Bull Valley set to edge Trip to Heaven in sprint
There is one intriguing question about Saturday’s grade1 Mercury Sprint at Greyville: has jockey S’manga Khumalo made the right choice of Sean Tarry’s two speedsters, Trip To Heaven and Bull Valley?
Khumalo has opted for Trip To Heaven and what may have swayed his decision is the fact that his mount has a merit-rating five points higher than Bull Valley.
Trip To Heaven’s recent second behind Captain America suggested the Trippi gelding is at the top of his game, but there are some factors that could swing the race in Bull Valley’s favour. The first is that Trip To Heaven is a slow starter and, from barrier two, Bull Valley could build a lead that is difficult to peg back.
Karl Zechner, successful on Hermoso Mundo in the Gold Vase on Durban July day, has never ridden Bull Valley and will be delighted to have got the call from Tarry to partner the lightly raced four-year-old.
Bull Valley won the grade1 Tsogo Sun Sprint in good style and this R180,000 son of Toreador may only now be realising his full potential.
Victory for either Tarry runner will take the champion trainer’s stake earnings this season to more than R35m. It is a mind-boggling achievement and R8m more than his runners amassed in 2015-16.
Saturday’s race does not end with the Tarry duo as ruling champion sprinter Talktothestars will bid to register his 11th win for trainer Coenie de Beer. Winning July jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe rode Overlord into second place in the Post Merchants and retains the ride.