There are a few highlights to brighten the winter fare at Turffontein on Sunday when some horses with real potential will be stepping out.
One of them is Geoff Woodruff-trained Guns And Roses. This Trippi three-year-old has run four times, finishing third on debut before winning three races on the bounce.
She will be trying 1800m for the first time in Race 7, a FM 84 Handicap, and will also be back on the tougher Standside track, but in her last start she came from 9.40 lengths back at halfway to beat Seattle Tango going away over the Inside track 1600m.
She bumps a field with some depth and Turn Back Time is weighted to turn the tables, but Guns And Roses is still on the upgrade and could notch up the four-timer. It might pay to banker Marco van Rensburg’s mount in all exotic bets.
Trellis could be her biggest danger. Paul Peter’s runner was nabbed just before the finish in a 1600m race on the Standside track last time out. She was beaten 0.60 lengths by Raes’ Dyna Jet with Turn Back Time only sixth but hampered close home.
The three-year-old Fort Wood filly won over 1700m in her penultimate start and should not be troubled by the extra 100m.
Amazing Strike has some good recent form, including a third behind Search Party in the Post Merchants over 1200m at Greyville last month, and Alec Laird’s charge rates the one to beat in Race 6, a 1400m Pinnacle Stakes.
He has won over this course and distance before and has built up a good rapport with jockey Anthony Delpech, who is booked for the ride.
Tiger’s Touch is the best-weighted runner in the race and Sean Tarry’s charge warrants utmost respect under these conditions. She has been restricted to shorter recently but has placed in both her outings over this distance. She has raced only three times in the last year and, having her third run after a layoff, should be peaking.
Apprentice Lyle Hewitson will have his work cut out from No 10 draw, though.
Captain Aldo, Finchatton, Jiffy and Prince Of Orange are others to consider.
Other highlights could be the performances of Silver Glacier (Race 1) and Perfidia (Race 2), who should improve on their promising debut efforts and get off the mark, while Manitoba looks the one to beat in Race 4.