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Turffontein Inside track stages a low key nine race meeting on Saturday and the highest rated event is a MR 104 Handicap over 1200m.
The talented Champagne Haze has plenty of pace and has been seen to over race around the turn before, so he is interesting dropped to this trip. Andrew Fortune has abandoned the evergreen Pivotal Pursuit to pilot Champagne Haze They are drawn one away from the outside so it won’t be easy. The speedy Greasepaint has the outside draw but will make a bold bid as he has some outstanding recent form from 1000-1200m. Roy Magner puts the blinkers on when he runs over 1000m and takes them off over this trip. Piere Strydom is aboard so he should be right there. British Royale is a progressive sort who has won his last three in succession and he should be involved carrying a nice galloping weight of 53kg off his 97 merit rating. Pivotal Pursuit can never be written off, although he was given four points for his win last time.
African Ruler has a Gr 1 runner up finish to his name over this trip and Gavin Lerena should get the best out of him, although carrying 61kg off his 106 merit rating won’t be easy.
In the 8th race, a MR 93 Handicap for fillies and mares over 2000m, Nother Russia makes plenty of appeal as she is likely to love this trip, being out of the star mare Mother Russia, who was an unlucky loser of the J&B Met. Nother Russia has some class and should rise above her current 87 merit rating. This is also her third run after an eight month layoff.
Earlier, in race 6, Nother Russia’s Mike de Kock-trained stablemate Red Pomegranate is an interesting runner in a MR 76 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1200m. She has speed, as well as ability, and is likely to be right there. However, the tip to beat her is Cape Orchid as she looks to be on the up and will be receiving 2kg. She will be race fit too, while Red Pomegranate is returning from a 123 day layoff.
In the first leg of the PA over 1800m, Magic Sword has run two fair races over 1600m and 1800m respectively and has little to beat, so should go in from a good draw.
In the first leg of the Pick 6, a weak maiden for fillies and mares over 1800m, Prada Princess, Sheema and Quintessa should fight it out.
The fifth race over 2600m is very tough, but Talbec is interesting without blinkers from a good draw as he has tended to be a bit strong in the running in his races and yet has still always been right there. Commodore Al beat Talbec by 0,25 lengths over 2400m recently, but is now 2kg worse off.
In the last leg of the Pick 6 and PA over 2000m, End Game won her maiden fluently over 1800m and will enjoy the further step up in trip, so can follow up off a reasonable merit rating of 77. Turn Back Time and Barcelona Babe have to be considered too.
By David Thiselton
Miss Frankel will be the focus of all attention when she makes her debut in tomorrow’s Welcome To Kenilworth Maiden Juvenile Plate.
Sean Veale’s mount is not just the first horse sired by the undefeated wonder horse to grace the South African turf but she is a daughter of champion sprinter Val De Ra who won both the Computaform Sprint and SA Fillies Sprint in 2011 as well as the following year’s Cape Flying Championship.
Miss Frankel also represents a huge investment by Michael Taberer in his bid to keep the Avontuur Stud on the same exalted plane to which his late father took it. Not only did he buy out his brother, young Taberer promptly elected to send the stud’s best mare halfway round the world to mate her with some of the best stallions money can buy. The mating with Oasis Dream has yet to produce a worthwhile dividend but by all accounts the Frankel filly is something special.
Rival trainers in tomorrow’s race talk about the filly being an aimer, meaning that all Veale has to do is point her in the right direction and it will be race over.
Dennis Drier, who also trained Val De Ra, is a conservative man not given to rave about his horses before they reach Grade 1 standard but his delight in this one has been scarcely concealed and he says: “She may just need it but I think she has done enough to get away with it – she has galloped on the course – and she is a lovely filly.”
In Britain last year one Frankel after the next won first time out as regularly as night follows day. But in Cape Town it’s a lot more difficult to get horses ready to win on debut because the training facilities (no hills or slopes for a start) are not so conducive. Indeed many trainers prefer to let the first run bring them on.
“Casual Diamond has only been on the grass once – we don’t have gallops so it’s hard to tell,” says Justin Snaith echoing this. “But mine is fast.”
His Var filly is not the only one well bred enough to shake up the favourite. Lily Theresa, who cost R1.2 million, is also by Var and is out of a half-sister to the Golden Horse Casino winner Contador. Magical Wonderland is a R450 000 What A Winter half-sister to Computaform Sprint runner-up Magico and comes from a stable whose two-year-olds have been running well.
