The Triple Crown and Triple Tiara are still on the line as the winners of the respective first legs, Abashiri and Heaps Of Fun, have stood their ground for the respective second legs which take place on Saturday, at Turffontein.
Strong fields for both the Gr 1 R2 million SA Classic and the Gr 1 R1 million Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic, both over 1800m, have been assembled.
Abashiri will likely start hot favourite for the SA Classic. The long striding Mike Azzie-trained chestnut will much prefer this trip to the 1600m of the Gr 2 Betting World Gauteng Guineas, which he won comfortably after jockey Karl Zechner had set him alight early in the straight.
Champagne Haze ran on strongly from well back for a 2,5 length second in the Gauteng Guineas. He is now drawn in pole position and of great interest is that Gavin Lerena, currently riding in Hong Kong, has been booked to ride him in place of the injured Gary Alexander stable jockey Andrew
The Tarry-trained Heaps Of Fun faces a tough task in the SA Fillies Classic. The Gauteng Fillies Guineas runner up Negroamara will relish the step up in trip and has landed a plum draw of three, while Heaps Of Fun has to jump from draw ten. Heaps Of Fun will also enjoy the step up in trip,
but the jockeys are unlikely to allow her to dictate the pace from the front again as she did when winning the Gauteng Fillies Guineas.
Tarry’s ever improving filly Witchcraft is known to be the yard’s SA Oaks horse and enters the Triple Tiara fray having won impressively over 2000m on Guineas day. She could be a big runner from the pole position draw.