A battle royal is in prospect as two of Cape Town’s best fillies meet for the first time at Kenilworth on Tuesday, when racing is on the winter course.
Four-year-olds Marina and Pretty Betty eyeball each other in Race 5, a Pinnacle Stakes for females over 1600m, and their presence among the entries probably scared off other possible contenders as only four horses will oppose them – one a likely stable-mate pacesetter.
Marina, trained by Candice Bass-Robinson, has a six-from-11 winning record, while Mike Stewart-trained Pretty Betty has five from eight – and those five were on the trot.
The latter has been rested for 122 days – since mid-July – following her heroics, so there might be a race-fitness question. But sheer class often carries a good horse through the heat of battle.
Marina was also given a break after her memorable triumph in the Western Cape Oaks in late-June and returned to action on 2 October in the Diana Stakes at Durbanville. The daughter of Silvano showed she was close to her best by galloping prominently throughout the 1400m – a trip short of her best – and finishing fourth, 3.30 lengths behind star sprinter Captain’s Ransom.
With her the query will be about the second-run-after-a-rest bogey that many a punter believes in.
Bass-Robinson also saddles Jet Time, a speedy sort who is outclassed in this company and will surely act the hare to prevent any tendency towards the infamous Cape Crawl.
1: 12 Thrilla, 1 Charity Ball, 6 For All We Know, 8 La Vida
2: 1 Warrior Bling, 2 Fynbos, 6 Fly Over, 5 Razzle Dazzle Em
3: 9 Let It Burn, 16 Zum Zum, 14 Sugar Mountain, 4 Donder Storm
4: 1 Red Kite, 10 Zippy Over, 8 Empress Of Jade, 3 Everglades
5: 1 Marina, 2 Pretty Betty, 4 Kailene, 3 Eva Eileen
6: 6 Top Quality, 3 Poltergeist, 4 Gem King, 7 Global Ally
7: 6 Pacaya, 7 Mr Master Starter, 8 Darjeeling, 3 Black Belt
8: 4 Tout A Fait, 8 Silent War, 3 Exceed Expectation, 14 Vengeance Forever
Pick 6: 1,4,9,14,16 x 1,10 x 1,2 x 3,4,6,7 x 2,3,6,7,8 x 3,4,8,11,14 (R2000)
PA: 1,2 x 9,14,16 x 1 x 1 x 3,6 x 6,7 x 3,4,8 (R72)