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By Mike Moon

Horse racing correspondent

Superstar ‘SS’ reaches for Triple Crown

Champion mare Princess Calla is hot favourite for the Horse Chestnut.

The owners of rising star Sandringham Summit have opted to go the route of the Triple Crown, declaring the colt for Leg 2 of the series, the SA Classic, at Turffontein on Saturday – rather than for the Horse Chestnut Stakes, for which was also entered.

This casts doubt on the three-year-old’s participation in the KwaZulu-Natal winter season – including in the Hollywoodbets Durban July, for which he is among the ante-post favourites. The Triple Crown is an arduous campaign for young horses and it is a tough ask for them to go into battle with elite older horses soon thereafter.

David Nieuwenhuizen-trained Sandringham Summit was priced up as 6-10 favourite for the Grade 1 Classic after final declarations on Tuesday. Next on the boards was William Iron Arm at 5-1 and Hotarubi at 10-1.

Princess Calla

Equus Horse of the Year Princess Calla is the 3-1 preference for the HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut – also a Grade 1 contest – when the final fields for the second day of the Highveld’s Championships season were unveiled.

Turffontein specialist and dual Grade 1 winner Puerto Manzano is next in the betting at 13-2, with Cape Town raider At My Command at 7-1.

The latter, trained by Brett Crawford and the highest-rated horse in the field, is one of three visitors opting to make the journey into the hinterland in search of a share of the R1.5-million prizemoney.

Candice Bass-Robinson, who landed the Horse Chestnut last year with the aptly named Trip Of Fortune, is banking on late-blooming Sugar Mountain for a reprise, while Dean Kannemeyer brings the very versatile Cosmic Highway.

Sadly, champion trainer Justin Snaith won’t be at the Big T, having scratched his Horse Chestnut entry Without Question.

Melech and Main Defender

Also in the high-class lineup are Roy Magner-trained Melech and Tony Peter-trained Main Defender, who sensationally collided in the closing strides of a race at this track a few weeks ago – neither suffering any harm but the latter stumbling and falling back to third place.

Unbeaten Gimme A Nother could find just eight other fillies to oppose her as she tries for six on the trot and in Leg 2 of the Triple Tiara, the Grade 1 Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Guineas, on the same card.

The bookmakers have erected a 7-20 safety barrier around Mike de Kock’s charge – with stablemate Silver Sanctuary also held safe at 11-2.

(No, draw, name, weight, MR, trainer, jockey):

Wilgerbosdrift HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes, Grade 1, R1.5m, 1600m, WFA

1 4 At My Command 60 126 Brett Crawford Luyolo Mxothwa
2 1 Puerto Manzano 60 125 JA Janse van Vuuren Gavin Lerena
3 14 Cousin Casey 60 123 Sean Tarry Grant van Niekerk
4 10 Dave The King 60 122 Mike de Kock Piere Strydom
5 8 Winchester Mansion 60 121 Brett Crawford Kabelo Matsunyane
6 11 Cosmic Highway 60 117 Dean Kannemeyer Craig Zackey
7 7 Melech 60 117 Roy Magner Muzi Yeni
8 13 Mk’s Pride 60 116 Tony Peter Chase Maujean
9 3 Safe Passage 60 116 Mike de Kock Juan Paul v’d Merwe
10 6 Son Of Raj 60 115 Weiho Marwing S’manga Khumalo bl on
11 2 Sugar Mountain 60 115 Candice Bass-Robinson Aldo Domeyer
12 12 Back In Business 60 90 Joe Soma Philasande Mxoli
13 5 Princess Calla 57.5 127 Sean Tarry Richard Fourie
14 9 Main Defender 57 121 Tony Peter Calvin Habib

TAB SA Classic, Grade 1, R1.5m, 1800m, 3YO

1 10 Sandringham Summit 60 123 David Nieuwenhuizen Gavin Lerena
2 7 Hotarubi 60 116 Sean Tarry S’manga Khumalo
3 5 William Iron Arm 60 116 Tony Peter Calvin Habib
4 1 Purple Pitcher 60 114 Robyn Klaasen Kabelo Matsunyane
5 6 Gimmeanotherchance 60 111 Mike de Kock Craig Zackey
6 9 Guy Gibson 60 105 Roy Magner Piere Strydom
7 2 Pure Predator 60 104 Fanie Bronkhorst Denis Schwarz
8 4 Storm Brasco 60 104 Sean Tarry Richard Fourie
9 8 Navajo Nation 60 103 Robbie Hill Serino Moodley
10 11 Barbaresco 60 102 JA Janse van Vuuren Ryan Munger
11 3 Mondial 60 100 M G Azzie/A A Azzie Muzi Yeni

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