A wise old bookmaker once told me that if I had to have a bet but was not sure on whom to bet, “go with a good horse trained by a good trainer and ridden by a good jockey. Invariably you will be right most of the time”.
That rue could well apply in Race 7 today when Turffontein hosts a rare midweek meeting. This is a MR 85 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1600m on the inside track and these are generally tough races.
The first thing one does when studying form is to make a shortlist of contenders and from that point on you try to cut it down. When you can’t, you finally invoke the “good” principle. In the end it came down to Shayna, trained by Ormond Ferraris and to be ridden by Weichong Marwing.
This daughter of Toreador has a lot going for her. Top of the list is she loves the track, having raced on it eight times for three wins and three seconds. She also has a decent No 5 draw and she is in good form. The only item that stops Shayna from being a more positive selection is she has yet to win over 1600m. She has tried it twice and has failed on both occasions although she did have good excuses.
Her first attempt was over this course but she was not in a good frame of mind and played up while they attempted to load her. She might well have run her race before the starting gates were opened and ended up finishing 9.50 lengths behind Semra.
Her very next run was also over 1600m but on the standside track on International Jockey’s Challenge evening. Ridden by Adam Kirby, her heels were clipped early on, she was cut into and Kirby did not persevere with her.
Since then she has done little wrong and has one win and two second places in her next three starts, all over 1450m on the inside track.
She has run well for Marwing and they deserve another chance over the distance.
Fortitude ran well in the Grade 3 Acacia Stakes over 1600m on the standside track on Guineas Day when a one-length second to Whatalady. She should give a good account of herself, however, although down in class she carries 6.5kg more than last time and that has to be a concern.
Moggytwoshoes showed improvement last time when a two-length third behind Casha over the course and distance and, with a 1.5kg advantage for a neck beating, should reverse the position with second-placed Missmasala.