The best form of the four that have run was shown by Regal Ruby. “My other runner came across her at the start and knocked her back last,” says Greg Ennion. “To then finish fourth to some decent colts was pretty good and she has come on a lot.”
By Michael Clower
Dennis Drier will be sweating on the performance of Miss Frankel at Kenilworth tomorrow where the much-hyped filly makes her debut. However, the veteran trainer will be immediately concerned with the performance of Heir Line at Greyville this evening. The colt has had a couple of warm-ups for this maiden event and should strip pretty much close to his peak. With Anthony Delpech up from a plum draw he will have his supporters.
However, Highveld raiders are seldom less than competitive and Johan Janse van Vuuren is raiding with two runners, the first of which is Captain Rockhopper who takes on Heir Line.
Like his rival, Captain Rockhopper has only has a couple of outings but stretches to this trip for the first time. His pedigree suggest that he will enjoy every yard of the trip and with Anton Marcus booked for the ride the inference is obvious.
Both horses make their poly debut but Master Shogun is familiar with the surface and improved nicely when sent over a ‘mile’ at his last outing. Apprentice Denis Schwarz takes 2.5kg off the back of Alyson Wright’s charge and this trio look the pick of the Pick 6 opener.
Sean Tarry is in such hot form of late that he could saddle the stable cat to win and he sends out Lonely Arethebrave in the Soccer 6 Handicap. There was only a nose separating Tarry’s runner and Breakfast Club last time out but the former spread a shoe in running so one could possibly add a length or two to that showing. Dean Kannemeyer sends out Tanjiro and Night Circus with the latter possibly pick of the pair with stable rider Anthony Delpech aboard and blinkers on for the first time. Tanjiro has not been out since early November but is never far back and Eric Ngwane has dine well on him before so cannot be written off.
Janse van Vuuren saddles the Australian-bred Readforyourlove in the fifth and the switch to poly could be exactly what the front-running daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown could be looking for aided by a light weight and a pole position draw.
By Andrew Harrison
Turffontein Inside Saturday 21 January Tips and Race Previews by Warren Lenferna
Preview: MADAM SECRETARY is knocking very hard at the door and looks ready to be rewarded with her maiden win – hard to beat. CHARTER JET finished close behind MS last time and again there should not be much between them. CATWALK comes from a small but consistent stable and showed good improvement from run one to run two. She has a strong place chance. (Warren Lenferna 1-2-9)
Preview: KING OF MANI has run two seconds recently and looks ready to score. AUGUST DUKE went close to winning last time but has had many chances. He should win one of these days and today could well be his day. EMPRESS VALLEY made a smart debut and has tons of scope to improve – he can improve to go very close to winning. (Warren Lenferna 1-2-7)
Preview: MAGIC SWORD showed good improvement from run one to run two and based on that has to be given a very strong winning chance here. DIAMOND DANCER and HOUSTON ROCKET have done okay so far and have to be included on the short list. (Warren Lenferna 12-9-10)
Preview: SHEEMA has a wide draw to overcome but if doing so should have very strong each way claims – her last two runs have been good. SWEET CHESTNUT need only repeat her penultimate effort and she will be able to go very close once again – she deserves healthy respect. It would be silly to ignore PRADA PRINCESS’S chances for the quartet. (Warren Lenferna 5-1-4)
Preview: COMMODORE AL is getting on in age but he is still racing so consistently. It is however interesting to see Andrew Fortune go for the ride on ILITSHE. CA stays very well and should be right there at the finish. JET FEVER improved and ran a cracker last time and based on that is a must for the quartet. ILITSHE got up to win last time and could well follow up. (Warren Lenferna 2-8-3)
Preview: Trainer Sean Tarry is bang in form and winning race after race country wide and it would be silly not to follow him. CAPE ORCHID has won two out of her last three and looks very hard to beat here. RED POMEGRANATE is way better than her last run and has to be respected – the same can be said about SAVE THE DAY. (Warren Lenferna 6-1-2)
Preview: A difficult race and all of the following need to be included and given a chance: BRITISH ROYALE has won his last three and is clearly no slouch – can win again. CHAMPAGNE HAZE is a very good horse and should win but could prefer further. PURE BLONDE is never far off the action and the same can be expected from him today. (Warren Lenferna 7-3-8)
