Varsfontein breds 1st and 2nd in Secretariat Stakes

by | Dec 4, 2017

Article courtesy of Sporting Post: The Varsfontein Stud-bred Gimmethegreenlight colt Surcharge was the talking horse at Saturday’s day-night Turffontein meeting, and he duly delivered – registering his first stakes success with a well taken victory in the R150 000 Listed Secretariat Stakes, run on the standside 1400m.

A wide draw in the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup last month had ruined whatever hope owner Ian Van Schalkwyk and trainer Stuart Pettigrew might have had of picking up a big cheque – but with things going his way on Saturday, the colt proved he could yet train on into something decent.

Going off at 15-10 under top weight in the thirteen horse field, Surcharge came forward strongly at the 350m marker, and even though Harlan County  looked to give him cheek late in the race, Gavin Lerena kept his cool on the better horse and punters got some relief after The Falls Road had hit most exotics for a six in the previous race.


Conceding 8kgs to his closest pursuers, Surcharge went on well to beat the recent maiden winner Harlan County by 0,60 lengths in a time of 86 secs flat. Harlan County is also bred by Varsfontein Stud.

Longshot King’s County came out of the pack to run third a further 1,50 lengths back, with Flying Winger a well beaten fourth.

A winner of 4 of his 6 starts with 1 place and stakes of R367 125, Surcharge was purchased for R550 000 by Dusty Trail Investments off the 2016 CTS Johannesburg Ready To Run Sale. Varsfontein orginally sold him at the 2016 National Yearling Sale for R200 000.

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.