Cousin Casey has his first run for the powerful Sean Tarry yard in the Gr 2 Allied Steelrode On A Mission Mile at the Big T Tomorrow (Saturday).
Danie Toerien (Tab4Racing)
Although Sean Tarry will be saddling 15 runners on Saturday at Turffontein, contesting all but one of the ten races on the card, he is not expecting any fireworks.
“It’s a big meeting, but honestly, I’m just getting going,” said the multiple champion trainer this week ahead of Charity Mile Day.
“My expectations for Saturday are not high. I just want to see good runs because there is a long, long road ahead.”
With that said, Tarry does hold a strong hand in a number of races, most notably the Grade 2 Allied Steelrode Onamission Charity Mile, where he has three runners, as well as a reserve runner.
Cousin Casey will probably attract the most attention as this Grade 1-winner will be making his debut for the Tarry yard having relocated to the Highveld.
“He’s doing well. Obviously, it’s not his main mission. It’s his first run for me. We have to see how he goes. I haven’t had him a long time so I’m giving him a run so we can see what to expect for the rest of the season,” said Tarry.
“He is doing reasonably well and I’m expecting a decent run.
“The distance is good for him and he’s got a good draw. He probably does want a bit further than a mile. His earlier form as a two-year-old shows he was enjoying the mile. As a three-year-old he may just want a bit further.”
Tarry does have big plans for Cousin Casey later in the season.
“Depending on his run in the Charity Mile, we will then have to decide whether it’s the Summer Cup, or the Met, or even both,” he said when asked about future plans for this colt by Vercingetorix.
“Obviously there are options. We are running him to learn something. It’s a good time of the year, early in the season, because there are plenty of options. It’s just a matter of how he comes through it.”
Tarry’s other two runners in the main event, Bless My Stars and Future Pearl, must also not be ignored.
“I think the Charity Mile will be a bit short for both of them,” said Tarry.
“Bless My Stars will be more comfortable over the distance than Future Pearl, but it’s pretty much the same kind of story. They are both prepping for the Summer Cup.
“There is a little bit of meat left on the bone with all three of them so they will come on for this run.
“They definitely are all three solid runners, and just because this isn’t the main mission for any of them, doesn’t mean they can’t win.
“Cousin Casey has the most in his favour, very closely followed by Bless My Stars.
“Anything can happen. Based on the facts that we can all see it might just be a bit too sharp for Future Pearl.”
Unlike Tarry’s threesome in the Charity Mile, Let’s Go Now goes into the Grade 3 HSH Princess Charlene Starling Stakes over 1400m on the back of an excellent comeback run and must be considered a serious contender.
“She is a filly that I would consider for the Triple Tiara races later on in the season,” said Tarry.
“She looks like that type of filly because she looks like she can stay.
“1400m is probably on the short end of her range, but it is the standside at Turffontein, and because it’s the standside, I’m running her to see where we are. And with that I mean to see where we are off the rest of the fillies – where she fits in.
“Her mile run was very good (last time out when second to My Soul Mate in her first run of the season).
“She’s in good order and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her running on very strongly.”
Most pundits, including Tarry, consider the Grade 3 Betway Graham Beck Stakes over 1400m a three-horse affair.
“This is a match race. It doesn’t look as if anything will challenge the top three. Sandringham Summit and Main Defender are the main contenders, but you have to respect De Kock’s horse, Gimmeanotherchance.
“That’s probably where it ends.”
But one cannot write off Tarry’s The Africa House.
“We were very happy with his last run.
“This horse had very good form going into the Durban season. But at Scottsville he suffered interference, and then he wasn’t right for July Day so we had to run him on Gold Cup Day but he wasn’t quite right. He had another run thereafter.
“His Durban form was obviously not good, but we are quite happy with his comeback run. He looks like a horse that’s going to get a bit more ground. He should appreciate the Standside track a lot more than the Inside Track,” said Tarry.
“But having said that, we are all just preparing for the season ahead. We have to know where our horses fit in at the end of the day.”