It is Guineas Day at Turffontein and hopefully we can find a winner or two as the weather could well play havoc again.
Only nine runners will go to post for the R1-million Betting World Gauteng Guineas but there are many horses with chances. Some of these horses are lightly raced and still improving so that makes finding a winner even trickier.
My first choice is Al Sahem. He won his first two starts with consummate ease and is still on the upgrade. It does not stop there as a horse like Matador Man, who tends to fluff his lines at the start, will have a much better chance of catching the leaders with the longer straight on the Standside course this time.
You also have to consider Heavenly Blue as the same will apply to him. Unfortunately we’re not sure about his fitness as he has not raced since the Cape Guineas at Kenilworth in December.
My ride, Janoobi, also went to Cape Town but I was hoping for a firmer track, which we are unlikely to get.
Another to consider is Doosra who has the same form as my runner but 1600m is a concern as he might not see out the distance.
Furiosa is the first choice of S’manga Khumalo and he could have had Al Sahem and Matador Man. I might be totally wrong but I’m leaning towards Al Sahem and Matador Man for the Place Accumulator. For the Pick 6 you could consider the field but if you have to leave anything out you could consider Unagi and Tilbury Fort.
If you need more information about the horses in the Guineas have a look at the pen-pic videos on www.citizen.co.za.
The R500,000 Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas is another tough one as it is a huge field and once again some could improve more than their form shows. With the size of the field some are drawn extremely wide and that will affect their chances.
The three horses with the best form – Safe Harbour, Ektifaa and Orchid Island – are all badly drawn. For that reason include all three in the Place Accumulator. For the Pick 6 the only other runner to consider is Maleficent as she has ability and a good draw, but has not been running up to expectations.
I ride Babbling Brooke who is well held on form although last time we had no luck. She did not jump well and we ended up racing three wide which did not help her. She will also be a lot better over 1600m with the long straight, compared to her last run.
A Maiden Juvenile Plate kicks off the meeting and contains a lot of unraced horses. The form horses are Celestina, La Bella Mia and Georgia May. Keep an eye on the betting with regards to the first-timers.
Race 2 is another Maiden Juvenile Plate but this time it is over 1400m. It is an advantage to have had a couple of runs as it will have improved a horse’s stamina and Whorly Whorly falls into that category. I’m not sure that form is strong so consider Sardius. He has only had one run over 800m, which makes him difficult to assess.
You could even consider the filly, Spice Queen, as she is drawn No 1 which could be an advantage. As none of the raced runners gives you much confidence, you could consider the two well-bred first timers – Like A Panther and Wonderous Climber.
Race 3 is another Maiden Juvenile Plate and is also the first leg of the Place Accumulator. We could have a possible banker in Spring Breeze. Of the raced runners she has the best form and a good draw. If you want to put in another runner then consider Rumbavar. Often trainers will send horses with ability to the Cape for the summer season to run for the bigger stakes. Rumbavar had her two fist runs at Kenilworth and could prefer this distance.
Race 4 is probably the most difficult on the card as those who have raced do not have inspiring form. For instance, Barbarella Nights and Bono both tried to win in work riders’ races where the form is not strong. The highest rated horse is Zip Line but he has been found not to be striding out on numerous occasions. Therefore include all of them in the PA but also consider some unraced horses like St Joseph and Knysna Jet. Put all mentioned into the Pick 6 as well as Prince Of War because the stable is in hot form.
Race 5 is a similar race as the raced runners have little form except for my ride, Patchouli Queen. There are some well-bred unraced horses who could upset the applecart but Patchouli Queen should be a PA banker and as her biggest dangers are first-timers, she could even be a Pick 6 banker. But her short price is not great value for a straight bet as there could be some talented first-timers in the field.
Race 6 is the Hawaii Stakes and even though it’s a conditions race which favours the highest rated horses it does not make it any easier. My first selection is Talktothestars but he is not sure to see out 1400m in these conditions. My next selection is French Navy who is coming back in distance and a bad draw won’t help his chances. My third choice is Kangaroo Jack but he has the worst draw and was not striding out last time.
The safest bet could be New Predator who is drawn No 1.
For the PA consider New Predator, Kangaroo Jack and French Navy. For the Pick 6, everything has some sort of a chance so put in as many as you can afford.
Race 7 is the Acacia Handicap for fillies and mares over 1600m and also looks difficult. However, the best handicapped runner is Shaama. She is definitely a PA banker and possibly even a Pick 6 banker. My concern is whether she will see out this distance. The fact she ran on strongly last time from being positioned last entering the straight, indicates she should see it out.
Her danger is possibly Bella Sonata and Kilauea who beat Shaama last time, but with the turnover in weights and the possibility the latter won’t see out 1600m, makes me go back to Shaama.
Others to consider could be Work Ethic and Flying Ice, who is drawn in pole position.
I ride Polyphonic whose form of late has not been good but if she produces her best form she could easily be included.
Race 10 is another handicap over distance with many horses having chances. My first choice is Royal Honour who has done well over distance. His last run, where he won on the Inside track which is not his favourite course, was a win full of merit. His dangers could be Supertube, Save The Rhino and Frikkie.
Race 11 is another difficult fillies’ handicap but I’m leaning towards Wind Chill, Readyforyourlove, Onesie and Costa Da Sol. The unknown is Parabola who won her only start but has a wide draw to overcome.
Race 12 contains my best bet on the card in Last Outlaw. He is a young, improving horse who is lightly raced. He is drawn No 1 as opposed to last time where he had a shocking draw and he was baulked near the finish. Before that he had competed against some quality opposition. His dangers could be Fangia and Misty Roller.
I ride Baracah who is held on form and with a bad draw he has an outside place chance.