Bless My Stars will be ridden by big race Richard Fourie in the R5 million Betway Summer Cup at “The Big T” on Saturday (Picture: Candiese Lenferna)
Sean Tarry, bidding for a sixth Summer Cup, has a strong trio in this year’s R5 million Betway sponsored renewal.
Cousin Casey is the shortest of his runners with the sponsor at 7/1, while Bless My Stars is 15/2 and Litigation is 20/1.
Tarry said about Cousin Casey, “He had a good debut for the yard (half-a-length second in the Gr 2 Allied Steerode On A Mission Charity Mile) and I do believe he’s come on since. With luck in running he’s got a big chance.”
Tarry said about the four-year-old Vercingetorix colt’s draw of 12, “I don’t think it’s a train smash. I think he’s a horse who needs a quiet ride and so I don’t mind him coming from off them.”
Grant van Niekerk knows him best and has the ride.
Cousin Casey is merit rated 123 and carries 58.5kg.
Last year’s Equus Champion three-year-old filly Bless My Stars had a good draw in the Hollywoodbets Durban July and finished third and she has another good draw here of two
Tarry said about the Gimmethegreenlight filly, “She had a lovely comeback run (0,90 length third in the Charity Mile). I think she would have come on since then. Richard (Fourie) gets on well with her. A two draw is a big bonus for her in a race where there doesn’t seem to be any pace. A slow run race with her in the box seat will definitely be in her favour.”
Regarding her progress from last season Tarry said, “It is hard for me to judge at home, but her run in the Charity Mile suggests she is at least as good if not better than last season.”
Bless My Stars is merit rated 119 and carries 56.5kg.
The Greys Inn five-year-old gelding Litigation is merit rated 110 and carries 54kg from draw 17.
The minimum weight for the race these days is 54kg and Litigation is 1,5kg under sufferance.
Tarry said about Litigation, “He has a nice, decent weight. The draw is not ideal, but he has options from there. He’s had a good prep and has come along with every run. He should definitely be at peak fitness. I am hoping for a big run.”
Tarry added, “Craig Zackey (who rides Litigation) is unlucky not to ride Bless My Stars, because I did intend to run Future Pearl here and Richard would have been on him. Craig did nothing wrong in the Charity Mile (on Bless My Stars), but I think Litigation is a horse who is not out of it.”
Asked which of the trio he fancied, he replied, “There is nothing between Bless My Stars and Cousin Casey on their run in the Charity Mile, especially because Cousin Casey was given half-a-kilogram (by the handicappers) just for good luck. There’s not much to separate them. It just depends how the race pans out. Cousin Casey does work quite well, so it is easy to like him at home. Bless has always just done what she needs to do and she’s still in that mode.”
Tarry has a fine record in the Summer Cup.
His first win in the big race was with 15/1 shot Aslan (Silvano) in 2009. He has won four of the last six renewals, including three times in succession from 2017 to 2019. His wins in this latter period have been in 2017 with Liege (Dynasty) at 16/1 odds, in 2018 with Tilbury Fort (Horse Chestnut) at 15/2 odds, in 2019 with Zillzaal (Silvano) at 28/1 odds and in 2021 with Flying Carpet (Judpot) at 25/1 odds.
Asked whether this was the meeting where his yard reached their first peak for the season, Tarry replied. “That is what we aim for. It has fallen in place many times previously. You can only be hopeful, you can never be too confident. I feel these horses have had a good build up into the day and hopefully everything goes well.”