Harry's Son wins the Betting World Gauteng Guineas (Grade 2) / JC Photos (p)

Jack Milner
‘He’s a genius,’ gasped trainer Paul Lafferty after he watched Harry’s Son win the R1-million Betting World Gauteng Guineas over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday.
— Jack Milner / Tab News


Turffontein, Turf, 1600

Paul Lafferty was, of course, talking about jockey Piere Strydom, who guided home Harry's Son in the R1-million Betting World Gauteng Guineas, his second winner on the day. Strydom took the 18-10 favourite into the lead shortly after they came for home and moved two lengths clear of his opposition. It was clear quite a long way out nothing was going to catch him, something Strydom clearly saw, and he started to ease his mount. He perhaps was unaware French Navy had finally responded to the urgings of jockey Raymond Danielson and trainer Sean Tarry’s runner suddenly made his charge. At the line, however, French Navy was still 0.50 lengths in arrears.

Third place went to Paul Peter-trained Forest Fox, an outsider who found huge betting support and was backed in from 40-1 to 16-1, while Dingaans winner Unparalleled ran a cracker from his wide draw to finish fourth, beaten just 2.75 lengths.

“Why did he go to the front so early?” asked Lafferty. “Because,” I replied, “there’s no better judge of pace around than Striker.”

That is what caused the “he’s a genius” response. It made me think of that wonderful Lester Piggott quote about giving jockeys instructions. “There’s no point,” said Piggott. “The good ones don’t need them and the bad ones can’t carry them out.”


Siren's Call wins the Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas (Grade 2) / JC Photos (p)

Just 40 minutes earlier, Strydom captured the R500,000 Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas aboard the Sean Tarry-trained Siren’s Call.

Just 40 minutes earlier, Strydom captured the R500,000 Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas aboard the Sean Tarry-trained Siren’s Call, beating Trophy Wife, another Raymond Danielson-piloted runner, by one length. In third place, a further two lengths back, came Smart Call. However, Tarry-trained runners claimed three of the top four placings when Tamaanee got up for fourth.

Piere Strydom got into a bit of hot water with the stipendiary stewards for easing up Harry’s Son before the post. According to the stipes’ report, he “appeared before the Board, was shown the patrol film of the race and reminded of his obligation to ride his mounts out to the end of the race”.

One could see a bit of a smile on his face as he realised Danielson was so close but he really was not in danger of getting caught.

Strydom explained how he was able to go to the front so early. “He was still learning how to race and he would get a bit out of his ground. I would try and bustle him to get a bit closer, then he would take the bit and over-race. I had to try to get him back but then he would drop the bit and I would be further back than I wanted to be. Today he was so professional about it. He’s obviously learned quite a lot. But, for that, I have to say to Paul Lafferty, it’s a job well done.”

Lafferty says Harry’s Son will now go for the R2-million SA Classic on Saturday 28 April, where he is likely to take on the Mike de Kock-trained Ertijaal. However, Harry’s Son will not stay in Joburg and the well-travelled son of Haradasun will return to Durban. “He’s happiest in his own box,” said Lafferty.

After that, Harry’s Son will be lost to South Africa as he will try his luck on the world stage. Lafferty has boxes at Meydan and, if all goes well, Harry’s Son will be in action at next year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival.

French Navy ran a cracker in second and should be a better horse in the Classic over 1800m. “He just would not go, no matter how I urged him,” said Danielson. “Then he just took off. This was too short for him.”

Strydom had to work a lot harder to get Siren’s Call home but was lucky the 3-1 joint-second favourite managed to keep up with the pace this time. “I was lucky today because she jumped better than ever and we were able to have a better position. Normally she is always at the back and not really travelling well and you only can come on to the scene late. Well done to Sean. He’s got a plan with this filly and so far it’s one tick on the board. I’m sure she will enjoy a little bit further.”

That plan includes a tilt at the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara but she will have to challenge Majmu to claim that R1-million bonus. Majmu will be back for the Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic in four weeks’ time.