Preview: NOTHER RUSSIA goes well for Craig Zackey and she has to be given a big winning chance. She should relish the distance and has the advantage of a good draw – hard to beat. PENNINGTON SANDS won well last time and is the exacta selection and ZANTE could improve to get a lot closer this afternoon. (Warren Lenferna 3-4-2)
Preview: TURN BACK TIME is turning out to be a very useful staying type and gets the services once again of Andrew Fortune. Her form is very consistent and in this field certainly looks the right one and the horse they all have to beat. The battle should be on for second. Horses like: END GAME, RUSSIAN FRIEND and BARCELONA BABE look set to fight out the minor money. (Warren Lenferna 2-3-9)
Kenilworth Saturday 21 January Tips and Race Previews by David Thiselton
Preview: MISS FRANKEL by the world’s highest ever Timeform rated horse Frankel out of the SA Equus champion sprinter Val De Ra makes her long awaited debut. REGAL RUBY made a good debut over 800m despite being slow away. MAGICAL WONDER is by Western Winter and is a half-sister to the decent sprinter Magico. LILY THERESA is by Var out of a Gr 3-placed Captain Al mare over 1400m. MOONLIGHT DANCER wasn’t disgraced on debut in a race which could prove to have good form. SEQUINED is by Oratorio out of a three-time winning Silvano sprinter. QUEEN MOIRA is by Rebel King out of an Act One mare who won one race over 1200m. (David Thiselton 8-11-7-6-9-12)
Preview: BAFFERT has run two fair races over 1200m and should relish the step up in trip from a good draw. MINI LOUSHE broke through the stalls last time and then felt a miss, but if reproducing her best can win this weak race. JACK BLACK ran on well over 1600m last time for an improved third and can earn again from a good draw. (David Thiselton 5-1-8)
Preview: BUSHY PARK is well drawn and if repeating her penultimate run over course and distance looks the one to beat. SO ENCHANTING has run some fair races over this trip and could earn if overcoming a tricky draw. SEATTLE SILVA has run two good races and will relish the step up in trip so should be involved in the finish despite a wide draw and returning from a three month layoff. BRIDAL PARTY’s full-sister is the five-time winner Little Chapel and she comes from a yard whose runners improve significantly with a run so she could be a surprise earner from pole position over a step up in trip she will relish. NANNA’S ROCK has shown some ability before and can earn from what should be a suitable trip. SISTER SOOZIE is by Silvano out of a five time-winning Lizard Island mare from 1600-2400m. (David Thiselton 3-2-11-10-5-12)
Preview: I LIVED is by Western Winter and is a half-brother to the top class Gr 1-winner and now sire Vercingetorix. SCORPION QUEEN made a fair debut over this trip and the form has worked out well so she should do well, especially considering Greg Cheyne has stayed aboard. LIGHT CHASER is a hard knocking sort who has done well over this trip before, so she should be a contender from a good draw. OAKLEY COURT was beaten 0,75 lengths by Riverboat Queen last time over this trip when leading and can still improve. DANCE AT DAWN is also a hard knocking sort and the jockey reported something amiss when she was beaten 2,45 lengths by Scorpion Queen in her penultimate start. RIVERBOAT QUEEN ran second in a weak 1200m race on debut and with expected improvement can earn. (David Thiselton 5-9-1-2-4-7)
Preview: THE SECRET IS OUT is a Gr 1 winner over this trip so looks reasonably merit rated on 99. MIRANDA FROST has fine form over 1000m and 1200m and ran quite well over 1400m last time so should be cherry ripe to deliver here and could be a big threat. ANNELINE is a progressive sort who enjoys the course and distance and she has a chance for an in form combination with a light weight. (David Thiselton 1-3-7)
Preview: TRIP TO INDIA has some eye catching form over 1200m and now looks to have fallen to a winnable merit rating. PINT POT has run well in both the starts he has had over this trip and Grant van Niekerk remains aboard. LOVE TO BOOGIE won well after a slow start on debut and she could improve further, although her merit rating of 82 looks a touch harsh based on the quality of field she beat. (David Thiselton 3-5-1)
Preview: PROFESSOR BRIAN has dropped to an attractive merit rating and has a good form chance here. WINTER TRADE has been in fine form and should be involved again. KAMPALA KAMPARI won a good race on debut and the form has worked out well so he has a chance off a 79 merit rating. ARCTIC BLAST ran well for this 4kg claimer last time over this trip and off a two point higher mark can do well again. THE GREAT VICTORY can’t be ignored in this competitive event. WHITELIGHT WARRIOR has improved with blinkers and could earn. WESTERN STORM should finish just about together with Arctic Blast on formlines, but he might be better over 1000m. (David Thiselton 8-1-2-5-7-6)
