Classics season is almost upon us and one of the key lead-up races for the Triple Tiara, the Listed Swallow Stakes, is the headliner at Saturday’s Turffontein Standside fixture.
Only six three-year-old fillies are due to face the starter at the 1160m post, but they are high-class individuals from the cream of the Highveld’s “sophomore” group.
The ante-post betting market is dominated by Sean Tarry-trained Under Your Spell and Paul Peter’s Big Burn, but at this stage of the young horses’ development any one of their rivals could show dramatic improvement and disrupt expectations.
The market leaders have met once, in the Joburg Spring Challenge over 1400m, when Big Burn was in command throughout and registered a 1.60-length victory over Under Your Spell. However, as mentioned, the comparative picture might have changed.
Peter’s other runner in the Swallow, Freed From Desire, will be many punters’ choice as she bids for four wins on the trot and her sixth overall from 12 runs.
Shield Of Roses, a daughter of Act Of War from Paul Matchett’s stable and running on the pink, black and white of the Wentzels, is successor to the mighty War Of Athena, last year’s Triple Tiara champion. She bids for a fourth win in her sixth start.
The remaining two candidates, Corne Spies-trained Supreme Quest and Johan Janse van Vuuren’s Remember When, cannot be ruled out easily and many Pick 6 players will be ticking the “field” option.
The Michael Roberts Stakes at Scottsville on Sunday honours South Africa’s greatest jockey. Mighty “Muis”, now a trainer at Summerveld, often tries to win his own race – and has done so before – but won’t be saddling a contestant this time around.
Peter’s Joburg raider Astrix bring top-notch form while Tony Rivalland-trained Tristful is well overdue a win.
1: 1 Miss Otis, 7 Dhanteras, 9 Mon Tresor, 5 Sacred Valley
2: 1 Majestic Mozart, 5 William Robertson, 4 Indlamu, 2 Pack Leader
3: 2 With Pleasure, 7 Count Pablo, 12 Positive Attitude, 9 Dawn Mission
4: 3 War Of Athena, 2 MK’s Pride, 6 Ikigai, 10 Sentbydestiny
5: 1 Ablaan, 9 Zanetto, 2 Look Yourself, 3 In Cahoots
6: 7 Celestial Love, 9 Riverstown, 10 Sweet Future, 4 Rivarine
7: 2 Big Burn, 1Under Your Spell, 5 Shield Of Roses, 3 Freed From Desire
8: 7 Cleaver Greene, 3 Grappler, 5 Spanish Boy, 8 Goethe
9: 8 Zeus, 3 Twin Turbo, 1 Eskimo Pie, 4 Juan Carlos
Pick 6: 2,3 x 1,2,9 x 2,4,5,7,8,9,10 x 1,2,3,5 x 3,5,7 x 1,3,8 (R1512)
PA: 2,7,12 x 3 x 1,9 x 7,9,10 x 1,2 x 7 x 3,8 (R72)
Best: Race 1 No 9 Maradiva
Value: Race 6 No 2 To The Max