Highveld trainers dominate
SEAN Tarry won his third National Trainer’s in succession in the season just passed and if he hasn’t already sealed his place among the greats in South African racing history it seems a foregone conclusion he soon will.
The two other Highveld big guns Mike de Kock and Geoff Woodruff were in the top ten again.
Tarry smashed his own stakes earnings record. His phenomenal return of R36,109,550 was 1,71 times more than the earnings of second placed Justin Snaith.
In terms of dominance this was second in recent times only to De Kock’s 2010/2011 season in which his R21,714,451 earnings were 1,73 times the amount of second-placed Snaith.
Tarry’s 215 winners also broke his 209 mark from last season.
Tarry led the way in Grade 1 wins with seven, achieved through four individuals.
He also won eight Grade 2s, seven Grade 3s, five Listed races and twelve Non-Black Type events.
Tarry’s reigning Equus Horse Of The Year Legal Eagle retained his crowns in both the Grade 1 wfa L’Ormarin’s Queen’s Plate and Grade 1 wfa HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes to confirm his invincibility over a mile.
However, when bidding to become the first horse since Sea Cottage to retain three Grade 1 crowns in one season, he was beaten into second in the Premier’s Champions Challenge over 2 000m.
He also finished second in the Grade 1 Sun Met over 2 000m and won the Grade 2 WSB Green Point Stakes.
He has an excellent chance of retaining his Horse Of The Year title, especially considering he was giving 2,5kg to his 1,5 length conqueror in the Met, Whisky Baron, and 1kg to Deo Juvente, who beat him by a neck in the Champions Challenge.
Tarry’s superstar mare Carry On Alice beat the boys in the Grade 1 weight for age (wfa) Betting World Cape Flying Championships over 1 000m at Kenilworth and won the Grade 1 South African Fillies Sprint over 1 200m at Scottsville for the second time.
The latter race was her swansong.
Her stablemate Bull Valley also won two Grade 1 sprints, the Tsogo Sun Sprint over 1 200m at Scottsville, in which he carried third topweight and won comfortably, and the wfa Mercury Sprint over 1 200m at Greyville.
He also won a Listed sprint, so headed Carry On Alice in stakes successes.
Tarry’s other Grade 1 victory was in the SA Derby with Al Sahem.
Tarry’s best day of the season was likely on SA Classic day in which he won the first six races and his haul from 23 runners on the day was seven wins, five seconds, one third, two fourths and a fifth, and the wins included one Grade 1 and three Grade 3s.
De Kock finished fifth on the National log with earnings of R16,879,625.
His overseas operations mean his best horses usually leave the country during or after their two-year-old or three-year-old years and he also closed his Summerveld yard during the season.
De Kock had five individual Grade 1 winners.
He won the SA Fillies Classic with Orchid Island, the Grade 1 SA Classic with Heavenly Blue, the Grade 1 HSH Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes with Nother Russia and two full brothers, Mustaaqeem and Rafeef, won the SA Nursery and Computaform Sprint respectively for him on the same day. Mustaaqeem, an Australian-bred son of Redoute’s Choice, looks to be a particularly exciting prospect.
De Kock also won three Grade 2s, two Grade 3s and three Listed races.
Geoff Woodruff won the Grade 1 Sansui Summer Cup for the fourth year in succession as Master Sabina retained his crown.
Woodruff ’s first and third in the Summer Cup was actually his worst recent return in Johannesburg’s biggest race, which emphasises his dominance.
Woodruff also won the Grade 1 Champions Challenge with Deo Juvente.
He also won one Grade 2, one Grade 3 and three Listed races. His R12,505,038 earnings put him in sixth place on the log.
Lucky Houdalakis’ Vaal-based yard continued their steady climb up the national log and finished in 13th place.
His 68 winners included a Grade 2 win and two Non-Black Type victories.
Johan Janse van Vuuren also achieved his highest position on the log in 14th place and his 53 wins included two Grade 2s.
He won five Grade 3s, including three at one meeting, two Listed events and three Non-Black Types.
Mike Azzie finished in 16th place on the log and at the end of the season reregistered his yard in both his and his son Adam’s name.
His 69 wins included a Grade 2 and a Grade 3 victory.
Paul Peter, 17th on the log, also had 69 winners and a Grade 2 and Grade 3 victory, as well as a Listed win.
Gary Alexander was in 18th place on the log and had two Grade 2s, one Grade 3 and two Listed wins.
Paul Matchett won the Grade 1 Allan Robertson Championships with Brave Mary and also had a Listed win.
Weiho Marwing did the stayers “Gold” treble with Hermoso Mundo, who won the Grade 3 Gold Bowl, the Grade 3 Gold Vase and the Grade 3 Gold Cup. Marwing also won two Non-Black type races.
Alec Laird won two Grade 2s and a Listed race.
Joey Soma won the Grade 2 SA Oaks with Wind Chill and he also won a Grade 3.
Candice Dawson won Kimberley’s biggest race, the Non-Black Type RA Mile with Sundari.
Corne Spies won a Grade 3 and two Non-Black Types; Ormond Ferraris won a Grade 3 and a Non-Black Type; Roy Magner, Grant Maroun and Robbie Sage each won a Grade 3 apiece; Louis Goosen and Barend Botes each won a Listed race apiece; Stephen Moffat won a Non-Black Type event.