Sean Tarry bought Tilbury Fort for just R110,00 at the 2015 CTS March Yearling Sale. He syndicated his purchase between owners Mark Currie, Billy Jacobs, Craig Zoghby, Erich van Niekerk, Satch Mathen and Mrs Beryl Lahoud, a passionate partnership of owners who all came racing on Summer Cup Day at Turffontein and saw their big horse win the big race to their own and the cheers of a 15,000-strong crowd.
Tilbury Fort crowned a sensational day for the Tarry stable at Turffontein’s flagship event with his third career Gr1 Summer Cup victory. Tilbury Fort (7-1), produced a storming finish to land the prestigious 2000m prize in the shadow of the post from rank outsider Dawn Assault and the favourite, Cascapedia.
It was a first Cup win for South Africa’s champion jockey/apprentice Lyle and a first ever Gr1 win for a male runner sired in South Africa by the former superstar, now deceased Horse Chestnut.
For Zimbabwean-born breeder James Armitage of Sandown Stud, Tilbury Fort represented a welcome second South African Grade 1 success, following French Navy. He bred him from the mare Colleen (by Restructure), who was retired after bearing this colt and has since also died.
Armitage said that Tilbury Foal was not the most remarkable of foals, other than being very athletic. “That’s probably why Sean liked him as a yearling,” he noted.
The joyous Hewitson joked that he was actually keen on finishing second as to avoid the boisterous reception from the Tilbury Fort crowd, but added: “I am delighted for a bunch of wonderful owners, well done to them. It’s a great win for me because I’ve done a lot of work with this horse.
“I am so happy to be a part of a team as professional as this and to get the opportunities I’m getting at such a young age. I am obliged to bring them home!”
Hewitson said that Tilbury Fort had improved after being gelded. “People don’t realise how much he has come on from gelding!”
Said Tarry: “This was such a well-deserved win for owners who have their heart and soul in the game and support racing day in and day out. They feed the horses all year long and I’m happy they can get something back.”
Tarry added: “I couldn’t have given him better preparation, he’s a horse that likes to run fresh.” Tilbury Fort is a winner of R2 054 000 in stakes from 5 wins and 10 places at 22 starts.