Jack Milner
2 minute read
3 Mar 2017
10:11 am

Al Sahem can hit the target

Jack Milner

His stablemate Matador Man could be his main danger.

CLASSY. Al Sahem could retain his unbeaten record in tomorrow's R1-million Betting World Gauteng Guineas at Turff ontein. Matador Man (top) and Janoobi (bottom) could follow him home.

There is an air of excitement before the start of the R1-million Betting World Gauteng Guineas (Grade 2) because it if filled with hope and expectation. It is the first leg of the SA Triple Crown and all nine runners are contenders for the R2- million bonus. After tomorrow there will just be one.

The problem facing trainers is that runners who will be suited to 1800m in the SA Classic and 2450m in the SA Derby could find 1600m in the Guineas too short, while specialist “milers” will battle to go further.

In the first category are Heavenly Blue, Al Sahem and Furiosa. In the second category we find Matador Man, Doosra, Chili Con Carne and Unagi. Of the nine runners, six are trained by either Sean Tarry or Mike de Kock and one would expect the winner to come from their sextet.

Based on the tightness of the betting, not even the bookmakers have a grip on who will win but there is something about Al Sahem that makes him look special.

His two wins have been extremely impressive and the only concern is that he goes into the Guineas without a warm-up race. “I’m not too fazed about him being up in class – he’s certainly good enough,” said Tarry. “It’s just a ma_ er of returning from a rest with an interrupted prep because of the rainy weather.”

Anthony Delpech takes the ride and this could be one to follow for the Triple Crown should he win this.

There was a lot of excitement about Matador Man when he won the Listed Secretariat Stakes over 1400m.

He ran on well behind Ektifaa last time and will be better for the run.

De Kock saddles Heavenly Blue and Janoobi and they are the two highest-rated runners.

Assistant trainer Mathew de Kock has his concerns about Heavenly Blue.

“His two main races are the Classic and Derby. Hopefully he’s got the class to win but as he gets older he seems to want further.” Janoobi is another story.

“He is the most ready of the pair. He is at peak fi tness and has the form to win this race. He ha a great run in Cape Town and he travelled back very well,” said De Kock.

He ran a 2.30-length fourth behind William Longsword in the CTS 1600, despite having to be punched to the front from No 13 draw.

Piere Strydom takes the ride and as long as the rain stays away, he has to be a massive runner. On breeding he could go further than 1600m.