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Mardi Gras Storms Home To Merchants Triumph

Trainer Sean Tarry made it back to back wins in the G2 New Turf Carriers Merchants at Turffontein on Saturday when he sent out Mardi Gras and Warrior’s Rest to run 1-2 in the 1160m sprint.

Tarry had won the 2018 Merchants with Africa Rising, when he also sent out the third home, Captain And Master.

Bred by Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm, the five-year-old Mardi Gras was not only having his first outing for his new yard (he had been previously trained by Johan Janse Van Vuuren) but was also returning to the racetrack off a 189 day layoff.

Nonetheless, the talented gelding (also victorious in the G2 Senor Santa Stakes earlier in the year) was the object of sustained betting support with the flashy grey eventually jumping a 17-2 shot having opened in the market at 14-1.

Under Gavin Lerena, Mardi Gras tracked the early speed before launching a powerful run down the outside of the track. In full cry, the Oratorio gelding powered clear to register a facile two and a quarter length over stablemate Warrior’s Rest, with former G1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion winner Van Halen running on strongly for third place -2.5 lengths off the winner and his paternal half-brother.

Mardi Gras claimed the R203 000 first prize for Saturday’s race in a time of 66.04.

The 2019 New Turf Carriers Merchants was also a great result for the Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm based Oratorio –sire not only of the victorious Mardi Gras but also third place finisher Van Halen and fourth place finisher Ultra Magnus.

Mardi Gras, one of six winners (and 3 stakes winners) produced by his dam, is out of the high-class Goldmark matron Sarabande –whose six wins included a triumph in the G1 Fancourt Majorca Stakes.

Now a seven time winner from just 15 starts, Mardi Gras pushed his earnings to R930 037 with his win on Saturday.

Racing Image: JC Photographic, Oratorio Image: Pippa Mickleburgh Facebook