Reward for Millahue after move up country

Once put over 1600m upwards Millahue has performed remarkab


The decision to transfer Millahue up to the Highveld from the Western Cape appears to be paying dividends as the five-year-old gelding has not finished out of the places since the move.

Although the change was made in December last year, the son of Gimmethegreenlight only made his first appearance for the Johan Janse van Vuuren yard on 25 March this year. That came in a sprint over 1160m on the Standside track at Turffontein and despite being far too short, Millahue did well to finish fourth, beaten 3.25 lengths by Aussenkehr.

His second run was over 1450m on the Vaal Classic track and that too was a touch too short. On that occasion he ran third, beaten once again by 3.25 lengths, this time by Tizona.

Once put over 1600m upwards Millahue has performed remarkably, with two wins, three seconds and a third in his last six runs. What makes those performances even more remarkable is he was always beaten less than a length – and in fact, also won his two races by less than a length.

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He really has particularly taken to the Inside track at Turffontein which is where he will line up in Race 7, a Middle Stakes over 2000m, on Saturday.

He has raced three times at the track for one win and two seconds, and as one of the best weighted runners he is expected to notch up his fourth career win. Diego de Gouveia has ridden him twice for a win and a second place, and he has picked up the ride once again.

Although taking a jump up in class, the main threat to Millahue could come from Lucky Houdalakis-trained Total Surrender. While he has been taking on weaker opposition, this son of Flower Alley has performed well. The four-year-old gelding has been lightly raced with only six outings so far. However, he has picked up three wins already to add to his two seconds and a fourth, which came in his last start.

On paper he has his work cut out, as based on merit ratings he is out at the weight with most of his opposition. However, he has done little wrong and there could be a lot more to come from him.
It is worth noting that Houdalakis has engaged former champion jockey S’manga Khumalo to ride his charge for the first time.

Bey Suyay is very much in the same boat. He is not well weighted under the race conditions, but he loves this course where he has produced four of his five victories.

In fact, of his 10 starts on the Turffontein Inside track, this Barend Botes-trained six-year-old gelding has only once finished out of the placings.

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However, it might be significant that Khumalo, who has ridden him in his last two races, has opted to ride Total Surrender, while Chase Maujean will be aboard Bey Suyay on this occasion.

Others to consider are Home Of The Brave from the Tyrone Zackey stable, who is currently in good form, and Brave Viking, who goes further than 1600m for the first time.

Champagne Cocktail could not have been more impressive when making a winning debut for Mike de Kock, romping to a 7.50-length victory. That form was franked when third-placed Annewithan E won her next start by eight lengths.

While neither race was particularly strong Champagne Cocktail can only get better from here on and the full sister to Sparkling Water is sure to be a popular banker in Race 3, a MR 83 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1800m, where she will carry just 53.5kg.

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