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Sean Tarry’s status as the king of Hollywoodbets Scottsville strengthened over the weekend when he added two more Grade 1’s to his already record number, which now stands at 15.

After winning the Allan Robertson Championship with the Drakenstein homebred filly Sweet Pepper and the Gold Medallion with the Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm-bred Rafeef colt Thunderstruck, he revealed his pragmatic approach to the Hollywoodbets Scottsville Jackpot-Of-Grade 1’s meeting. 

“The main thing is to identify what horses you have got for Scottsville early on in the season and then to just make sure things go right. You have to listen to the horse and let him or her guide you into that race. That is the most important thing. ”

Hollywoodbets Scottsville is a tough 1200m in which a horse requires both speed and stamina, especially among the two-year-olds .

Tarry confirmed, “That is why the cheap speed can’t win these races and why you have to identify them early and not label those (cheap speed ones) as your Scottsville horses. I made many mistakes when I started but I think we’ve learnt.”

He said about his two Grade 1 winners,” The impressive thing about Sweet Pepper is she always does way more at the races. She does work well at home but she is a little bit reserved.  She’s not a big filly but she’s got a big heart and when she stretches she’s got a big action. Thunderstruck is a lot more reserved than her. He is a horse who could actually get quite a bit further, so don’t be fooled by his pedigree.”

Thunderstruck’s sire Rafeef (Redoute’s Choice) was a sprint-miler whose only Grade 1 victory was over 1000m in the Computaform Sprint while his dam Varikate was by speed influence Var and was a five time-winning sprinter who won the Grade 2 Post Merchants over 1200m. Rafeef has produced two individual Grade 1 winners over sprint trips, Thunderstruck and Master Archie (Computaform Sprint), but his third individual Grade 1 winner Aragosta won the WSB SA Derby, proving he can get them to stay.

Sweet Pepper is by Trippi, who had an early reputation as a speed sire. However, he soon proved himself versatile. She is out of the Gimmethegreenlight mare Green Pepper who looked to be a highly promising sprinter when winning five of her first six starts, including a Listed and a Grade 3 race, but although she finished close up in the Grade 2 Senor Santa Stakes she never quite fulfilled her potential.

Calvin Habib rode both Tarry’s Grade 1 winners and has come on tremendously as a rider this season (see article today).

The Tarry/Habib partnership is becoming stronger and stronger by the day and is actually a family affair … Sean’s late grandmother on his mother’s side and Donovan’s late grandmother on his father’s side were sisters. 

Habib rode Under Your Spell in the Grade 1 SA Fillies Sprint where the yard had three runners and Tarry said, “Under Your Spell didn’t get a clear run and consequently drifted right from the outside to the inside, which was was unfortunate, but I thought all three fillies acquitted themselves well in the race. Sound Of warning fought out the finish (finishing third). Full Velocity couldn’t get a run (finished 6th one position in front of Under Your Spell).”

He also had three runners in the Grade 1 Golden Horse Sprint and said, “I think the only disappointment was Warrior’s Rest. But the other two I was very proud of (Chimichuri Run fourth and Eden Roc fifth).”

Tarry’s honours roll at the Pietermaritzburg venue now reads:

Seven SA Fillies Sprints – National Colour (National Assembly) (2006), Ethereal Lady (Model Man) (2007), Captain’s Gal (Captain Al) (2010), Carry On Alice (Captain Al) (2015 and 2017), Celtic Sea (Captain Al) (2019 and 2020);
Three Golden Horse Sprints – Bull Valley (Toreador) (2017), Chimichuri Run (Trippi) (2019), Warrior’s Rest (What A Winter) (2020);
Three Allan Robertson Championships – Give Me Five (Goldkeeper) (2009), Under Your Spell (Capetown Noir) (2021), Sweet Pepper (Trippi) (2022);
Two Gold Medallions – Eden Roc (Var) (2019), Thunderstruck (Rafeef) (2022).

Picture: Sean Tarry in the winner’s enclosure after the Gold Medallion (Candiese Lenferna).