Ikigai Lands Dramatic Gauteng Guineas
Trainer Sean Tarry, apprentice Luke Ferraris, owner Chris Van Niekerk and breeders Klawervlei Stud teamed up to win both the Listed Wolf Power 1600 and G2 Gauteng Guineas (1600m) at Turffontein on Wednesday.
The combination followed up their Wolf Power success with Silver God by landing the Guineas with the progressive colt Ikigai.
The latter, a brilliant winner of the G3 Tony Ruffel Stakes, defied doubts about his stamina with a stout victory in Wednesday’s R1 000 000 feature for three-year-olds, with the contest sadly marred by the fall of Al Borak (the latter falling just as the field turned for home).
Longshot Arapho (55-1) went out to make the running early, as Ferraris positioned tote favourite Ikigai (22-10) just off the pace.
Arapaho quickly went out the back door turning for home, and Ikigai shot into the lead 200m out and kicked on to post a convincing 1.75 length win.
This boy looks special!
IKIGAI (Vercingetorix) quickened up nicely to win the 2020 Gauteng Guineas (Gr2)
— Racing Guru (@RacingGuru) February 12, 2020
All Too Hard’s G2 SA Nursery winning son Frosted Gold (4-1) stayed on to take second place in the Guineas, with recent G3 Sea Cottage Stakes victor Green Laser defying his 16-1 odds to take the third spot.
Ikigai, who has now won four of only six starts, claimed his biggest victory to date in a time of 97.99.
He is from the first crop of Equus Champion, and G1 Jebel Hatta winner, Vercingetorix (below), whose multiple champion sire Silvano had a feature race double at Turffontein on Wednesday.
The well bred Ikigai is out of the Al Mufti mare Al Shiba –a winning half-sister to G3 Champion Juvenile Cup winner Jet Set Go and the G1 Cape Fillies Guineas third place getter Jet Trail.