TRAINER Sean Tarry said on Friday, before the running of the Gr2 Diadem Stakes at Kenilworth: “If this race at Turffontein I’d be very confident about Trip To Heaven because I believe he is the best horse in the country over 1200m in Johannesburg.”
It’s all but cast in stone that the same will hold true now for the sleek son of Trippi at Kenilworth. He doddled the Gr2 Diadem Stakes, sponsored by Khaya stables, defeating a line-up of Gr1 quality and looks set to repeat the feat in the Gr1 Cape Flying Championship on Sun Met Day, although that will be 200m shorter.
Jockey S’Manga Khumalo, who had ridden Trip To Heaven to six previous wins, bided his time near the back of the 12-horse field while they came across to the standside rail, with Exelero and Search Party cutting out the clip.
With 400m to run, Trip To Heaven started a move in the centre, between horses. He slipped through well, soon took command and ran on to win easily by 3.75-lengths from Tevez, Search Party and Red Ray.
Trip To Heaven, bred by Highlands, has now won seven of 17 starts and over R1,5-million in stakes for owners Chris Van Niekerk and Markus Jooste, who paid R1,4-million for him at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale in 2013.
Photo by Wayne Marks.