Any who doubted Vardy’s (Var) dominance of the Green Point Stakes were left in no doubt that he is an exceptionally talented horse after he blew away what many regarded as the strongest L’Ormarins Queens Plate field this decade at Kenilworth yesterday.
This was Adam Marcus’s second Grade 1 winner this season and indeed his career, his first coming with Mississippi Burning in the Fillies Guineas, the day of Vardy’s Green Point success. But this win was no doubt the pinnacle of his short training career.
Craig Zackey had Vardy one from last turning for home and in a seemingly hopeless position, but once turned loose, the gelding quickened up like an express train to effortlessly put this high class field to bed in a matter of strides. One World, never out of the money in 13 starts that includes nine victories, got up late in a tight finish for second to head a game Rainbow Bridge with Twist Of Fate filling fourth to make the race even more memorable for Marcus.
“There was no pressure (from Marcus) but I put pressure on myself. I know how good he is and I knew he would win,” said Zackey.
Basil Marcus, a multiple champion jockey in Hong Kong and South Africa, has been Zackey’s mentor. “He said let Vardy be where Vardy wants to be,” Zackey said of his instructions. “He fell out and didn’t want to be up there. He was off the bit the whole race but when he took it up it was race over. He has a turn of foot like no other,” Zackey concluded.
“My Dad and Craig went through the race over and over,” said Adam. Vardy has shown a tendency to hang in under pressure but, “We had him in another new bit and he went dead straight.”
Vardy is bred by the Tawny Syndicate, and raised at Klawervlei Stud. He is again an example of Jet Master as a powerful broodmare sire – interestingly three of the first four horses past the post of the Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate had Jet Master as a broodmare sire or paternal grandsire.
Doublemint and Belgarion gave owners Mr A N & The Hon Mrs G R Foster a double on the big day at Kenilworth. Doublemint (Twice Over) took the Gr3 Heineken Chairman’s Cup, whilst Belgarion (Dynasty) stamped himself as a future prospect to follow after taking the Gr2 Glorious Goodwood Peninsula Handicap from Herodotus and Majestic Mozart. Both horses are bred by the Fosters and both are trained by Justin Snaith.
Sean Tarry enjoyed a fine weekend with Celtic Sea winning the Cartier Sceptre Stakes on Friday and Namaqualand and Chimichuri Run obliging at Kenilworth along with two others at Turffontein.
Both Kenilworth runners impressed in their own right, Chimichuri Run (Tripp) winning with the minimum of encouragement and Namaqualand stamping himself as a colt to follow.
At Turffontein, Sarah (What A Winter) took the Swallow Stakes in style. Warren Kennedy had his mount tracking pacemaker Gin Fizz until two furlongs out and when asked for an effort Paul Peter’s filly accelerated away to win as she liked, Gin Fizz running out of bubbles but holding on for second.
-excerpt Gold Circle
Images: Racing Its A Rush