Tarry duo impressive!

Clairwood 30 August

Ups and downs. Charles Laird won the first but may have won two?

Jockey Robbie Fradd and trainer Sean Tarry are developing into a formidable combination on the East Coast and they enjoyed an impressive double at Clairwood on 30 August. It was a somewhat less successful day for trainer Charles Laird, who saw two of his fancied runners bite the dust.

The question must be asked whether the punting public are not unwittingly putting the Laird-Marcus partnership under undue pressure by setting unrealistic expectations for horses that are punted to start at seemingly over-optimistic prices.

It appears that every time Laird sends out a horse with Anton Marcus up, it is fancied to win.  He has trained six winners in the first month of the season, but the list of fancied flops in August is a rather long one. This includes Ransom Of Choice(twice!), Secret Quest, Slipstream, Talente, Khetha and Psaltery. The last mentioned is probably a good example of a horse that was not well in with the older fillies in the final leg of the jackpot, a Graduation Plate for fillies and mares. She was fancied because she looks like she is on the up but chiefly because of the jockey and trainer. And in the end she ran a weak fourth and beaten by her stablemate who probably needed the run.

But let’s not detract from Trainer Des Egdes and Apprentice Keagan De Melo’s triumph here with the very game Modus Vivendi mare, Aurum. She swept up late and out wide on the best going to win going away after Young Caesour had done the donkey work. Aurum is lightly raced and was having just her fifteenth run. This was her second career win and she hails from Golden Acres Stud.

Charles Laird trained the winner of the first race, with Anton Marcus steering the smart looking Auto Pilot home to a narrow win from his stablemate and first timer Cato Donato. The latter is a Var gelding and R180 000 Vintage purchase and he looks very promising indeed.

Wow! Jackodore and Robbie Fradd on a Sunday stroll.

Fradd and Tarry were on the board in the next two races with a combined winning distance of twenty lengths.  Chris Van Niekerk owns both fillies and he certainly has plenty to look forward to. Jackodore won the 1200m Maiden Plate by an unbelievable 11,75 lengths. She is by Toreador out of a Shoe Danzig mare and this Alchemy bred cost just R95 000 at the Grandwest Sale. She had run third first time out to the highly vaunted colt Divine Jet and she looks an exciting prospect.

Tarry’s next winner was yet another of Toreador’s progeny. Crissy Sanchez won her third from eight starts when beating an admittedly weak field of males in the MR 74 Handicap over 1200m. Her trainer had attracted some attention when he ran her against the better three year old  males in the Man O War Stakes, but it appears she is now fulfilling that confidence. She beat Winter Classic, who may need further to show his best, and the nice Mogok colt Lord Hawke, who put in a fair post-maiden performance.

What a Vealing! Storm Sagaz gets home under a determined Sean Veale.

The best finish of the day followed the sixth race, an MR 86 Handicap, where Anton Marcus had to play an uncharacteristic second fiddle on the odds-on Magnanimous. Sean Veale was seen at his flamboyantly demonstrative best here to get the Govender-trained Storm Sagaz home in a tight finish. The two horses came together in the final 300m and appeared to touch, with things getting so tight that Marcus had to switch the whip to his wrong hand. There was remarkably no race review called(if Tellytrack are to be believed) and punters were left fretting as the gelded son of Bernstein had blown right out to 8-1.

Marcus sewed up his double in the final race when the fancied King Of Kings filly Magic Princess won well to show that the excuses of her last run were valid. She beat the well backed at long odds Music Pass who showed good improvement at her second outing. Alastair Gordon’s filly should be followed. Gilbert Werner trained, bred and owns the winner and he and Belinda Impey were on course to lead her in.

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