FROM Turf Talk’s Tuesday Newsletter, a chat with Sean Tarry about his impressive Gr2 Wilgerbosdrift Fillies Guineas winner, Smiling Blue Eyes. To subscribe, free, click here.

CHAMPION trainer Sean Tarry and his team are understandably delighted that they have a serious 2017 Triple Tiara contender in Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s filly, Smiling Blue Eyes, though Tarry said this morning that he won’t be counting his chickens before they are hatched.

There were several racegoers at Turffontein on Saturday, including two senior racing journalists, who opined that, “Phumelela may as well write out the Tiara cheques now!” – all hugely impressed with the hard-galloping grey’s super win from the widest of draws in the Gr2 Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas.

Tarry’s reply to that: “We have a top filly here, we’ve always thought of her as a Triple Tara prospect, but it doesn’t all come down to talent. It comes down to getting everything right in the build-up to the next leg, and then repeating it for the third leg.

“Mighty Blue Eyes is flesh and blood, it wasn’t by design that there was a long break between her win on Summer Cup Day and last Saturday. Unforeseen things can happen, her poor draw was a factor too, my stable jockey opted for  another mount in the race and Safe Harbour needed her run.

“To win a series like the Triple Tiara is about more than anticipating that your runner is better than the others and resting on your laurels. Many factors come into play. Much has to fall in place for it to happen and nothing is ever clear-cut.

“I think, for example, that a filly like Orchid Island is bound to get closer to us in the other two legs. The mile is her minimum trip, like it is for Smiling Blue Eyes. She’s a quality
runner too.”

Smiling Blue Eyes is a half-sister to, amongst others, the stallion Russian Sage (Jallad) and Gr3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup runner-up, Sage Throne. Bought for R650,000 at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale (Book 1) in 2015, she has won 3 of her 5 starts for stakes of R542 875.

The Triple Tiara is the richest series of races for fillies in Africa and a bonus of R1 million will be paid to the owner of the winner of all three legs of the series.

Tarry said: “We’ve done very well with horses owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum so far. He’s bought us a few runners at sales and sent us a few he bred himself, like Al Sahem.

“We’ve had the filly Tamanee, who won the Gr2 Gerald Rosenberg Stakes, Smiling Blue Eyes, Al Sahem, who was arguably unlucky not to have won the colt’s Guineas on Saturday and Smiling Royal, who looks a serious filly in the making.”

Photo: JC Photos.