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Bookmaker Lance Michael is predicting that trainer Sean Tarry will be the man to follow on the final day of the 2020/2021 season at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday.
“Given Sean’s high standards, he’ll be disappointed to have lost the title, but he could end the season with a flourish as he’s sending out a number of fancied runners at Saturday’s meeting,” Michael said.
“He can kick off by winning the opener [first race] with Indlamu and Rain In Holland looks a worthy favourite in the Thekwini. I’ll be opposing Sean’s runner, Nebraas, in the Gold Cup where my fancies are Bayberry, Holy Warrior and Dream Destiny. The Cup often produces a shock result,” he said.
Twice The Trip rates an each-way chance from pole position in the Debutante Stakes (grade 3) and — also early in the meeting — Tarry will saddle both Kuuma and Dock Of The Bay in the Umkhomazi Stakes.
“Rio Querari will be very difficult for us to beat in the Merchants, but Sean’s sprinter, Chimichurri Run, rarely runs a bad race and should be right there,” Michael said.
The meeting will decide the close race between Suzette Viljoen, Drakenstein Stud and Chris van Niekerk and the latter can draw first blood with Indlamu, a son of Pomodoro bred at Riverton Stud.
With Van Niekerk his chief patron, it is fairly ironic that Tarry’s next best runner, Rain In Holland, races for Drakenstein Stud and the R250,000 first prize could be vital in the stud’s challenge for the leading owner title.
Rain In Holland is a daughter of Duke Of Marmalade and — also favourably drawn — has been priced up 16-10 favourite for the grade 1 Thekwini Stakes in which Corné Spies’s filly Supreme Quest rates a big threat.
Tarry will be amazed how many of his runners have cracked good draws — all of Indlamu, Twice The Trip, Chimichuri Run and Before Noon (Gold Cup) have drawn either stall one or two.
Paul Peter’s talented mare Summer Pudding was priced up at 8-10 in early betting for the Kuda Gold Bracelet, but Michael considers that a “stingy” price. “We have her at 1.25-1 and expect her to drift from that price.”
Michael nominates Chat Ching and SentbyDestiny as “serious contenders in the Bracelet” and Tarry’s final runner of the campaign, Victoria Paige, could well finish in the money.
New champion Justin Snaith will be keen for his yard to do well as the curtain comes down on his successful season. It is likely he will fancy that three-year-old Native Tongue can throw down a challenge to Indlamu in the first and later in the meeting Rio Querari should take the Mercury Sprint.
In the HKJC Champions Cup, Snaith has two strong representatives in Do It Again and Jet Dark who take on the short-priced favourite Got The Greenlight.
Meanwhile, in the UK the famous five-day Goodwood meeting got under way on Tuesday and — with Covid-19 restrictions lifted— a capacity crowd made its way to the Sussex Downs.
On Friday SA will be represented at the meeting with one of the races carrying the title of L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Glorious Stakes (grade 3). The race is off 5.10pm (SA time) and top trainers Sir Michael Stoute, John Gosden and William Haggas have all entered runners for the mile-and-a-half race.
GOLD CUP BETTING
(Supplied by bookmaker Lance Michael)
4-1 Silver Host
11-2 African Adventure
10-1 Out Of Your League
12-1 Holy Warrior
14-1 Bayberry, Chiengo, Don’t Look Back
16-1 Dream Destiny, Sunshine Silk
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.