KZN Champion owners the Hollywood Syndicate will proudly toast their first Met runner when Sean Tarry’s 6yo entire Cirillo goes to post for the R2 million Gr1 Cape Town Met presented by World Sports Betting at Kenilworth on Saturday.
Behind Justin Snaith’s dual Vodacom Durban July winner Do It Again, Cirillo is the second highest ranked moneyspinner in the 2022 renewal of the Cape flagship contest with earnings of over R5,4 million.
But the son of July winner Pomodoro’s current form, the fact that he has never won beyond 1400m, and has not won a race for close on two years, bears testimony to the 50-1 being offered about him on Hollywoodbets.
“We realise he is bumping a quality bunch on weight-for-age terms and are under no false illusions. So we sat down with his top trainer Sean Tarry to discuss whether we should take our chances or not,” said former champion jockey Anthony Delpech, who has achieved great success with the Hollywood Syndicate.
Delpech certainly knows what it takes to win the big race, having won the Met in 1998 with Imperious Sue, and in 2012 with De Kock champion Igugu.
“Sean (Tarry) won this race with longshot Alastor in 2005. He would not waste his time travelling all the way South if he felt that we were making up numbers. But there are a few ticks in the boxes that weighed in favour of taking our chances. Firstly, Cirillo is having his peak run here and his third of this term. Then if the real on song Cirillo pitches up – he has something like eight Gr1 places to his credit – then we could be boxing for a top four finish. This is an unpredictable game. Things like pace, conditions on the day, luck in running – these are all variables. Who knows what happens? If you haven’t got a ticket, you don’t have a chance,” Delpech told the Sporting Post, adding that it was every owner’s dream to have a Met runner.
“Some folk own horses for a lifetime and never enjoy the excitement and privilege of having a runner in a major race like this. As the Hollywood Syndicate who love the game, we are all just proud to be competing in the top league and our whole team will be behind Cirillo, wherever he may run.”
Craig Zackey takes the ride and will be looking for his first Met winner.
The Sean Tarry stable has been very quiet recently and it’s only a matter of time before the tide turns. The multiple national champion conditioner plans to travel Cirillo down from Randjesfontein early this week. He will be based with Eric Sands at Milnerton.
Veteran Robertson breeder Duncan Barry told the Sporting Post that he was ‘absolutely delighted’ to have a runner in the big race. He bred Cirillo from the Lake Coniston mare Miss Wordsworth.
Chris van Niekerk paid R300 000 for the lionhearted galloper at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale. With earnings of R5 433 600, he has been a dream horse to race.
When Mr Van Niekerk called it a day late last year, Cirillo was part of a package of horses taken over by the Hollywood Syndicate.
The Hollywood Syndicate enjoyed the milestone of their 250th winner when Time To Roll won at Hollywoodbets Greyville on 10 December 2021.
The Hollywood Syndicate’s first winner all the way back in March 2002 was Splendid Night, who was ridden by Sean Cormack, and trained by Paul Lafferty.
Watch the race here:
The interview was conducted by a slimmer Deez Dyanand. He chats to the late Clyde Becker, who was the manager of the Hollywoodbets Park branch in Springfield Park.
Splendid Night won 7 races with 17 places from 39 outings.
The Gr1 Cape Town Met presented by World Sports Betting will be run at 17h10 on Saturday 29 January.