Preview: HERNANDO’S PROMISE has done well from 1400-2000m and from a good draw here looks the one to beat on formlines. ARABIAN DYNASTY has gone close in three runs over this trip and should be improving being by Dynasty, although he now has a tough draw. MANGROVE has shown promise and is likely improving being by Ideal World so he is interesting with Richard Fourie up, having stayed on well over the shorter 1400m trip in his penultimate, a race where the form has worked out well. GOLD COAST CAPTAIN should finish on top of Arabian Dynasty on form although he has yet another wide draw to contend with. PHOENIX RISING has some good 1600m form and could earn from pole position. (David Thiselton 5-4-7-1-8)
Vaal Thursday 19 January Tips and Race Previews by INForm
Race 1 – HANDSOME HENRY, a son of Henrythenavigator, would have come on from his debut effort and can make the necessary improvement to go close in this lineup. His biggest danger could come from SPACE TORNADO who has placed in recent outings and can improve back up the straight. ARTIFICIO showed good pace last time out and can get involved for minor money. (INForm 10-4-3)
Race 2 – YELLOW METAL is well related being a half-sister to July-winner Heavy Metal and can follow up on an impressive winning debut. WATER LILY LAKE rates a winning chance in this Novice Plate after competing in a feature (Swallow Stakes) last time out. WINTER AL is extremely consistent and should be included in all bets. (INForm 4-3-2)
Race 3 – OSCULATION gets the blinkers after going close over this course and distance in two of her last three outings. Can go one better. It will be interesting to see how the form of the previous race works out as she did run second to Yellow Metal (Race 2) last time out. AIMEE SWEET comes off the same form line and shouldn’t be far off. It could pay to include WISHING CHESTNUT, by Horse Chestnut, at the back end of trifectas and quartets. (INForm 1-2-4)
Race 4 – GUNSHIP is improving with each run and was running on strongly last time out. Big chance here. HEAR THE STORM is a son of Var whose progeny generally show natural speed. He wasn’t too far back on debut and can show big improvement. THE GREAT DUTCHESS improved with blinkers in her last two starts and can place again. (INForm 10-7-9)
Race 5 – JUNGLE MIST steps up in division but looks progressive and jockey Marwing knows her well after latest win. BELLA SONATA’S form speaks for itself. The 62kgs on her back won’t do her any favours but she is classy and gets 4kg off with a claiming apprentice. SWIFT SARAH has not been far off lately and enjoys this track and trip. OFF THE MARK, SEATTLE LADY and EASY STREET should be considered in larger perms. (INForm 5-1-2)
Race 6 –P.Strydom has opted to ride QUEENS JET again and can make it two in a row. But she is stepping up in division and it’s worth including a few in the exotic bets. FREELY FOREVER is coming off a 5month break but has decent form and can pop up fresh. SEEKING VENUS has her third run after a rest and should be peaking. She drops in class and could be the dark horse in this field. TIMETOPERFECTION is in good form and is a must inclusion in all bets. (INForm 3-1-5)
Race 7 – THE SMELL OF RAIN has run against some good company and is a leading contender. MOVIE AWARD will be right there following a decent effort behind the progressive Ana Pavlova. BRIGTNUMBERSIX won on debut and well see how she handles this handicap debut. Could be anything. FUTURE FANTASTIC and OUR MIRALE should be included in larger perms. (INForm 4-3-13)
Race 8 –SHORTSTOP has solid form to recommend after a decent run behind Nation Builder in latest. He can only improve on that effort and gets blinkers on this time. TEENAGE DREAM ran a fair fourth out the maidens and should put in another honest effort. GOLD STATUS has top weight to shoulder but is not completely out of this after a fair last effort. CAPTAIN CHIPS is another who could get involved with a lowered rating. (INForm 9-2-1)
Race 9 – TORA TORA has not been far behind of late. His last run behind Beaufort Sea was a cracking performance in soft going. He gets G.Lerena up and could take some beating if things map out for him. JUST A GIGOLO will be right there judging from his last start however he might just prefer the mile. MAXIMIZER looks progressive and the form seems to be working out well. In with a shout. (INForm 4-7-1)
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