If it were a movie it might be titled Classics: Revenge of the Guineas.
The action-packed storyline of the recent Guineas race meeting at Turffontein is likely to be continued, with the principal stars all signed up for the sequel and the next instalment in the “Triples Franchise”.
Gauteng Guineas victor Malmoos and gallant runner-up Catch Twentytwo are among the 10 entries for the World Sports Betting SA Classic, while ferocious female rivals War Of Athena and Anything Goes, 1 and 2 in the Fillies Guineas, are among 11 hopefuls for the Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic.
The duo of Grade 1 races, second legs of the Triple Crown and Triple Tiara series for elite three year olds, will be contested on the Standside track at Turffontein on 6 March.
Mike de Kock-trained Malmoos beat Paul Peter’s Catch Twentytwo by a neck in the 1600m Guineas, with a relentless gallop up the tough Turffontein stretch. However, the latter, finishing fast, hung inwards and lost momentum in the final strides. The extra 200m this time around could see him turn the tables.
Guineas third and fourth, stablemates Copper Mountain and Second Base from Johan Janse van Vuuren’s yard, also rejoin combat and should also benefit from the extra distance to be covered.
When War Of Athena easily beat Anything Goes by two lengths in the Fillies Guineas it evened up a head-to-head count over the previous months to 2-2. Some pundits immediately opined that the Paul Matchett-trained winner was maturing into the better racehorse, but others pointed to Stuart Pettigrew’s charge not having had an easy passage and she too will be well suited to an extra furlong come Classic day.
Miss Elegance, more than six lengths adrift in third place that day, might appear to be outclassed by the glamour twins but is a proven trier and as a young filly could show improvement in the intervening three weeks.
The biggest threat to the favourites could come from De Kock’s well-bred, lightly raced Sparkling Water. This filly has won two from three, with both victories coming on the Standside course.
The main supporting feature on the Classic day card is the Grade 2 Hawaii Stakes over 1 400m, the entries for which contain several points of interest.
Durban July runner-up Got The Greenlight is down to make his comeback after a lengthy rest, though a very wide draw might give trainer Joey Soma second thoughts. De Kock by contrast will be happy with No 4 gate for highly regarded Australian-bred three-year-old Mount Pleasant, who is focusing on shorter trips after major disappointment over the Guineas mile.
Another to catch the eye among the Hawaii possibles is Crown Towers, who has been campaigned on the Highveld by Cape Town’s Justin Snaith. However, a draw out towards the Rand Stadium might dissuade the country’s current leading trainer from accepting to run.
A Pick 6 carryover of R1 million has already been announced for this meeting with a likely pool of R5 million.
WSB SA CLASSIC (Grade 1) (2nd Leg Triple Crown) R750 000 1800m:
(draw, name, trainer, weight)
1 AL MUTHANA (M F De Kock) 60.0
2 BINGWA (D Sham) 60.0
6 BOLD JAZZ (P F Matchett) 60.0
9 CATCH TWENTYTWO (P A Peter) 60.0
5 COPPER MOUNTAIN (J J van Vuuren) 60.0
10 FLYING CARPET (S G Tarry) 60.0
3 KINGSLEY’S HEART (W H Marwing) 60.0
7 MALMOOS (M F De Kock) 60.0
4 SECOND BASE (J J van Vuuren) 60.0
8 SHAH AKBAR (S G Tarry) 60.0
WILGERBOSDRIFT SA FILLIES CLASSIC (Grade 1) (2nd Leg Triple Tiara) R700,000 1800m:
(draw, name, trainer, weight)
1 ANYTHING GOES (S T Pettigrew) 60.0
5 ASTRAL PLANE (G M Alexander) 60.0
9 CARALLUMA (S G Tarry) 60.0
7 GEE FOR GO (P F Matchett) 60.0
4 MAGICAL FLIGHT (S G Tarry) 60.0
6 MISS ELEGANCE (M N Houdalakis) 60.0
10 NETTA (P A Peter) 60.0
2 ONLY THE BRAVE (P F Matchett) 60.0
11 QUEEN BOMI (P F Matchett) 60.0
3 SPARKLING WATER (M F De Kock) 60.0
8 WAR OF ATHENA (P F Matchett) 60.0
HAWAII STAKES (Grade 2) Open WFA R250,000 1400m:
(draw, name, age/sex, trainer, weight, MR)
10 GOT THE GREENLIGHT (4C) (Joe Soma) 60.0 124
21 CIRILLO (5H) (Sean Tarry) 59.0 125
17 EXPRESSFROMTHEUS (4G) (Stuart Pettigrew) 58.0 118
3 CHIJMES (5G) (Gary Alexander) 58.0 116
22 CROWN TOWERS (5G) (Justin Snaith) 58.0 115
11 ZOUAVES (7G) (Grant Maroun) 58.0 115
1 TIERRA DEL FUEGO (5H) (Sean Tarry) 58.0 113
12 PACK LEADER (6G) (Alec Laird) 58.0 110
8 WHORLY WHORLY (6G) (Clinton Binda) 58.0 110
25 APPROACH CONTROL (5G) (Candice Dawson) 58.0 104
18 DOWN TO ZERO (6G) (MG Azzie/AA Azzie) 58.0 104
2 SEVEN PATRIOTS (4G) (MG Azzie/AA Azzie) 58.0 104
15 GURU’S PRIDE (4G) (Gavin van Zyl) 58.0 103
24 FULL MAST (6G) (MG Azzie/AA Azzie) 58.0 102
23 CAPTAIN OF TORTUGA (5G) (MG Azzie/AA Azzie) 58.0 97
9 GOLDEN BELLE (4F) (Sean Tarry) 56.5 115
4 MOUNT PLEASANT (3C) (Mike de Kock) 56.0 120
16 MARYGOLD (4F) (Alec Laird) 55.5 112
5 LADY OF STEEL (4F) (JA Janse van Vuuren) 55.5 111
20 MAGIC SCHOOL (4F) (Mike de Kock) 55.5 110
6 MILL QUEEN (4F) (David Nieuwenhuizen) 55.5 108
13 RISK TAKER (4F) (Mike de Kock) 55.5 97
14 MK’S PRIDE (3C) (Paul Peter) 55.0 117
19 FOREVER MINE (3G) (Mike de Kock) 55.0 107
7 BARTHOLDI (3G) (MG Azzie/AA Azzie) 55.0 93
Supplementary entries close on Monday 1 March with declarations on Tuesday 2 March.