Horses / Columnists

Piere Strydom
6 minute read
5 Nov 2016
6:31 am

St Tropez can blow them away at the Charity Mile

Piere Strydom

From a punter's point of view this is often one of the most difficult races to assess, as so many top-quality horses compete against one another.

IN GOOD FORM. St Tropez (Right) and Anton Marcus look a formidable combination in Race 7 at Scottsville today.

From a jockey’s point of view the Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile meeting is one of the biggest of the season as it is a build-up to the Summer Cup. The on-course excitement is enhanced because of all the celebrities and representatives of the charities on course.

While we hope to meet a lot of the celebrities, in the 10 years I’ve ridden in the race I’ve only met two.

Maybe it would add to the fun for all if charities and celebs were challenged to find their jockeys in the parade ring based on the colours. It would also help them to know which horse to watch during the race. They might also find it interesting to listen to the trainers give their instructions to the jockeys. In that way it will make the charities and celebrities feel even more included in what happens in the race.

From a punter’s point of view this is often one of the most difficult races to assess, as so many top quality horses compete against one another and some are still prepping for the Summer Cup.

The horse I think has had a good preparation, has a good draw and handles the distance is St Tropez. His main dangers are Deo Juvente, New Predator and Champagne Haze. The race does not stop there either but those four could be sufficient for the Place Accumulator.

For the Pick 6 consider Mac De Lago, No Worries and Saratoga Dancer. Others who need to be included but have shocking draws and will need luck are Rabada, The Conglomerate and Ten Gun Salute.

This is normally a mad scramble to be well placed which makes it even more difficult for those with bad draws.

I ride Bulleting Home who on form must have some sort of chance but with the extra distance the better staying-types should get the better of him this time around.

Race 1 is HSH Princess Charlene Of Monaco Maiden Plate and I ride Romi’s Boy who is probably my best ride of the day. He ran second against a quality horse last time and the stable also rates him. He holds all the raced horses on form. Obviously there are some unraced horses who I don’t know much about.

Race 2 is a lot more difficult to assess as a lot of the horses with the best form are drawn badly. My first selection is Al Hamd. His danger could be End Game and Written but they have even worse draws. For that reason Al Hamd could be your banker in the BiPot.

I’m riding Tilbury Fort who ran behind Al Hamd last time but he has a tendency of not taking the turn so well. I’m hoping with experience he will make my task a lot easier. He has a place chance.

Race 3 is a fillies handicap and looks quite difficult. Persian Rug has been a bit in and out and also has a bad draw but she remains my first selection. I will add Inaninstant, Fortissima and Girl On The Run into the Place Accumulator.

Race 4 is another Handicap over 2450m and a lot of horses have very similar form. Therefore it could be necessary to put many horses in the PA. I’m leaning towards Kinaan, Smart Mart, The Elmo Effect and Elusive Flier. For the Pick 6 you could quite easily include the field.

I’m riding Kingmambo’s Legacy who is not far off the leading fancied horses. He could quite easily place and with luck, even win it.

Race 5 is a plate race where your best weighted horse should win. The runner we all have to beat is Africa Rising. He is a quality horse and in spite of a wide draw his main danger, Unagi, is drawn on the outside of him. That could make him a PA banker and possibly even a Pick 6 banker. For the Pick 6 we could consider Unagi and Double Appeal.

The other well handicapped horses are the two fillies – Safe Harbour and Visuality.

I ride Visuality who I’ve ridden before but I still need to be convinced the fillies are better than the colts.

Race 6 is also a plate race and your best handicapped runners have the edge. The highest rated horse is Maleficent and she could quite easily be too classy for this field. But unfortunately she is coming off a rest and has a bad draw.

For that reason you have to consider including another runner who has proven fitness and I will go with Al Hawraa. For the Pick 6 you could put in Favour’s Pride but I’m not sure she will enjoy this Standside 1400m. You can also consider my ride, Santiburi, but unfortunately she hasn’t run for a number of months.

There are a couple of one-time winners who could make improvement. They are Al Danza, Hurricane Bertha, Return To Power and Always A Lady.

Race 8 is another stakes race and your highest rated runner is Jiffy. He also has a bad draw but obviously needs to be included. The horse we all have to beat is Heavenly Blue. He is a possible PA banker. He has won both starts with ease and could have more scope for improvement.

For the Pick 6 add in Jiffy, Aggressive and Doosra.

Race 9 is the Golden Loom Sprint over 1000m and you need quite a few in the PA as a lot of them have finished close together. Consider Tar Heel, Angel’s Power, Vincente as those are all 1000m specialists. Bull Valley could find this too short but he is coming off a rest and could race fresh.

The unknown in this race and the horse who could possibly beat them all is Rivarine. Being a young horse he has the most scope for improvement. He must be included in the PA.

For the Pick 6 consider African Ruler, Doing It For Dan and Donny G but it could be too short for the latter.

I ride Trip Tease who seems held on form and as he has played up at the start numerous times, I’m not sure what to expect.

Race 10 is another tough handicap but my first selection, who could quite easily be a floating banker in a Trifecta or Quartet, is Front Rank. He’s running over his best distance, he’s well drawn and has the benefit of a talented apprentice in Calvin Ngcobo who gets a 1.5kg claim. His dangers could be Lunar Approach and Trading Profit.

I ride Janoobi who is held on his last run but could quite easily have been in need of the run as it was his first start after a rest. Unfortunately he hasn’t been over this distance and also has a bad draw to overcome.