With the start of the Highveld Autumn season just a few weeks away, the quality of the local racing is looking good. There is a decent card at Turffontein tomorrow on the Inside track and there will be a Pick 6 Megapool on offer to entice bettors even further.
The pool will kick off with a carryover of R392,769 and is estimated to reach R2.5 million. However, as this is a stand-alone local meeting it would come as no surprise to see it rise even further.
The most interesting event looks to be Race 6, a Conditions Plate for fillies and mares over 1450m. As a Plate race one first has to look at the best handicapped runners and in this case Polyphonic is the standout runner. Had this been a handicap Alec Laird’s charge would have to give 3kg and more to the other runners and with 52.5 to carry she has to be a significant runner.
However, she has not raced since contesting the Grade 2 Ipi Tombe Stakes over 1600m in November in which she finished a 0.40-length second behind Intergalactic. Laird could have bigger fish to fry later in the season and one would assume the Grade 1 L Jaffee Empress Club Stakes would be on her menu.
As she could be in need of the run one could look to the second-best weighted runner who is Kilauea from the Dave Nieuwenhuizen yard. She has only raced once over this course and distance and that was in the Grade 2 Joburg Spring Fillies Challenge in which she finished fourth, beaten just 1.50 lengths by Mella Maria. Bella Sonata finished second, beaten a head, but Kilauea is now 2kg better off with both of those fillies.
In addition, Nieuwenhuizen raced his charge in blinkers for the first time in her last race and she ran a cracker over 1400m on the Standside track, going down a head to Crystal Glamour. The winner is now 4kg worse off and looks unlikely to confirm that form.
The interesting runner could be Shaama from the Mike de Kock yard. She was a top two-year-old but after some disappointing three-year-old performances the Australian-bred filly was rested for 11 months. She came back well last month to beat Paree by 0.35 lengths over 1200m and if not negatively affected by a second run after the lengthy layoff she could be a factor in this field.