Horses / Columnists

Piere Strydom
6 minute read
7 Mar 2015
11:00 am

It’s been a very good week  

Piere Strydom

Santa Carolina stands out as the best bet at Turffontein.

Picture: AFP.

I’m probably starting to sound like an old broken gramophone record but the last few months have been really good for me. However, this last week has been exceptional. Last Saturday I rode the winners of both the R1-million Betting World Gauteng Guineas and the R500,000 Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas.

Harry’s Son won with authority but we also need to be realistic as his next race will be the Grade 1 SA Classic over 1800m, which also forms the second leg of the SA Triple Crown. I think the SA Derby distance of 2450m, the third leg of the Triple Crown, will probably be too far for him and as far as I am aware, the connections are of the same opinion and are probably going to give the race a miss.

I’m looking forward to riding him in the Classic but for those of the opinion it will be easy pickings, I don’t agree. I think French Navy will be a lot better suited to the extra 200m and he came from way back in a slowly run race to make up a lot of ground. The other danger will also be Unparalleled who finished just behind us and ran off a shocking draw. But the horse who will jump away as favourite if he takes part is Ertijaal. Harry’s Son was beaten by Act Of War and Ertijaal beat Act Of War by many lengths. I doubt whether Act Of War was at his very best on the day of the Investec Derby but the result does speak for itself as Ertijaal also had to travel.

Siren’s Call won the Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas and once again took quite a while to get going. I’m almost sure she will be better suited to the 1800m of the Fillies Classic and possibly even better, the 2450m of the SA Oaks. The form of these fillies has worked out very well as they are consistently finishing in the same placings. For that reason I would think if Majmu takes her place in the Fillies Classic we will all be racing for second place.

Naturally, I’m hoping my filly will make some improvement so we’re in with a chance of winning the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara. Not only did I ride well last weekend but I also tipped well. Followers of the last week’s column would have collected both the PA and the Pick 6. We’ve had quite a lot success lately so I’m still surprised there are punters and presenters who do not take advantage of the information which costs just a few rand.

Through the week I had three rides on Tuesday and all of them won, while on Thursday I had another two winners. All in all, a great week. Racing is on the Standside track today and with so many unraced horses in action it could be hard to make too many predictions. Race 1 is a perfect example. I’m riding Dr Finley who has a winning chance if there is nothing special among the unraced horses. My danger is Malek Al Moolook who did finish in front of Dr Finley, despite running greenly. As a result he would be my first choice among the raced runners.

Race 2 is open as nobody stands out and a lot of them have finished close to one another. My first choice would be Princess Milo as she seems to be improving and has a fair draw. Race 3 is a plate race and in general you should follow horses with the highest merit ratings. The horse I’m leaning towards is Deliver The Power but I would back him up in the Place Accumulator with Aurum Pot who beat him last time out. The other two who are well handicapped are Heavy Metal and Cagiva but they’re both coming off long rests. Sometimes these staying types race fresh and run on strongly to win the race.

I ride Greasepaint. He is out on handicapping terms but he could place in this field. Race 4 is another competitive race but I would think the two key runners are Easy Lover and Spirit Of Hamilton. If you rate Siren’s Call then one of these two should win as this field is weaker than that of the CTS Book 2 Graduates race, won by Siren’s Call. They should be enough for the PA and the only other runner who might have to be included in the Pick 6 is Crevasse. He has won both of his races on the Polytrack in Durban but could be something special.

Race 5 contains possibly the best bet on the card in Santa Carolina. This is a small field, she will have the run of the race and she’s beaten everything else in the field. She is banker in all bets. I ride Wild Ash and she had every chance of beating Santa Carolina last time so she is held on form.Race 6 is the Listed Storm Bird Stakes which is only for juveniles. It’s very hard to pick a winner as there are some unraced horses who have been backed. Of those who have raced,   Magok Master, Silver Kavalier and Just As I Said make the most appeal and they will be my PA horses. Put the same three in the Pick 6 as should an unraced horse win, he, plus the first raced horse home, will count in the Pick 6.

Race 7 is similar to the previous one with a lot of unraced horse. The money has come for the Mike de Kock-trained Entisaar, but of the raced horses I’m leaning towards Scandal, Speedy Suzy and Mella Maria. For the PA put in those three plus Entisaar, and for the Pick 6 we will have to consider Spring Wonder and Toni Performs. Race 8 has my second-best bet on the card and that is Winter Passion. She ran second to Alboran Sea last time who is a lot better than these fillies, but she did come back unsound. A short rest could be in her favour as that often benefits unsound horses. I will make her a PA and Pick 6 banker.

I ride Seventh Symphony. She’s won her last two starts but has not beaten the quality of this field. She will also be carrying a bit of overweight, at least 0.5kg. Race 9 is quite competitive. My first choice is Amazing Strike. He has run against a lot stronger than this field but he did let me down last time and was beaten quite comfortably without any excuses. I did suggest he should be tried over this shorter distance and the blinkers might just do the trick. I’m riding Doing It For Dan. He’s had some decent runs of late but in in his last two races he has fluffed his lines at the start and could do so again this time.

I won on Manx Park in his last start and he gave me a feel of a decent horses who will also keep improving. As this is a very competitive field I would include all of those in the PA. For the Pick 6 you could consider the field.    Race 10 is a very open and competitive field. My first pick is Catch A Thief but from that draw she might not even run a place. Many of the form horses are drawn quite wide. I’m riding Luala. She’s held on form by many runners but at least we have a good draw, which could help us run a place.