Shango in action. Picture: Candiese Lenferna
Shango in action. Picture: Candiese Lenferna

Sean Tarry hoping for a big day out at Turffontein

By David Thiselton Time of article published Jun 5, 2020

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SEAN Tarry has a strong hand in the big meeting at Turffontein today and his big guns have generally landed good draws.

In the Grade 1 SA Derby over 2450m, his Grade 2 TAB/Betting World Dingaans winner Shango has drawn in gate one and his other two runners, Cornish Pomodoro and Nebraas, are drawn seven and ten respectively.

"He (Shango) seems to be a staying type. He has never showed much in work but he is doing well and is moving well and the draw will help. I am pleased with everything," Tarry said.

He admitted only the race would tell whether he stayed the trip. Shango’s pedigree suggests that he should be a sprinter, but he won the 1600m Dingaans going away and Tarry had no doubt whatsoever he would stay the 1800m trip of the Grade 1 SA Classic.

His below par run there could have been explained by him having to be scratched from the Gauteng Guineas after a minor setback and missing three or four days of work as a result and the yard had also suffered a bout of temperatures at the time of the Classic.

Cornish Pomodoro also ran well below par in the Derby Trial around the time of the bout of temperatures and Tarry said that outing was best ignored.

"I had always expected him to turn into a classic horse. That last run knocked the wind out of our sails, but before that he ran second to Green Laser at level weights in the Secretariat, and was doing his best work late so based on that he is not a long way off these horses. He has been doing well," Tarry pointed out.

"He he should get the trip. He is a nice horse and is progressive. He is under pressure based on his merit rating but is coming off a second-place finish in the Derby Trial where he had a few here behind him," Tarry said about Nebraas.

Asked which was the stable elect, Tarry said: "Shango would be the choice on form no doubt, but he is lazy at home and on work I would say Nebraas, although it's tricky as the horses to beat are also stepping up in trip."

In the Grade 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m, Tarry runs last year's runner up Cirillo (drawn three), the progressive Tierra Del Fuego (drawn two) and the former Summer Cup winner Tilbury Fort (drawn 12).  

Cirillo bounced back to his best last time to win the Grade 2 Hawaii Stakes over 1400m by 3.50 lengths.

"He was impressive and is doing well. He had a deep draw last year and only just failed. He has 2kg to find on the top horses, but is now drawn well and hopefully will have a very good run," Tarry said.

"Tierra Del Fuego was soundly beaten by Cirillo in the Hawaii, but he is on the up and a mile might even be better. He has got it all to do but he is fit and well.

"This is a pipe opener for Tilbury Fort. It is nice to have Lyle (Hewitson) back, he hasn't ridden Tilbury since winning the 2018 Summer Cup and a 1400m race next time out. I hope to see him running on and we can map out a program from there."

Tarry runs Victoria Paige and Keep On Smiling in the Grade 2 SA Oaks.

He had been highly confident of Victoria Paige's chance in the Grade 1 SA Fillies Classic, but had to scratch her with a temperature. 

"She hasn't had the ideal preparation and I can't have the same confidence over 2 400m. I'm hoping she will stay but she is not certain too and it is exactly the same with Keep Smiling, who also has ability."

Tarry said he had been able to get enough work into his charges during lockdown. However, one concern was whether he had kept them on the boil for too long due to the extended lockdown and the continual stretching out of the dates of the races. 

Of his other charges on the day he felt Dubawi Princess had a good chance, he also gives Slalom Queen a chance and rates Immeasurable, but was disappointed by his last run and is hoping he is not a "brass".

He believes first-timer Sun Ray would probably need the experience, but added he would be progressive, he thought Take The World had a chance having come from last on debut to finish fourth, although he is now widely drawn, and he said Return Flight always thrived at this time of the year.

He has Matador Man running at Greyville in the Grade 2 Drill Hall Stakes on Sunday and said: "He has a tough task taking on those horses, but loves Greyville and on his day is useful. He has been doing well."

Tarry said the weekend was also going to be an important yardstick to sort out his SA Champions Season team. Horses are only allowed one move during the lockdown so he won't be able to travel up and down. 

He envisages entering about ten horses into the Vodacom Durban July on Monday morning. 

IOL Sport

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