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Some say his best days are over, but multiple champion jockey Piere Strydom gave his fellow riders a masterclass in Saturday’s R2,5-million CTS Ready To Run Stakes over 1400m at Kenilworth.

Strydom outfoxed his rivals with a vintage performance on Sean Tarry’s three-year-old Pure State (16-1), who was trapped wide after the jump but raced around the field to take up the running, and then held off a few determined challengers including Richard Fourie on the well fancied Rio Querari (28-10) and Anton Marcus on the favourite, Invidia (5-2).

Strydom, relieved to have won despite not riding to instructions, commented: “Sean said to give Pure State a chance, but he was wide and at the pace we were going I opted rather to go to the front and dictate.

“He weakened when I rode him at the Vaal last time, but he is a big horse, improving all the time and on form he had at least a place chance. I wasn’t sure how much he’d improve, but he kept going today, he was fighting off the others.”

Said Tarry: “I thought Piere went to early, but he judged it perfectly, that’s why he is ‘Striker’ Strydom!”

He added: “Pure State was a standout at the Sale, we raced against his mother with National Colour years ago. Well done to the owners.”

Pure State, by Jackson from Trip To Eden, was a R400,000 buy from the 2018 CTS Ready To Run Sale, bred by Limpo Trading.

Wehann Smith, CEO of CTS, is a part owner of Pure State along with Tarry’s primary owner Chris van Niekerk, and the trio were winning this race together for the second time after the filly Safe Harbour was victorious in 2016.

“This was absolutely amazing, a real thrill and well done to Piere,” said Smith. “This race always draws a quality field and the stake is great, I am sure a lot of horses from this race will go on to better things from here, like they have done in previous years.”

The Ready To Run Stakes pays down to 10th place – the winner pocketing a whopping R1,25-million down to R30,000 for 10th place.

Smith and his team are hard at work and rounding off preparations for the much-anticipated 2020 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, scheduled for 16 January.

The catalogue is online, here.