The big day has arrived, and everybody involved in horseracing will be gearing up for a fantastic day’s racing on the wonderful Standside track at Turffontein.
It’s a truly wonderful meeting filled with feature races and is headed up by the World Sports Betting-backed Gauteng Summer Cup.
This year’s renewal of the R2-million Grade race over 2,000m is sensational.
It comprises the highest quality horses on offer and I cannot wait for the race to take place. Our amazing filly, War Of Athena, takes on superstars Malmoos and Got The Greenlight – and don’t forget Bingwa, who won the OnamissionMile so convincingly.
The main race is backed up by five other feature races as well as a Pinnacle Stakes on the day.
The other feature races on the day include one of my favourite races in the year – the Grade 2 WSB Dingaans which has been the starting point for many a champion.
There are also 10 carryovers totalling R7.1 million so there is big money to be won at this meeting.
Overall, it’s a day filled with class and I’m really excited that I have outstanding chances in some of these major races.
I have had a week’s suspension which has freshened me up. I feel great, and although I haven’t been race riding, I certainly have been putting in the work at home. I’m very happy with where my rides are at present and I’m hoping, with a bit of luck, I’ll be right there in a number of the features.
I have eight rides, five of which are in feature race. Our best bet in last week’s column won so hopefully we can guide everyone in the right direction for this meeting.
Race 1 is a Maiden Plate for fillies and mares over 1,600m and I ride Queen Nandi who was very disappointing on debut and I can only hope she improves, although I can’t give anyone any confidence.
My first selection and my best bet on the card is Bellevarde, who will take all the beating over this 1,600m trip. She ran on strongly in both starts and this looks a perfect race get her to shed her maiden tag. Her main danger is Angelsea, who has run well in all three starts, and off a good draw, I’m expecting her to be right there.
Race 2 is a Maiden Plate over 1,600m and I ride ever-consistent Secret Link who once again must be respected. As mentioned previously, I’m disappointed he hasn’t won yet but I think he will be right there this time. The horse to beat is Magnum PI who is in great form and off a good draw will be right there in the fi nish. Wave Warrior, Abayyaan and Master Of Coin are others to consider.
Race 3 is a Pinnacle Stakes over 1,600m and I really like the look of Forever Mine. He ran a great race last time and off No 2 draw will have the run of the race. Sounds Of Summer is the main danger and the blinkers did the trick last time out. He is also drawn well, so these two horses should fight it out.
Race 4 is the Grade 3 Magnolia Handicap over 1,160m and it’s an ultra-competitive handicap for fillies. It’s lovely to see such a big field but it’s a minefield and my suggestion is to go as wide as the budget allows. I’m leaning towards the three-year-olds and I feel the horse to beat is Big Burn.
She just didn’t see out the 1,400m last time out and the drop in trip will suit. Her main danger will be Sound Of Warning who ran a cracker last time out. Sheela is another high class filly who must be included into all bets.
Race 5 is the Grade 3 Merchants over 1,160m and I ride outstanding sprinter Battle Force who won such a lovely race last time out. He has a big weight but has earned it and his work has been fantastic, so I’m expecting another big run.
MK’s Pride will enjoy the step down in trip and must be respected, but my main danger is Alesian Chief, who I won on last time, and gave me the feel of a top sprinter. After those three it’s a very open contest so go as wide as the budget allows.
Race 6 is the Grade 2 Dingaans over 1,600m and I ride very promising Super Excited. This is my value bet because he is in great form and I rate him highly. I feel he will love this trip and I make him a massive runner on the day. My main danger is Pyromaniac who was finishing off strongly in his last start. He looks well above average and another decent run is expected.
Safe Passage and Aragosta look highly promising and must both be included.
Race 7 is the Grade 2 Ipi Tombe Challenge over 1,600m and I ride Clafoutis who I give a big chance. Once again, I’m leaning towards the three-year-olds and I think I’ll be right there at the fi nish. The filly to beat could be Rain In Holland after a nice comeback run. I’m sure she would have improved and off a good draw sets the standard.
Perfect Witness Iooks very good and must be included in all bets. I will be surprised if these young horses don’t get you through all your bets.
Race 8 is the Grade 1 Gauteng Summer Cup over 2,000m and I ride the very special War Of Athena. I was extremely impressed by how much she strengthened up after her break and her work since then has been phenomenal. This is her toughest test so far but I’m very hopeful she’ll be able to win. I make her the horse to beat.
My main danger is Got The Greenlight who clearly has been aimed at this race. Over this track and trip there are very few horses as good as him. Malmoos is another with a huge chance and I’m sure there will be huge improvement from his last start.
Bingwa is the other horse I suggest you add in everything. Since the addition of blinkers, he has been a different horse and I think he remains a major runner over this trip. I believe these four horses will get you through all your bets.
Race 9 is the Listed Racing Association Stayers over 3,200m and I ride Super Handsome who I believe will definitely enjoy this trip. He is a nice horse and I’m hoping he can run another fantastic race. All of Dream Destiny, Marchingontogether, Don’t Look Back and Smoking Hot have winning credentials and must be added into all bets.
Race 10 is a Maiden Plate over 2,000m and I ride Apache Gold who has run two very decent races of late. This isn’t the strongest field so I’m hopeful he can run into the money. I think we all have Clarkson to beat. He has always given me the impression he wants this type of a distance, and he rates a major runner. Maria’s World is another to consider.
Race 1 No 6 Bellevarde
Race 6 No 3 Super Excited
Leg 1: 7, 9, 10, 15
Leg 2: 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 13
Leg 3: 1, 3
Leg 4: 8, 9, 10
Leg 5: 1, 2, 3, 4
Leg 6: 3, 4, 5, 6, 9
- This article was first published on Saturday, 27 November.