G1 Gauteng Chris Gerber Summer Cup
Trainer Sean Tarry’s dominance of the G1 Summer Cup continued at Turffontein this Saturday, when he sent out Zillzaal to score a front running victory in the 2019 G1 Gauteng Chris Gerber Summer Cup.
A first G1 winner for apprentice Denis Schwarz, Zillzaal follows Liege and Tilbury Fort who won the Summer Cup for the Tarry yard in 2017 and 2018 respectively. South Africa’s reigning champion trainer had an excellent afternoon, with Sean also sending out Mardi Gras to claim the G2 New Turf Carriers Merchants and Shango to land the G2 TAB/Betting World Dingaans.
Former Equus Champion Soqrat, a brilliant winner of the recent G3 Victory Moon Stakes, was all the rage to provide trainer Mike de Kock with a tenth Summer Cup win, despite having to overcome top weight of 60kgs and a wide draw of 14.
The Epaulette colt went close to providing his trainer with a first win on Saturday’s card, but a wide trip proved his undoing in Saturday’s R2 000 000 race.
Under Schwarz, four-year-old Zillzaal went out to make the running, while overcoming a poor draw of 15, and led early on from the likes of Queen Supreme, Dawn Assault and Infamous Fox, with Insignis bringing up the rear of the 20 horse field.
Soqrat, a 2-1 favourite for Saturday’s race, had no luck in running and raced wide throughout much of the race, as Zillzaal went out to make an attempt to make all.
The favourite had plenty of ground to make up 300m from home, but jockey Anton Marcus produced a strong effort out of Soqrat. However, Zillzaal kept going gamely, under an inspired ride from Schwarz, to register his first G1 victory by just under half a length.
The favourite (conceding the winner 8kgs) looked a little unlucky back in second, and was a neck ahead of third place finisher Al Mutawakel (like the winner, a Sean Tarry trained son of Silvano).
Soqrat’s stablemates Queen Supreme (by Exceed And Excel) and Atyaab (by Dundeel) finished fourth and fifth respectively in the 2019 Summer Cup.
Now a 3 time winner from 13 starts, Zillzaal took his earnings to R2 100 650 with his win on Saturday. The gelding, runner up in last season’s G1 SA Derby, claimed Summer Cup glory in a time of 123.96 seconds.
Zillzaal follows Aslan and Flirtation as a Summer Cup winner for Maine Chance Farms’ reigning South African champion sire Silvano (below).
Bred by his owners Al Adaayit South Africa, Zillzaal is out of the regally bred Giant’s Causeway mare Zulaal –a daughter of the Seattle Slew sired champion Surfside.
Race Image: JC Photography