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Tarry Provides Cherry On The Top For Halcyon Hollywood Day
The Sean Tarry-trained Klawervlei Stud-bred Pomodoro gelding Black Thorn comfortably converted odds-on favouritism in Saturday’s Grade 3 DSTV Gold Vase and it was most fitting that the Hollywood Syndicate thus won a race at the first Durban July meeting with  Hollywoodbets as sponsor.
Tarry said, “I was relieved. He really did look a hard horse to beat and had a perfect prep. Hollywood were always mindful of me being quite bullish about this horse on the day and I think it is maybe the cherry on the top for their day, which I am every proud to have supplied.” 
Black Thorn’s wide draw had been a concern for supporters, but Keagan de Melo skillfully dropped him in and he had cover near the back throughout.
De Melo was aware that Imperial Ruby is able to stay on strongly from the front if given an easy lead and he eased Black Thorn around horses approaching the straight.
He moved up under the hands until getting to work at the 250m mark to collar Imperial Ruby at the 100m mark.
He beat the running on Rex Union by a comfortable 0,80 lengths.
Black Thorn has actually taken the lead in the Equus Stayers award points log, one point clear of both Nebraas and July heroine Sparkling Water, who won the Grade 2 New Turf Carriers Western Cape Stayers over 2850m.
That provides a good example of why the points accumulation system only constitutes a third of the total Equus Awards judgement, the other two-thirds being made up of a panel vote and a public vote.
Nebraas gave Black Thorn 6kg and a beating in the Grade 3 Caradoc Gold Cup and 8kg and a beating in the Grade 3 The Citizen Gold Bowl and the human element to the awards judging will likely see him come out ahead of Black Thorn as things stand.
However that could all change in the Gold Cup.
Nebraas will defend his title there but will likely have most to fear from his stable companion Black Thorn, who is still merit rated 18 points lower than him.
Picture: Black Thorn (Candiese Lenferna Photography).