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By Mike Moon

Horse racing correspondent


Azzie men eye Sweet Future with their speedy filly

The Senor Santa Stakes headlines an excellent day’s racing in Joburg, with another five features on the card.


Senor Santa would make short work of the horses gathered together in his name in the Senor Santa Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday.

That might be an unfair contrast as the Senor was one of the great sprinters of the South African turf – and a prestigious, Grade 2 sprint race is a fitting reminder of him.

The comparison does, however, underline just how good Senor Santa was, because this field for his 2022 memorial is pretty strong by any standard.

Finding the winner will test the mettle of form analysts, so competitive is the 14-strong line-up at the Big T’s 1160m starting pole. The old dartboard-and-blindfold trick isn’t really a professional approach, so we must use other tools – such as the prowess of trainers in the art of the sprint.

That immediately leads us to Mike Azzie, a master of equine speed – demonstrated very recently when his charge Bohica returned from an unheralded trip down south with the glittering Cape Flying Championship trophy.

Azzie and son Adam send out four-year-old filly Sweet Future, whose name is appropriate. She has won five of her 10 starts and only once been out of the prizes.

Sweet Future’s last effort, her third after a six-month holiday, was a running-on third place in the Grade 3 Tommy Hotspur (a famously rapid individual, too) over 1000m on this track. Progress from that puts her right in the picture here.

Of significance is that top Cape-based jockey Richard Fourie, who has been flying to Joburg of late to ride for Mike de Kock and Sean Tarry (with some success), has been booked by the Azzies.

The winner of the Tommy Hotspur was Candice Dawson-trained Gallic Chief, getting another win at last after a long string of good performances in feature races. He, too, is getting back to his peak after a nice spring break – and, too, has a Cape ace in the saddle in the shape of Grant van Niekerk.

These two horses should form the foundation of all bets, with the likes of Vaseem, Mr Flood and Under Your Spell bidding for inclusion.

True To Life, Hello Winter Hello and Ultra Magnus could add value.

The Senor Santa Stakes headlines an excellent day’s racing in Joburg, with another five features on the card, including the Derby and Oaks Trials.

SELECTIONS

Turffontein Saturday

1: 2 Eye Of The Prophet, 1 Cool Winter, 4 Kuznetsov, 9 Union Square

2: 8 Rimah, 6 Miss Daisy, 12 Tiz Magic, 5 Maharanee

3: 1 Castletown, 5 Captain Of Grit, 4 Invincible Warrior, 2 Western Fort

4: 9 Reunion, 12 Willow Express, 1 Johnny Hero, 8 Tierra Del Fuego

5: 2 Motown Magic, 1 Litigation, 4 Flashy Apache, 9 Leshawes

6: 3 Woman Of Substance, 4 Flame Flower, 9 Defender Of Rights, 1 Eternal Life

7: 13 Sweet Future, 6 Gallic Princess 10 Vaseem, 1 Mr Flood

8: 1 Gallic Chief, 3 Alula’s Star, 6 Rozara, 7 Cleaver Greene

9: 1 Un Deux Trois, 5 Masaaken, 2 Traveling Wilbury, 9 Zazu

Pick 6: 1,8,9,11,12 x 1,2 x 1,3,4,6,9,10 x 1,6,8,10,12,13 x 1,3,6 x 1,5 (R2160)

PA: 1 x 1,9,12 x 2 x 3,4 x 6,10,13 x 1,3 x 1 (R36)

Greyville Sunday

Best: Race 5 No 3 Madiba’s Cuppa

Value: Race 6 No 8 Lady Catherine

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