produced the 12-1 Tzigane with a late rattle, that included an energetic switch as she ran on smartly, to win by 0,75 lengths in a time of 66,97 secs.

Virgo’s Babe showed a heartening return to better form in second, ahead of the slow starting Bichette, who caught the eye when she came on late for third three lengths further back.

Drifting Dusk came forward in the middle at the 300m marker and looked dangerous. She will be worth following over slightly further at her next few starts.

The favourite Not Sulking ran a disappointing race to finish well downfield over ten lengths behind the impressive winner. The Woodruff stable looks to have health issues at the moment.

A delighted Piere Strydom, who had a quiet day by his standards, said afterwards that Tzigane tended to be outpaced:

“But today she flew out of the gates. I eased her out of race, although one has to be careful of doing that in sprints, for obvious reasons. Then I went for the outside going, which is so chopped up – but they keep winning there!”

On the state of the going, Strydom said that he would have expected a firmer track as there had been no rain.

“I am not the course manager but maybe they should consider rolling the track for next week,” he chirped in his typical diplomatically educated manner.

Piere Strydom - not the course manager - just a top jock

Piere Strydom – not the course manager – just a top jock

As regards his foot injury, Strydom said that he would ‘probably take a week off and let my foot rest.’

Trainer Barend Botes said that he had Tzigane passed through the stalls again as the Stipes had taken her starting certificate away at her last engagement.

“A great ride by Piere and full marks to the owner for giving her a break. Now we are ready for the Gr2 on Champions day!” he said happily.

The Quest For Success Pre-training graduate was bought by Faan Mynhardt for just R10 000 on the Cape Vintage Yearling Sale.

Tzigane was having her 35th run on Saturday for her sixth win and a total of 17 places. She took her earnings to R695 525 – a terrific return on investment!


Gr3 Sycamore Sprint  (SAf-Gr3)

Turffontein, South Africa, April 4, R250k, 1160m, turf, good, 1.06.97

1 – TZIGANE (SAF), 58.5, b m 5, Doowaley (IRE) – Tough Wood (SAF) by Complete Warrior (ANY). Owner Mr S J D Mynhardt; Breeder Maine Chance; trainer BD Botes; jockey P Strydom
2 – Virgo’s Babe (SAF), 58.0, ch f 4, Malhub (USA) – Linzertorte (SAF) by Special Preview (SAF)
3 – Bichette (SAF), 55.0, b f 3, Western Winter (USA) – Bardot (SAF) by Badger Land (USA)
Margins: 0.75, 3.00, 1.00


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