Not Sulking looks to be the best-performed horse in the field but she has disappointed in her last two starts and there is a question as to whether she will see out 1600m. She is one of three runners from the Geoff Woodruff yard and does look to be the pick of the trio, especially with Piere Strydom up.
Gavin Lerena rides Touch The Sky but she would probably need further as is the case with Miss Rambo, Woodruff’s third runner.
As a result it might be safer to look elsewhere for the winner and the two fillies who seem to be improving are Estidraaj and Seventh Heart – another battle between Mike de Kock and Sean Tarry. Estidraaj has had experience against the likes of Siren’s Call when she ran in the Grade 1 SA Fillies Classic so she could have a slight advantage. She pulled hard in that race and faded out at the end but the drop in class should work in her favour.
She has also won at this course and is well drawn at No 4. Johnny Geroudis takes the ride.
Seventh Heart has won three of her four starts but her only defeat was over this course and distance in which she finished a 1.25-length third behind Cassie O’Malley. She won a very good race over 1400m at Turffontein in yielding going in her next start so she should be able to see out the extra 200m at this track. S’manga Khumalo rides and they jump from No 9 draw.
De Kock also saddles Maayaat who is 1.5kg under sufferance with opposition but on a line through Estidraaj, cannot be written off. She finished six lengths behind her stablemate but is now 7.5kg better off so that should bring them much closer on this occasion.
Race 5 is a Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m and many of these runners have been entered for the Vodacom Durban July. Tarry saddles Halve The Deficit and Heavy Metal while Woodruff sends out Tellina and Shadow Ofhis Smile.
Although this is a stakes race there is very little to separate the runners on handicap terms so on form, the winner could well be Halve The Deficit who ran a 3.25-lengt fourth behind Wylie Hall in the Grade 1 President’s Champions Challenge over 2000m on the standside track last month.
This looks a competitive race and it could also pay to add Bezanova, Meissa and Rushmore River to the Pick 6.