Jack Milner
4 minute read
30 Mar 2015
9:00 am

Ertijaal failed to handle the going

Jack Milner

While Guineas Day belonged to Piere Strydom, Classic Day at Turffontein on Saturday was all about Sean Tarry.

GREAT WIN: French Navy (Raymond Danielson) finishes strongly to win the SA Classic at Turffontein on Saturday. Picture: JC Photographics

The current log leader on the national trainer’s log won four legs of the Pick 6 at Saturday’s meeting, but most importantly he came away with victories in both the Grade 1 races for three-year-old – the R2-million SA Classic and R1-million Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic, bot over 1800m, with French Navy and Siren’s Call respectively.

Tarry’s two other winners were Amber Orchid in the Grade 3 Jacaranda Handicap over 1800m and Carry On Alice in the Grade 3 Man O’ War Sprint over 1100m.   

The Fillies Classic produced the best finish on the day as two of the best jockeys in the country – Piere Strydom and Anton Marcus – went toe-to-toe to the line. Marcus, on 2-1 favourite Same Jurisdiction for the Duncan Howells stable, had the edge all the way until a stride before the post where Siren’s Call (5-2) got her nose in front.

Trophy Wife, second in the Gauteng Fillies Guineas, looked dangerous 200m out but as jockey Raymond Danielson pointed out, she did not really see out the extra distance.

However, Danielson was rewarded one race later when French Navy (4-1)  got a run between Amsterdam and Harry’s Son to score a 0.75-length victory in the SA Classic. Amsterdam ran second ahead of Deputy Jud, Unparalleled, with Harry’s Son, after moving up at the 400m mark, fading out to finish fifth.

Siren’s Call, who last month won the Fillies Guineas, has now given herself the opportunity to win the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara and the R1-million bonus that goes with it. All she has to do is win the SA Oaks on 25 April. She has statistics in her favour as the Triple Tiara seems to be won in odd years – 2011 with Igugu and 2013 with Cherry On The Top.

There had been a lot of rain during the week and as a result the going was what used to be called “holding”. There was quite a lot of kickback and some horses adapted better than others.    

For Strydom, it was the saving grace. “The going won it for us. Once again she took forever to get going and in good going she would not have caught Same Jurisdiction.” However, he did feel the Oaks distance of 2450m should be ideal for her so the Triple Tiara could well be a reality for breeder and owner Peter de Beyer.

Same Jurisdiction ran her heart out and is clearly top class. We could be in for more mouth-watering clashes between these two in the upcoming KwaZulu-Natal season.

Ertijaal was all the rage to win the SA Classic but after getting to the lead quite easily in the back straight and then leading the field into the home straight, the Australian-bred runner suddenly came under pressure and was swamped, first by Deputy Jud, then Harry’s Game, Unparalleled and Amsterdam, before French Navy, fast-finishing second in the Gauteng Guineas, swept past them all.     

“Mr Tarry had him spot on for today and even in his work I could feel him change,” said Danielson. “I knew 1800m was a better distance for him. He’s still young, and imporving and he has a decent future.”

Tarry confirmed his charge will be looking to SA Derby next month. “After this win his future is quite easy to map out. The Derby is the logical next move. Raymond has done a lot of work on this horse, he has done nothing wrong and we decided to keep him on and he has produced the goods. Well done to Raymond!”        

Trainer Paul Peter told everybody that Amsterdam was a horse for the future and he should not be left out of any of the exotics. The horse looked a picture and, in only his fourth race, ran accordingly. He will certainly be a big runner in the Derby.

The disappointment of the race was Ertijaal but Mathew de Kock said yesterday the run should be ignored. “Both Ertijaal and Estidraaj are by Hard Spun and I feel both hated the underfoot conditions. Erijaal looked a million dollars in the parade ring and I’m happy with the way Gavin (Lerena) rode him.

“He was fine this morning and the best we can do is just put a line through it. He will be running in the Derby and that’s a race where you can switch him off and ride him like a horse, not a machine.”

The Grade 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes saw Captain America bounce back to form and score a facile 4.25-length victory over Tellina and Bouclette Top. Louis The King ran a dismal race and Strydom eased him up 200m from the line.

He said the horse was slowly away and he was scrubbing at him for some time. “Then they slowed done the pace up front and that made it even worse. He was never travelling well.” The vet had a look at him but nothing obvious was detected.