Picture : Tail Of The Comet makes his reappearance on Saturday at Turffontein Inside (Candiese Lenferna Photography)
Sean Tarry comes off one of the most astonishing seasons in recent times.
Last September he put 60 horses from his yard on the Sean Tarry Fast Track Sale.
Although some of the horses stayed in his yard after being sold to new connections, most pundits expected Tarry to have a season of relative “midtable mediocrity”.
They believed it would take him a few seasons to build up into the powerful yard he was when his chief client Chris van Niekerk was buying for him.
However, it was soon clear he was going to be anything but mid-table.
He won seven Grade 1’s during the season and collected five Equus Horse Awards, including Princess Calla being named Horse Of The Year.
Even with all that success it came as a surprise to all and sundry when Graeme Hawkins announced on the last day of the season that Tarry was within one good race result of taking the title, having started the day R2 million behind eventual champion Justin Snaith.
The impossible came within a hair’s breadth of happening.
Tarry is currently second favourite with bookmakers, behind Snaith, to take the title for a sixth time.
His campaign begins in earnest at Turffontein Inside on Saturday, albeit with just one runner on the day.
He brings out the promising Gimmethegreenlight colt Tail Of The Comet in a Graduation Plate over 1450m where he has draw in pole position and will be ridden by S’Manga Khumalo.
However, he pointed out there was no grass tracks at Randjes at the moment due to spring treatement and added, “So he is not fully wound up and this a prep run for the Ready To Run race in Cape Town at the end of October. But obviously he is good enough to have a chance.”
Tail Of The Comet impressed on debut when winning by 5,30 lengths over 1200m on debut at Hollywoodbets Scottsville and next time out he was done no favours when shuffled back to last in the Gr 2 Umkhomazi around the turn over 1200m at Hollywoodbets Greyville. In the straight he had to be switched right to the outside and his strong finish was not enough to reel in Outlaw King and Ready To Charge. However, he looks likely to enjoy the step up to 1450m.
Tarry said about the Equus Horse Of The Year Princess Calla, “Her short term target is probably the Gr 1 Cartier Paddock Stakes. I don’t know about the Met, we will have to just see how we go.”
He said last season’s Equus Champion Three-year-old filly Bless My Stars was a Betway Summer Cup possibility. He added, “It is easy to go from the Summer Cup to Cape Town, but I don’t think the right races are in Cape Town for her.”
He added about the R5 million Betway Summer Cup, “Well done to Betway for putting that kind of money down, that is what wakes the industry up.”
He said about the potential for the money to attract out of province raiders, “It is a big stake that. If that does not enourage them nothing will.”
He said last season’s Equus Champion Two-year-old filly Mrs Geriatrix would “possibly” go for the Gr 1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas but added, “I haven’t finalised it yet.”
Among the stayer he said Nebraas might go down for the Gr 2 Western Cape Stayers over 2800m on WSB Met day, where he finished second last year, but he said that a possible option for Equus Champion Stayer Future Pearl would be to run him in the Summer Cup and then build him up for the staying races at the end of the season.
Tarry is planning to have a team of about ten to 12 horses in Cape Town to start with and then hopes to build the string up to about 18.
The public will also be looking forward to seeing the like of Lucky Lad, Thunderstruck and many others from the yard of the maestro trainer.