These days one can almost stick with the axiom “when in doubt, go with Sean Tarry”. The champion trainer is well clear of his rivals in the race for this season’s title and will take some catching. Hardly a meeting goes by on the Highveld without the stable heading for the winner’s enclosure, usually more than once.
Tarry saddles three runners in Race 8, a MR 83 Handicap over 1600m, at the Vaal today and one is immediately drawn to Lock Him Up, the mount of stable jockey S’manga Khumalo. A glance at his recent form is hardly inspiring but when one looks at how he performs at the Vaal, one does take notice.
This four-year-old son of Fort Beluga has raced seven times at the course for one win, three seconds and two thirds. His lone run over 1600m at the course saw him finish a 0.75-lengths second behind Man’s Inn who has come out and won again.
In his penultimate start Lock Him Up ran over 1700m at the Vaal, which is around the turn, and did well to end a 1.40-length fourth behind Shepherd’s Warning. There was also betting support for him last time out but that was on the Inside track at Turffontein and form studiers will have picked up on the fact that he had raced three times at the course and finished unplaced in all three starts. He repeated that effort in his fourth run at the course and after leading the field 400m from home, faded out to finish 8.35 lengths behind American Tiger.
Back to the Vaal he could be a decent proposition from a top stable at a good price.
In fact, the horse who looks to be his main threat is stable companion Hawaiian Sun, who has been in consistent form of late. It is interesting Tarry has given this ride to Jarryd Penny but this five-year-old gelding does appear to run well for him.
Penny rode the son of Zambezi River three runs back over 1600m at Turffontein and won on him and was aboard in his last start which was over 1400m at this course. Hawaiian Sun finished well after having been cramped at the start to run a 1.40-length second behind Fareeq.
He has no problem with the distance and in his only start over the track and trip finished a 0.75-length third behind Analyse This.
Mike de Kock saddles Enbharr who could feature as well. This Irish-bred entire is another who enjoys this course. His maiden win was over the course and distance in which he beat Royal Honour by 6.75 lengths. His next start at the Vaal was over 2000m and he ran a 1.40-length fourth behind stablemate Kinaan.
With Weichong Marwing up he must be respected.