As per usual, racing at Flamingo Park on a Monday presents us with a challenge. But August Duke has hit top form since joining the Stephen Moffatt stable and makes plenty of appeal in Race 6, a MR 62 over 1200m.
The Antonius Pius gelding won on his only previous visit to this centre, a mere three weeks ago, when outlasting a decent three-year-old in Cold Front. He then underlined his return to best form as he went on to record a close-up second against stronger on the Turffontein Inside track last week.
If this race hasn’t come too soon, he can confidently be expected to deal with the more limited opposition he encounters here. From a decent draw and with reigning Kimberley champion jockey Muzi Yeni up, he makes a strong case for inclusion as a banker in exotics.
Roaring Tiger (1kg better off) was only 1.25 lengths off our selection on their previous meeting here and may well come out best of the rest. Toonani, Jet Sailor, Anyday Anytime and Dancingwithjackson all have enough form to be considered if one is looking further.
A Pinnacle Stakes over 1200m is the strongest event on the day, and the race is spiced up by the return of Kiss Me Hardy. Now trained by Stephanie Miller, the well-travelled six-year-old has won three from four at this venue, and boasts an impressive sand merit rating of 104, which makes him clearly the best handicapped runner on paper.
His last appearance on the surface was almost two years ago, though, and with a lot more miles on the clock it remains to be seen whether he can still reach those rarified levels.
On current form, In Full Regalia is clearly the one to beat. He has recorded a couple of respectable seconds over the minimum trip against strong company since arriving here. As he now goes over 1200m – the distance that produced all four of his wins – there is plenty to like about his chances.
It could be another good day for Yeni as he also partners this one.