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Mardi Gras (17-2) won the Gr2 New Turf Carriers Merchants at Turffontein on Summer Cup day from two other CTS graduates Warrior’s Rest and Van Halen.

Mardi Gras was having his first run for the Sean Tarry stable and the 2019 Senor Santa Stakes winner was restrained early as Ultra Magnus and the winner’s stablemate Warrior’s Rest cut out the early fractions.

Jockey Gavin Lerena pushed the button on the beautiful grey with 200m to run and he lengthened away to win by 2,25 lengths in a time of 66,04 secs.

“I couldn’t be too confident before the race because Mardi Gras is a horse that doesn’t show much at home. On his work we thought he’d need the run after his break,” said Tarry, who’d acquired the five-year-old in July.

Originally the joint top-seller at R3,2 million at the 2016 Emperors Palace Select Yearling Sale, Mardi Gras changed hands and was transferred to Tarry following the Mayfair Speculators unbundling.

Bred by Avontuur, he is a son of Oratorio (Danehill) out of the classy Gr1 winner Sarabande, a daughter of Goldmark, who won six races from a mile to 2000m.

Mardi Gras has won 7 races with 6 places from 16 starts for stakes of R930 037 and Tarry commented: “I think we’ll give the Cape a miss. There are some nice sprints for him in the second half of the season in Gauteng and KZN.”

Runner-up Warrior’s Rest pushed his own earnings to R560,000, while third-placed Van Halen also continues to be a good earner for his owners, a further R35,000 boosting his earnings to over R1-million.