De­wali comes early for Sage


THERE were a hand­ful of horses who caught the eye as ones to fol­low for the sea­son at Turf­fontein on Satur­day. Au­gust is tra­di­tion­ally the qui­etest month of the rac­ing sea­son for top horses as they will usu­ally be hav­ing a well de­served holiday af­ter the SA Cham­pi­ons Sea­son and it is also a good time to ad­min­is­ter the com­pul­sory African Horse Sick­ness vac­cines.

How­ever, the early signs are Sean Tarry has started this sea­son the way he ended the last. He and Rob­bie Sage scored a double. Muzi Yeni rode a tre­ble and his eight win­ners for the sea­son by the end of the day's play were one be­hind early na­tional log leader Richard Fourie.

Kea­gan de Melo and 2,5kg claimer Luke Fer­raris both rode dou­bles to make it six and four for the sea­son re­spec­tively.

Yeni's se­cond win­ner was aboard the well-bred Sage-trained Quer­ari three-yearold De­wali.

Fes­ti­val Of Fire

This R325,000 colt is out of the Mike de Kock-trained Ka­hal mare Fes­ti­val Of Fire, who won the Grade 2 KRA Fil­lies Guineas as well as two Grade 3s over 1 400m and 1 450m re­spec­tively.

In Satur­day’s maiden for three-year-olds over 1 160m De­wali's odds of 11-10 were gen­er­ous in ret­ro­spect as his three runs to date had all been in features and he had twice fin­ished quite close to the classy Bold Ea­gle.

He duly oblit­er­ated the field and won ef­fort­lessly by four lengths.

He looks set to pro­vide a lot of fun for de­serv­ing owner Colin Bird, who will be on a high as the Sage-trained Coral Fever gave him his first Grade 1 win­ner in 41 years of rac­ing in last sea­son's lu­cra­tive Premier’s Cham­pi­ons Chal­lenge.

In the next race over 1160m the well-bred Sean Tarry-trained In The Dance was easy to back at 10-3.

This Gim­methe­green­light filly is a half­sis­ter to the like of three-time Grade 1 win­ner Capetown Noir, Grade 3 win­ner Across The Ice and Graded per­former Premier Dance.

Cape Town Noir was known for his ex­cep­tional turn of foot and In The Dance showed she pos­sessed this as­set too.

She was ham­pered at the start caus­ing her to lose a cou­ple of lengths.

How­ever she was soon trav­el­ling well on the out­side.

She was green when asked for her ini­tial ef­fort but quick­ened ef­fort­lessly when it counted and won eas­ing up by 3,5 lengths un­der S’Manga Khu­malo.

The run­ner up Rock A Roll Dancer is no slouch as she fin­ished just 1,75 lengths be­hind Nafaayes over 1 000m on de­but and the lat­ter fol­lowed up with an­other win over 1 400m to re­main un­beaten.

In The Dance is owned and bred by Lam­mer­skraal Stud.

Her dam Ak­in­feet was named Brood­mare Of The Year at the 2013 Equus Awards due to Cape Town Noir’s feat of do­ing the Cape Guineas and Cape Derby double.


Ak­in­feet is bred in the pur­ple her­self, be­ing by SA Cham­pion stal­lion Fort Wood out of the top class race­horse Dance Ev­ery Dance.

The lat­ter was by cham­pion brood­mare sire North­ern Guest and she won the Grade 2 Golden Slip­per and Grade 2 Cape Fil­lies Guineas.

It is not sur­pris­ing Lam­mer­skraal Stud man­ager Sally Jour­dan chose In The Dance as one of the fil­lies to keep for rac­ing and breed­ing.

Tarry then teamed up with the 2,5kg claimer Luke Fer­raris to win a Pin­na­cle event over 1 160m with the five-year-old Vi­sion­aire geld­ing Africa Ris­ing, although an­other one to def­i­nitely take out of the race is the run­ner up Mardi Gras.

Africa Ris­ing, who won the By­er­ley Turk over 1 400m at Greyville last year, has al­ways been well re­garded by Tarry but has been a touch dis­ap­point­ing.

How­ever, he has now won his last two sprint starts and could be in­ter­est­ing if kept to the shorter dis­tances con­sid­er­ing the cur­rent rel­a­tive weak­ness of the sprint­ing di­vi­sion around the coun­try.

In his pre­vi­ous sprint win over 1 200m Africa Ris­ing came from well off the pace and mowed them down so it was en­cour­ag­ing that he won on Satur­day af­ter show­ing good gate­speed and ini­tially be­ing in the lead as this did not blunt his good turn of foot at the end.

On the down­side he is merit rated 103 and was well in at the weights, es­pe­cially when tak­ing Far­raris's 2,5kg claim into ac­count.

Mardi Gras

He only just held off the Jo­han Janse van Vu­uren-trained four-year-old Ora­to­rio grey Mardi Gras.

The lat­ter, who would have been re­ceiv­ing 2kg more weight in a hand­i­cap, was hav­ing his first run af­ter geld­ing and will come on con­sid­er­ably for the run as it was also his first ap­pear­ance for more than three months.

This Avon­tuur Stud-bred horse, for­merly owned by May­fair Spec­u­la­tors, is out of the Grade 1 Ma­jorca Stakes win­ner Sara­bande and is a half-brother to the like of stakes win­ners Ch­e­sa­lon and La Volta and also to the dam of his Graded-win­ning sta­ble­mate She’s A Giver.

It is not sur­pris­ing he fetched R3,2 mil­lion at the sales.

Make Your Move

Fer­raris’s other win­ner on the Var geld­ing Make Your Move was for his grand­fa­ther Or­mond.

Luke had a good chance of scor­ing a double for Tarry as he was aboard the fan­cied Satin Slip­per in the eighth.

How­ever, ul­ti­mately this horse was de­clared a non-run­ner af­ter the han­dler im­peded her start caus­ing her to lose a cou­ple of lengths. She ran on from last but faded late to fin­ish sixth.

Luck­ily for PA pun­ters the favourite Abe­lie fin­ished third and they can also thank their lucky stars Satin Slip­per did not run on in to the fourth po­si­tion as she would then not have been able to be de­clared a non-run­ner due to the laws of rac­ing.

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