by | Jun 4, 2018

Article courtesy of Sporting Post: SA Triple Crown bridesmaid Surcharge has got to be the most deserving Gr1 winner all season and the Varsfontein-bred colt finally put a grand performance together as he overcame the odds to win the R2 million Daily News 2000 at Greyville on Saturday.

Bedevilled by wide draws and late arrivals, the son of Gimmethegreenlight ran second in all three legs of the big Gauteng series and he frankly looked to have it all to do on the Greyville circuit.

But with Gunter Wrogemann in dazzling form – he rode his 100th winner at Greyville on Wednesday – everything fell into place on a super Saturday, with Snaith favourite and Guineas winner Do It Again, failing to come up to scratch after having every chance.

Surcharge Daily News 1

Surcharge brings in a grade 1 win for his sire Gimmethegreenlight. Pictured behind him (Varsfontein raised) Tap O’Noth was in 3rd place.


The pace was genuine without being blistering, and it was the two Gauteng raiders Surcharge and Majestic Mambo, who turned on the jets from way back.

“He’s the best I have had and the best I will ever have,” raved trainer Stuart Pettigrew, who warned the opposition that his charge would be ‘even better’ as a 4yo.

Callan Murray had the enigmatic Majestic Mambo miles back – last turning for home – and the handsome son of Mambo In Seattle had a mountain to climb inside the final 300m.

He turned it on well and trainer Paul Peter was thrilled as his charge signalled a welcome form resurgence as he chased Surcharge home to be beaten 0,75 lengths. The winner clocked 124,31 secs for the 2000m.

Cape Guineas winner Tap O’Noth was a quarter length back in third, burying suggestions he doesn’t stay. He will go for the Champions Cup. Tap O’Noth was also born and raised on Varsfontein Stud by long-term clients Mr & Mrs Foster.

Surcharge (4th on the July rankings before Saturday) will now be rested and won’t run again this term.

Racing for Ian van Schalkwyk, the winner was originally a vendor buy-back on the 2016 Val De Vie Yearling Sale.

He was then sold for R200 000 off the BSA National Yearling Sale of the same year.


Surcharge prior to the 2016 National Yearling Sale


He was put through the ring and bought back for R550 000 by Dusty Trail Investments off the 2016 CTS Johannesburg Ready To Run Sale. He races in the Ian Van Schalkwyk silks.

Bred by Varsfontein Stud, he is by Gimmethegreenlight (More Than Ready) out of the UK-bred Congestion Charge (Diktat), who was placed over 2300m from just 4 starts.

Surcharge has won 6 races with 4 places from 11 starts for stakes of R2 273 375. That figure excludes the BSA Added Value Stakes Bonus of R154 000!


Varsfontein also had a finger in the pie in the other two graded races at Greyville on Saturday. Both horses in 1st and 2nd place in the Grade 3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup were born and raised on Varsfontein. Made To Conquer was bred by Michael De Broglio out of his Oaks winning mare, Festive Occasion. Mr & Mrs Foster bred Strathdon who happens to be a half brother to Tap O’Noth. 

Varsfontein-bred Fiorella placed 2nd in the Gr 1 Woolavington proving her last win in the Gr 2 Fillies Guineas was no fluke. Fiorella is by Captain Al and is out of Oaks winner and Caradoc Gold Cup winner, Arcola (by Caesour).


Fiorella was sold at the 2016 National Yearling Sale for R700 000