Robert Garner
2 minute read
1 Apr 2017
6:24 am

Al Sahem is the Triple Crown favourite

Robert Garner

The Triple Crown is horseracing’s ultimate test and comprises three races over distances from 1 600m to 2 450m.

GREAT RIDING. Janoobi , ridden by Piere Strydom, holds off Al Sahem, with Anthony Delpech up, in one of the great displays of riding at Turffontein in the Betting World Gauteng Guineas at Turffontein on Saturday.

Al Sahem is the hot favourite to derail Janoobi’s bid to win the SA Triple Crown for three-year-olds in the second leg of the series, the R2-million SA Classic over 1 800m at Turffontein on Saturday.

The Triple Crown is horseracing’s ultimate test and comprises three races over distances from 1 600m to 2 450m. Janoobi, trained by Mike de Kock, put himself in the running for Triple Crown glory and the R2 million bonus for winning all three legs by scoring a victory in the first leg last month.

That was the 1 600m Betting World Gauteng Guineas which Janoobi led from start to finish with a superb ride by master jockey Piere Strydom, holding off Al Sahem by a head with another De Kock runner, Heavenly Blue, in third place.

Strydom will ride Janoobi again and on pedigree the colt should be well suited to this 200m longer distance, which gives him a clear chance of winning again. But he’s only third-favourite at odds of 5/1 as many pundits say he will be hard pressed to confirm the form with Al Sahem or Heavenly Blue.

Al Sahem was having only the third race of his career, and his first after a rest, in the first leg of the Triple Crown. He could improve by many lengths now and corporate bookmaking chain Betting World currently have champion trainer Sean Tarry’s runner favourite at 1/1 with Heavenly Blue at 18/10.

Heavenly Blue will be racing beyond 1 600m for the first time in this contest and both De Kock’s son and assistant-trainer Mathew and jockey Callan Murray expect this horse to make a dramatic improvement.

There are only nine runners, but the stage is set for a fascinating battle.

Tarry also has strong prospects of winning the two main supporting features. His charges, Legal Eagle and Smiling Blue Eyes, dominate the betting on the R1 million Horse Chestnut Stakes and the R1 million SA Fillies Classic.

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