Turffontein preview: Trainer Tony Peter has the right Defender
Main Defender showed his improvement when making a field of top division runners look second rate in the Betway Joburg Spring Challenge.
Main Defender’s trainer Tony Peter. Picture: Supplied
We look to have some outstanding three-year-olds this season and we are sure to enjoy some highly competitive races between them, and we will get a glimpse into that future with the running of the Grade 3 Graham Beck Stakes and HSH Princess Charlene Starling Stakes for fillies, both over 1400m at Turffontein tomorrow.
Sandringham Summit won two sensational races at Hollywoodbets Greyville last season and in the second, the Grade 1 Premiers Champion Stakes over 1600m, he comfortably beat Main Defender by 2.40 lengths.
They will meet again in the Graham Beck Stakes but this time the result could be reversed. Tony Peter-trained Main Defender showed his improvement when making a field of top division runners look second rate in the Betway Joburg Spring Challenge over 1450m on the Turffontein Inside track.
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“He’s doing really well,” said Peter. “He’s not a heavy horse so I haven’t killed him after that run. I didn’t want a flat second run so I haven’t put pressure on him.
“I’ve just played with him between then and now but he’s athletic and doesn’t take all that much work.” ,
Sandringham Summit, however, will be using this as his prep run for the Jonsson Workwear Dingaans. “He’s doing well,” said trainer David Nieuwenhuizen yesterday, “but this is not the ideal prep run for him. We looked at other races but he drew badly and that has forced us into running him in this race.
“So, because of his Grade 1 penalty he has to give weight to all the other runners.”
While Nieuwenhuizen acknowledges it will be hard to beat Main Defender, he added: “But we will give him a go.”
Based on her last run when touched off by Mrs Geriatrix, White Pearl looks the filly to beat in the Starling Stakes.