Beautiful Day in Capital For Big Four Sprints

Tsogo Sun Gr1 Medallion at Scottsville today

Carry On Alice wins the Gr1 SA Nursery at Turffontein on 2014-04-26

SA Nursery winner Carry On Alice is top rated to win the Gold Medallion

Trainer Sean Tarry has few peers when it comes to the business of strategy and placement of top horses. He sends out the only 2yo Gr1 winner in the country this season, who bumps the boys again for the second time in her short career. Carry On Alice faces her personal high noon at Scottsville on Saturday when she goes head to head with Justin Snaith’s Var machine, Harry Lime, and other male hotshots, in the Gr1 R600 000 Tsogo Sun Medallion.

The question that will be answered on Saturday is whether the Tarry magic will work again. Or has the multiple SA champion trainer elect bitten off more than he can chew this time round?


Our ratings suggest that Carry On Alice will carry the flag for the fairer sex and win. That calculation is based on educated logic , science and statistics. But general Scottsville nerves and battle scars of bygone years are a cautionary that things could well go awry for the only filly in the field of sixteen. The scenic track in the not–so–scenic capital city of the KZN province is the graveyard of the rich and famous.

They have also labelled it a goat track. A gauntlet. There are other names too, but not for print. The Klawervlei Stud bred Carry On Alice was having her post maiden run when her trainer made a crucial tactical call to take on the previously unbeaten Banaadeer in the Gr1 SA Nursery on Champions Day at Turffontein last month.


Sean Tarry strategising

Sean Tarry strategising

The fact that Mike De Kock had publicly rated his unbeaten filly Majmu superior to her equally unbeaten stablemate Banaadeer gave Tarry the incentive to rather face the latter with the added advantage of a sex allowance, and the incentive of the increased carrot of R1 million for the boys race.

After settling in cruise mood, Carry On Alice turned on the jets at the 300m and embarrassed Banaadeer. Her winning time over the Turffontein 1 160m course was quicker than that of the unbeaten Aussie bred Majmu, who won the Gr 2 SA Fillies Nursery by 8,75 lengths.

On Saturday, Carry On Alice jumps from a probably favourable low draw. She would not have seen the track and also takes on the might of some potentially serious boys.

Making Movies

Harry Lime wins at Scottsville on Saturday 14-04-27

Justin Snaith rates the Var colt Harry Lime highly and he could upstage Sean Tarry’s flying

Justin Snaith’s unbeaten course and distance winner Harry Lime stands tall in the list of possibles. The Rathmor Stud bred son of Var was an easy winner of the Gr2 Umkhomazi Stakes when lacking early toe and then drawing clear easily to beat Mastermind.

The experience will stand him in good stead and if he has progressed from his quirks of hanging and running green, he will only need to overcome his outside draw to have every chance of maintaining his unbeaten record.

Mike De Kock’s Banaader will have to find 2,50 lengths to beat Tarry’s beautiful filly. The son of More Than Ready won his first two starts well and Scottsville remains a great leveller. So will we see a reversal?

There are a good few recent winners, without exposure at feature level and anyone of them could be something special.

Drier Duo

Dennis Drier is always a major factor in these features and he sends out a coupling of Beckedorf and debut winner Guiness. Beckedorf is a son of AP Arrow and beat National Approval going away after two smart seconds. He has his first run at Scottsville, but his first two starts were both behind the promising Punk Rocker. That is strong form.

Anton Marcus rides debut winner Guiness for the Joostes. The son of Seventh Rock beat a small field and is another speedy sort who steps up 200m and could be equal to the challenge. Johan Janse Van Vuuren saddles Belong To Me who beat Anjaal at his second start over 1200m at the Vaal. Weichong Marwing rides him again.

Tarry Support

Sean Tarry has back up for Carry On Alice in the form of debut winner, Captain Clipper. The son of Captain Al just held on after running handily in that 1200m event, but is bred to go further.

Gavin Van Zyl holds a strong hand with a good coupling. Recent shock debut winner Dante’s Legacy is a beautifully bred son of Silvano who is bound to be suited to further ground. He won going away over Saturday’s course and distance and looks very exciting indeed. He cost R800 000 at sale and is a magnificent specimen. The engagement of the relatively inexperienced Craig Zackey is an interesting one. His stablemate is the unbeaten Gr3 Godolphin Barb winner Punk Rocker. The son of Trippi has not put a foot wrong and tries 1200m (which must suit him better) for the first time.


Piere Strydom sould never be underestimated

Piere Strydom sould never be underestimated

Piere Strydom rides Dom Zaki’s Vaal debut winner Precursor. The son of Captain Al cost R400 000 and simply strolled in when jumping at odds on. Brave Tin Soldier’s son Split The Breeze was a surprise debut winner over 1000m at Clairwood. He is impossible to assess but would have to improve further to have any chance. Garth Puller’s Antwerp and Paul Lafferty’s Harry’s Son are both well held by Harry Lime on their Umkhomazi Stakes runs.

The Tradition Endures

Fillies don’t have a great record in this race. Carry On Alice is a daughter of Carry On Katie, a Charles Laird-trained and Markus Jooste-owned Western Winter filly who won a Gr 2 over 1 400m as a two-year-old and finished her career with a further eight top three stakes race finishes.

Stud part-owner John Koster recalled “She was a great filly and finished second to Dancer’s Daughter in the Gr 1 Paddock Stakes. She was a nice, big, tall and scopy mare who fitted Captain Al so well.

However, foaling down always took so much out of her. She used to throw these monster foals and maybe her canals were just too narrow. When she gave birth to her first foal she injured her pelvis and couldn’t get back up for a day or two. We nursed her back to health and the following year she conceived Carry On Alice.”

After that relatively smooth birth, she was sent to Seventh Rock. Once again the foal was huge and there were complications foaling down. Koster continued, “She couldn’t get up afterwards, so we borrowed a sling to try and save her. We would lift her up with the sling everyday to try and get the strength back into her legs. She was so brave.

“But there must have just been too much damage to the nerves. The weight was melting off her and the sling began hurting her. She was turning sour and we had to call it a day.”

Unfortunately the Seventh Rock foal did not survive the problematic birth either. Koster said, “Thank goodness Carry On Katie’s last foal was a filly so that her legacy can be continued.”

Meanwhile, Richard Nurse, a friend of Koster’s whom he described as a talented fly-half in his rugby playing days, had been organising a tour of 40 people from abroad to coincide with the 2013 J&B Met. The itinerary included a trip to Klawervlei Stud and to the Cape Premier Yearling Sale. Koster recalled, “The administrators then decided to move the Met to a week later and everybody on the tour cancelled except for four people, including the John and Jill Warner.”

They are both medical doctors and John received an OBE last year for his services to food allergy research. The couple share a passion for horseracing.

Koster continued: “When the Warners came to visit our farm, Jill told me that the horse she loved out of the whole catalogue was Carry On Alice and asked whether she could buy a share.”
A few days later John Warner signed for Carry On Alice at the Sale, having gone to R475 000 to secure her. Koster also liked the filly too much to let her go and a syndicate consisting of the Warners, Chris van Niekerk and Klawervlei Stud was put together. Koster continued: “It just seems too good to be true that the one filly out of the whole draft Jill loved has turned out to be such a good horse and a Gr 1 winner.”

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