I have been committed to ride Edict Of Nantes in both the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and the Sun Met for quite a while now but there is a lot of uncertainty about his future at the moment and I am as much in the dark as everyone else.
Naturally I would love to ride him in those events because he has a realistic chance of winning both. It is not every day you find these quality horses to ride in the big features so I’m hoping that all the plans come together and he will still be available to run.
I decided to take a few days off as all the wear and tear has taken a toll on my body. I have come to the realisation that these niggling injuries will affect me to the day I retire and it is something I just have to live with. Of course, it is probably the worst time of the year to be affected as we have all the big races coming up in Cape Town so I need to be ready over the niggles by the start of the New Year.
My next meeting back is at the Vaal on Thursday.
It looks as if we will be racing on the Standside track at Turffontein for a while as they are working on the Inside track. The track is not in bad condition but a section in the centre of the track in the straight had become uneven and often when you were in full flight you would hit a small dip which would throw your mount out of his stride and that could affect the outcome of the race.
Because the straight is relatively short you can’t always get a gap and have to stay where you are and sometimes you ended up getting caught in the uneven area.
Today we have our first juvenile races of the season at Turffontein and unfortunately I don’t know too much about them. My advice is to follow the trainers who prepare their horses to win first time out and I would look at the Corne Spies horses in Race 1 and the Spies and Barend Botes runners in Race 2.
Race 3 is a Maiden Plate and none of the runners really stands out. Therefore, in the Place Accumulator you need to include a few horses. My fancies are, in this order, Sharp Gitano, Ace Of Speed and Sweet Trial. They all need to go in the PA.
Race 4 is another Maiden Plate but on this occasion there is a possible Place Accumulator and Pick 6 banker is Ensemble. Unfortunately last time she was reported not to be striding out. So if that is a concern then you could include either Hafla or Summer Spin into the PA and stick all three into the Pick 6.
Race 5 is another Maiden Plate but this time it looks quite tricky as many of these horses are lightly raced and some could improve dramatically from their last runs.
For the Place Accumulator consider Sky High, Corrido, Mario Lanza, Horseplay, Bosphorus and Hint Of Gold who is well drawn at barrier No 1. I would include any four of those in the PA and for the Pick 6 go with all of them.
Race 6 is another Maiden Plate and none of these fillies has outstanding form but I will lean towards Let’s Twist as a hard horse to beat. The reason is that she should be fitter after her last run when she just got beaten, she has a good draw and the opposition does not look that strong.
I think she is worth banking in all bets.
Race 7 is a Pinnacle Stakes so your better handicapped runners should have the edge. However, on this occasion I have found Sylvan On Fire as the horse to beat. She has won four of her last five starts and was beaten less than a length in a feature race last time out.
The danger must be Cascapedia and the top rated horse, Witchcraft. Consider those three for the Place Accumulator but for the Pick 6 you could include Intergalactic, Patchit Up Baby and Royal Utopia.
Race 8 is a difficult handicap with none of these horses standing out on form but over this course and distance the draw is vital. Therefore my selections are Momo, Iridium Silver Waity Katie and Spice Queen.
Include all four in the Place Accumulator but there are others who may be needed to be included in the Pick 6, even though they have wide draws. They are Fish River Canyon, Code Writer and Golddust Woman.
Race 9 is quite a competitive race with some complicated form to work out. My two main selections are Alwahsh and Machismo. If those two aren’t good enough for the Place Accumulator then consider Donny G as well. For the Pick 6 the field has to apply.
Race 10 is a tricky handicap with many horses holding a winning chance. However, I will lean towards the younger horses who have more room for improvement and they are Dorman, Zerodarkthirty, Well Connected and Hampton Court.