ZILLZAAL (28-1) kept on resolutely to pull off a major surprise in claiming the inaugaral Gauteng Chris Gerber Summer Cup at Turffontein on Saturday.

Three turned out to be Sean Tarry’s lucky number at Turffontein on Saturday for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, when Zillzaal crossed the line to win the Gauteng Chris Gerber Summer Cup, proudly brought to you by Bidvest, it gave Tarry his third successive win in this R2-million Grade 1 race over 2000m on the Standside track.  Secondly, it was the champion trainer’s third successive feature win on the day, following on from victories in the Grade 2 New Turf Carriers Merchants with Mardi Gras and the TAB/Betting World Dingaans with Shango.

In his third run since gelding, Zillzaal, the son of Silvano (28-1) made all and held off a powerful late challenge from favourite Soqrat (2-1) by 0.40 lengths. A head back in third came another Tarry inmate, Al Mutawakel, with filly Queen Supreme taking fourth, beaten just 1.60 lengths.

TAB paid out six places and fifth position went to Atyaab with Roy’s had Enough in sixth.

There was a load of money for Soqrat who was ridden by Anton Marcus while Queen Supreme, the mount of Callan Murray, also found support and she went off outright second favourite at 9-2 while Barahin drifted past the 5-1 mark.

But the happiest bloke on the course was apprentice Denis Schwarz, who rode his first Grade 1 winner – and what a win it was! This youngster has always had his enthusiasm emblazoned on his short and always gives a good account of himself. Going into the meeting he was 12th on the national jockeys log and leading the apprentice race, by just one win from Luke Ferraris.

Going into the draw Tarry had not named all his jockeys for his four runners and Schwarz was hoping to pick up one of the rides. “Many people thought I was waiting to find jockeys because of the weights,” said Tarry. “I already had the jockeys I was going to use, I was just waiting for the draws to see how I would use them.”

Schwarz was named on Zillzaal and Ferraris on Al Mutawakel. As the gates opened Schwarz wasted no time in taking his mount to the front from No 15 draw. When the field came for home, using his light weight of 52, he extended his lead and made the pack chase him. Firstly Queen Supreme and Al Mutawakel came at him but then a bigger danger loomed on the outside in the form of Soqrat.

Marcus slowly closed the gap and it looked as if he would get there but the line came in time for Tarry’s charge, owned Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Makhtoum’s Al Adiyat South Africa.  

“I felt like Piere Strydom coming into the straight,” said Schwarz, comparing his ride to the six-time former champion jockey.

Tarry quipped: “My instructions were simple. I told him to go the front, and run on from there.”

He also added about Soqrat. “For a horse to run on the way he did carrying 60kg over 2000m at Turffontein, was amazing. It was a superb effort.” – TAB News.

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