Sunday, 8 July 2012
: Piere Strydom added a third R3m, Group 1 Vodacom Durban July (2200m) to his big race success with a perfect ride on the Sean Tarry trained colt Pomodoro at Greyville, Durban, on Saturday before a capacity crowd of 55,000.
| Pomodoro wins the Durban July|
Photo by Liesl King
Strydom is noted as an excellent judge of pace and he displayed this to perfection on Saturday not only guiding Pomodoro (55kg) across from the widest barrier of all, 20, but then slotting the colt into a forward position to be ready to attack for the run home.
The attention was on the A$3.10 favourite Jackson who had drawn barrier 16 which was considered bad enough, but fellow three-year-old Pomodoro had an even worse barrier at 20. Tarry said that after the barrier drawn he was despondent about Pomodoro's chances with Dynasty the last runner to win from barrier 20 in 2003.
Strydom, however, was able to use the favourites drawn to his advantage by following Jackson and Karis Teetan across as they both went for a forward position.
After a charge from the barriers Jackson was fourth and then third before finding the rails. Strydom followed but went further forward to sit outside the leader Vettel (ARG) and Anton Marcus.
The pace slacked off mid-race and Pomodoro settled well under Strydom as they made their way along the back straight heading towards the 600m and the cut-away rail once they had straightened.
Jackson appeared to be well positioned under Teetan with racing room in the middle of the track once the field fanned off the cut-away. The opportunity was there to challenge for the lead, but Jackson did not make ground. Meanwhile Strydom has gone to the rails on the inside of the track racing some four off the rail.
With Jackson fading Smanjemanje (57kg) and Tyrone Zackey made a strong challenge in the middle of the track with others lining up behind. With 25m to run the leaders came together to race stride for stride.
Both senior riders worked on their mounts for the crucial stride, and at the line Pomodoro and Strydom had the win by a nose over Smanjemanje (Kahal).
Chesalon (Fort Wood) (58kg) and Jeff Lloyd were third, Lloyd's 7th third placing in the Durban July, with the margin 1 1/4L. Eton Square was fourth, Solo Traveller fifth and Vettel sixth. The time was 2.21.98. Pomodoro paid A$26.10 on STAB in the co-mingled win pool.
“I thought I was riding the wrong horse for the track, but Sean has told me all along don't be misled by his last run. His last run, he took time to get out of the starting stalls and he took time to get going and I had the wrong impression of him because of the last run,” said Strydom.
“Sean said to me he's got him spot on.
“The way the track was running we had a shocking draw. I thought it would be better to be in touch than try to make it up from too far behind.
“The track's running quick and there's a bit of a tail-wind. When I saw Jackson two lengths in front of me, I thought beautiful, I've got the favourite in the July to follow, and obviously he chased to get where he was. I took a little bit longer to get there.
“It just worked out well. I managed to get closer (horses were dropping back and I was moving forward). It worked out beautifully.
“To me, he feels like a stayer. He's won at 2450 before, he's won from the front before, so I was not concerned about stamina with my concern was being outsprinted at the top of the straight.
“They normally go for the first 200 metres, which happened, then they settled down and they didn't maintain that gallop, and that's where we got the chance to go a little bit forward and overcome the draw rather than go three wide all the way,” he said.
Johannesburg based trainer Sean Tarry,42, said that vet Dr McVeigh found a problem in the horse's shoulder after his fifth placing in the Group 1Daily News over 2000m on June 16th and they treated it aggressively and maintained the physio treatment through to Saturday.
“He's had a tough season and after the Derby we had to give him time off and freshen him up. Then he went down in the Daily News and I was horrified. He did not pull up that well and I got Dr McVeigh in,” explained Tarry.
“He was spot on and after his first week of treatment the horse was floating.”
“There has always been a gaping omission in my CV and this was a race I needed to win for my patron (Chris Van Niekerk) and my career.
I felt, though, that Jackson did look a tough horse to topple even though he did have a big weight and a bad draw, but I was always confident that I could give him a go with Pomodoro.
“After the barrier draws I lost all confidence when I drew barrier 20, and I think barrier 20 is what won him the race. He had the favourite in front of him and Piere was able to come around him and Piere's a great judge of pace,” he said.
Tarry was winning the race for the first time, although he has won 20 Group 1 races, after taking out his training license in 1997.
Owner Chris Van Niekerk explained that he is a part-owner in Klawervlei Stud in the Western Cape, however he only owns one mare in his own right, Golden Apple by Northern Guest, the dam of Pomodoro, which he had purchased from the Tarry's.
The win was his first in the Durban July after a close second in 2007 with Buy & Sell, with the margin that time also a nose.
Jackson's trainer Brett Crawford said that Teetan's ride on the favourite was blameless in the disappointing run.
“He was in the right place and he did everything right. He just did not kick and did not shine today,” he said.
“Why I do not know, maybe tomorrow will tell us something and very disappointing. I know it is not easy from the draw but I thought he put him into the perfect place and I think he had every chance so I am not going to use that as an excuse.
“I think there has to be something else to it. It just was not the Jackson that should have rocked up today,” he said.
Pomodoro is by the late sire Jet Master and seems a readymade replacement for the sire. Such considerations could well prevent an international campaign for the colt and even before such thoughts Pomodoro will now go for a long spell.
The win was his sixth from 11 starts and with three placings he has earned stakes of R2,079,250.