Young trainer Adam Marcus enjoyed a sensational WSB Fillies Guineas Day at Kenilworth Saturday when he saddled Mississippi Burning to win the Gr1 headliner, giving him his first major success.
Marcus also bagged the supporting feature, the much talk-about Gr2 Green Point Stakes with the superb four-year-old gelding Vardy, a R400,000 Cape Premier Yearling Sale buy going from strength to strength with maturity.
Vardy came into a race jam-packed with top-level talent off a rest of near 200 days, which made his win and Marcus’ training feat even more remarkable.
Racing from the back of field, Vardy came storming up with 250m to run and took over at the 150m mark. Rainbow Bridge came to challenge, but Vardy was visibly travelling best of all and he went on to score by a length.
Vardy (10-1) beat the classy miler and another CPYS purchase One World into second, with Rainbow Bridge into third and Pack Leader taking fourth spot. Gr1 winners Undercover Agent and Do It Again were further back.
“Vardy has improved physically and mentally, I told his owners he’s a different horse,” said Marcus.
“The way he beat One World in the Winter Classic (back in May), was sensational. I always had in the back of my mind, taking on the big guns – in this case a multiple July winner, a Met winner, a Queen’s Plate winner and more.
“For Vardy to move past horses of this calibre like he did today was just very exciting, I am so proud of him.”
More encouraging for Vardy followers is that, in Marcus’ assessment, his charge was only 75-80% fit for the Green Point. “He had only one gallop before the race,” said the trainer.
Jockey Craig Zackey added: “He is special, a very good horse and I am fortunate to be associated with him, and to have built up a good relationship with him and his connections.”
Owned by Bernard Kantor, Greg Blank, Jimmy Sarkis and Darryl Yutar, Vardy is five from eight with R1,163-million in stakes.
Bred by the Tawny Syndicate, he’s a son of Avontuur Stud’s VAR and the unraced Cupid, by champion broodmare sire. Jet Master.
Vardy has a very smart half-brother by Gimmethegreenlight on the 2020 CPYS. He’s as yet unnamed and has been consigned by Klawervlei Stud as agent.