WEIHO Marwing-trained Samurai Warrior posted a surprise win in the Gr1 SA Derby at Turffontein, following the scratching of 1-6 favourite Hawwaam.
As punters scrambled to rearrange their bets, Sean Tarry’s colt Zillzaal became the favourite at 26-10, with Mike de Kock’s other runner, Atyaab, coming in to 3-1. Samurai Warrior shortened from 40-1 to 11-1.
From the break, Strydom took Samurai Warrior into the lead – much to the consternation of the connections. Atyaab and Owlinthetree (10-1) followed the pedestrian canter.
Strydom is a master of pace, as he proved in the Oaks on Return Flight. He set fractions that were perfect for his mount and kept him together for a sustained finish.
In the straight Zillzaal moved up from midfield in the company of KwaZulu-Natal raider Marchingontogether. In the dash for the line, any one of four horses looked capable of winning it, but Strydom, in inimitable style, got something extra from his mount and eased clear to win by a length.
Zillzaal was second, Marchingontogether third and Atyaab fourth – these three being some four lengths ahead of the rest.
Bred by Hemel N Aarde Stud, Samurai Warrior is a son of Ideal World and Bangor Bay, by Casey Tibbs.
-extracts from TAB News.