Sadly, after eight starts, she remains a one-time winner but De Kock clearly has had a few problems to deal with. Dashing Scarlet is beautifully bred – by Western Winter out of that champion race mare, Dancer’s Daughter.
Unfortunately she seems to have a few breathing issues and after a dismal showing in last year’s Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas, run in heavy going, Dashing Scarlet was given a break of almost nine months and made her return to racing in November last year on the Vaal sand track.
Her next start was in a Graduation Plate for fillies and mares over 1160m. She broke through the front of the stalls and during the race was not striding out. That resulted in another poor showing as she trailed in 17 lengths behind Tee Jay Ar.
Her penultimate outing was in a five-horse field Graduation Plate over 1200m on the Vaal turf and despite making a respiratory noise, the four-year-old was beaten into third place, finishing just two lengths behind Ntombe.
In her last start, over 1400m on the Vaal turf, Dashing Scarlet was always well placed and managed to stay on for second place, beaten 0.75 lengths by Seventh Heart.
Today the four-year-old grey again comes out in a 1400m race on the Vaal turf in Race 6, a MR 88 Handicap for fillies and mares. She takes on quite a strong field but with just 53.5kg to shoulder, looks ready to ensure she does not die a one-time winner. S’manga Khumalo takes the ride and they jump from No 4 draw.
La Manga found quite a lot of betting support last time and she finished up right on the heels of Dashing Scarlet in the race behind Seventh Heart. Although just a short head separated them, De Kock’s charge is now 0.5kg better off.
Gavin Lerena rode the Stanley Ferreira-trained daughter of Captain Al last time but Donavan Mansour, who is also riding at the top of his game right now, gets the ride.
Divano has been racing in stronger company and did well last time when running on strongly to finish just a neck behind First Dance over this course and distance. This will be her third run after a layoff and she looks “upset” material.
Most pundits don’t like leaving out a Piere Strydom-ridden horse, especially one trained by Louis Goosen. They combine with Negev and with a two-point drop in her merit rating, could be a lot more competitive in this line-up.