A cracking line-up in a Pinnacle Stakes race livens up a midweek card no end.
Almost all 10 runners in Race 7 at Greyville on Wednesday have been in the thick of feature race battles recently and have performed commendably. It’s a very even match and “the field” is a tempting option for the Pick 6 and Jackpots. Joint ante-post favourites, at 3-1, are locally trained Tristful and Highveld raider Astrix.
The former galloped manfully into fifth place in the Champions Cup, 3.70 lengths behind shooting star Jet Dark. Before that, Tristful tried to steal the Durban July from the front, and before that was second in the Cup Trial. All those races were on this Greyville turf, so this guy knows which way the grass grows on Durban’s downtown circuit. Indeed, all four of his career wins have been on this course.
Trainer Tony Rivalland has kept Tristful ticking over nicely since late March when he returned from a short break to run a close second in the King’s Cup over this very 1600m. With seven runners-up finishes on his resume, it would seem time for a change of luck for the son of Trippi.
Astrix is a doughty handicapper from Paul Peter’s mighty Turffontein stable. A dreadful showing in November 2020’s Summer Cup is the only real blemish on his recent record – which is topped by a 1600m Pinnacle Stakes victory at Turfies on 10 July.
Astrix shares top weight of 61.5 with Tristful and tough nut Capoeira but does have the advantage of the No 2 draw and in-form Warren Kennedy in the irons.
The young gun in this shootout is Justin Snaith-trained Native Tongue, who already has four wins from 10 starts and appears to be a fast improver. He must carry 60kg, which is a bit of a steadier for a four-year-old in elite open company at this time of season. However, to balance things a bit, much of that weight is in the form of master jockey Anton Marcus.
Other horses worth pondering include Love Bomb, Gentleman’s Wager and Guru’s Pride. Nice race.
3 Kingsmeads Krystl, 2 Winter Journey, 9 Time Request, 8 Greatclubqueen
8 Noble Nova, 2 Natasha Rostov, 5 Claudina, 3 Duquesne Whistle
4 Indomavel, 5 Shield Maiden, 14 Cashew, 2 New Orleans
7 Fromheretoeternity, 5 Midnight Caller, 6 Naval Secret, 1 Pink Floyd
4 Keep The Lights On, 1 Sofia Erin, 6 Finding Freedom, 3 Window To Africa
6 Roha, 3 River Don, 4 Maria Corolina, 2 Fire Faerie
8 Tristful, 4 Native Tongue, 2 Astrix, 5 Capoeira
3 Silver Maria, 2 Twicethequality, 9 Consol Queen, 10 Aquae Sulis
4,5,14 x 1,5,6,7 x 4 x 1,2,3,4,6 x 2,4,5,8 x 2,3,5,9,10 (R1200)
8 x 4,5 x 5,7 x 4 x 3,4,6 x 4,8 x 3 (R24)