The summit for Sandringham
Gimmethegreenlight colt deserves a change of fortune in Gauteng Guineas
What makes the first leg of the Grade 2 TAB Gauteng Guineas so exciting is that all 11 runners have a shot at winning the SA Triple Crown.
The Guineas over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday opens one of South Africa’s most prestigious horseracing events for three-year-olds as there is a R2-million bonus paid to the connections of any horse who can win all three legs.
The other two are the Grade 1 SA Classic over 1800m and the Grade 1 SA Derby over 2450m.
Of course, once the Guineas has been run, there will be only one contender in with SA Triple Crown hopes.
Bettors are faced with an outstanding nine-race card which includes a R500 000 Pick 6 carryover with the pool likely to climb to R3 million.
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Sandringham Summit looks the runner to beat in the Gauteng Guineas. He is the best weighted runner by at least 3.5kg and is the lone Grade 1 winner in the field as well as the highest rated runner. He was desperately unlucky in the Grade 2 Dingaans over this course and distance at the end of last year and should reverse the placings with winner Purple Pitcher.
Sandringham Summit, named Champion Two-Year-Old at last season’s Equus Awards, has not raced since the Dingaans and was scratched for his January warmup but he is all class horse and if fit and well will be hard to beat.
His connections have not had the best of fortune with the son of Gimmethegreenlight and they certainly deserve better this time around. He is drawn No 3 this time which will also improve his winning chances. Gavin Lerena takes the ride.
Obviously, Purple Pitcher and Gimmeanotherchance, first and second in the Grade 2 Jonsson Workwear Dingaans, have to be considered as possible winners but after the interference suffered by Sandringham Summit during the race, he has to be expected to reverse that form with the other two.
Purple Pitcher won his fifth consecutive start in the Dingaans and Robyn Klaasen’s charge looks well above average. He showed real character when fighting all the way to the line in that victory and must be in with a winning chance. He has built up a huge rapport with jockey Kabelo Matsunyane who was aboard for all five of his wins and is undefeated in all five starts on the son of New Predator.
Gimmeanotherchance looked home and hosed going into the final 100m but once again got caught close to home. He was gelded after that run but then ran well below his best in the Grade 3 Got The Greenlight Stakes over 1400m behind Main Defender. That run is possibly best forgotten and there is not much doubt trainer Mike de Kock will have him at his best for the race that really matters.
Craig Zackey will be back on board after missing out last time and he could easily get the run of the race from No 2 draw.
Interestingly, Main Defender is not in the field but trainer Tony Peter has an interesting runner in William Iron Arm. The son of William Longsword last ran in June last year when he notched up his second victory, not too shabby as he had already shed his maiden in his second of three starts.
He changed stables last November and it is worth noting that Peter has stuck him directly into the Guineas without a warmup race. In addition, stable first-choice jockey Calvin Habib has taken the ride over stable companion House Of Romanov.
Other runners to consider, especially for Trifectas and Quartets, are Mike and Adam Azzie-trained Mondial and Sean Tarry’s charge, Storm Brasco, who could be a lot better than his merit rating.