It has been a long, dry winter season but the Highveld Spring Season kicks off tomorrow with the running of the Grade 3 Spring Spree Stakes over 1200m on the Turffontein Inside track.
Turffontein will become the centre of attraction this month with all but one of the Vaal meetings, the Grand Heritage raceday on 30 September, moving to the Joburg track.
The draw for the Spring Spree Stakes will play a large part in the outcome and with that in mind the runner with the best credentials is Romi’s Boy.
He is one of three runners from the in-form Alec Laird stable – the others are Amazing Strike and Pure Blonde – but with current first-choice jockey Randall Simons aboard Romi’s Boy, who is nicely drawn at No 5, he looks to be the stable elect.
One horse who is well handicapped and will be on o er at a big price is Sporting Monarch. The four-year-old gelding has run twice over the course and distance for a win and a third place. The third place was last time out in which he finished 2.70 lengths behind Pure Blonde and he is now 3.5kg better off.
With a No 7 draw he should be able to reverse the placings. Muzi Yeni takes the ride and Sporting Monarch will have a mere 52kg to shoulder.
Will Pays is in good form and has the benefit of No 1 draw while Piere Strydom rides Angel’s Power who runs well for him.
Port Elizabeth-based Classify has been entered for the Grand Heritage and trainer Dorrie Sham has her runner up on the Highveld to contest this Spring Spree Stakes.
He has been sparingly raced but Sham says he’s “a bull of a horse” and has no issues.
The reason for his late start is that he was out on a farm until he was five-years-old.
She added that under the Grand Heritage rules every horse entered has to have had a run before 19 September and there were no races for him in Port Elizabeth.
“I think this race is too short and too fast for him but the Grand Heritage is his mission and he will stay on the Highveld until then.”