Trainer Sean Tarry delivered a joker in the pack and a snappy Gr2 double when the Var colt Purple Diamond held on in a desperately close finish to win the R600 000 Gr2 Golden Horseshoe at Greyville on Saturday.
The race produced a thrilling finish and may have sealed the 2yo sire championship for Avontuur stallion Var – although there may have been some bittersweet celebrations for the Somerset West-based top breeders, with their ‘new’ man Oratorio almost cracking an early first SA crop Gr2 success – his son, Ancestry, running a great race to go down a nostril in second.
Former SA Jockey Academy apprentice Nooresh Juglall, based in Singapore these days, was the man who produced the magic, adjusting to the rigours and demands of the Greyville circuit in only his fifth ride in the province in over 3 years.
He had Purple Diamond a few lengths off pacesetter Hakeem as they spun for home and with Varallo on the wide outside, and Ancestry looking a likely winner down the inside, Juglall timed his run to perfection to get the verdict by a nose in a time of 81,90 secs.
Ancestry came within a heartbeat of making history for Oratorio, while the winner’s stablemate Captain And Master was given plenty to do and rattled through late for third.
Var rounded off the quartet, with Flying Free running a cracker in fourth.
Varallo and Hakeem faded late to be beaten out of the money.
Trainer Sean Tarry, who celebrated a smart 2yo Gr2 double on the afternoon, conceded that Purple Diamond was a casualty of the difficult to resist dash-for-cash approach with the 2yo’s.
“The cash was on offer in Cape Town and we tried to get him ready. So his few runs may make his form look ordinary. He’s a smart colt. I thought Captain And Master was a bit unlucky in third. He is a very decent,” he added.
The winner is a 2016 CTS Johannesburg Ready To Run Sale R400 000 purchase by Chris Van Niekerk’s Rainbow Beach Trading. He has won twice with 2 places from 5 starts and stakes of R451 375.
Purple Diamond was bred by Varsfontein for Anthony Peter and is a son of Var (Forest Wildcat) out of the four-time winner Jalberry (Jallad).
He has won 2 races with 2 places from 5 starts and has earned R451 375.
Both Ancestry and Captain And Master look very promising and exciting prospects too.