As a rule, in plate races, one looks to the best-handicapped runner to find your winner. In the case of Race 6 at Turffontein tomorrow, a Graduation Plate over 1600m on the Inside track, it is very hard to select the highest-rated runner, even though he is at least 3kg be er handicapped than any of his opposition.
Glider Pilot, based on his recent form, is clearly rated far too high and it has become almost impossible to side with a runner who has lost his last two starts by a total of 52.55 lengths.
He was pretty talented in his day but the fact that he is now six-years-old and is still only a two-time winner gives one the feeling he should not be rated 104. He does have 4kg claimer, Cole Dicken, up but even with that allowance, which makes him at least 7kg be er handicapped, Glider Pilot does not exude much confidence for punters.
That is not true of the second-highest-rated runner, Promise of a master. Candice Dawson’s charge is only a one-time winner but this three-year-old son of Master Of My Fate was touched off in a Juvenile Plate and then ran fifth in the Grade 1 Premiers Champion Stakes over 1600m at Greyville, both races were won by the same runner – Champion Two-Year-Old colt, Got The Greenlight.
He was rested after the Durban race and returned in a Graduation Plate over 1450m in which he finished a two-length third behind Astrix.
That run will have brought him on nicely and will make him a hard horse to beat in this event. He does appear to have his quirks, like losing ground at the start and pulling, but there is no doubt about his ability. Hopefully, he will behave himself on this occasion.
Warren Kennedy takes the ride. Mike de Kock saddles Sper Optima who finished fifth on debut over 1160m but when put over 1800m the next time out, raced away to beat Bellagio King by four lengths. Whether he is good enough to beat Promiseofamaster who is 8kg be er handicapped, only the race will tell.
Nevertheless, the De Kock yard proved last Saturday that they cannot be let out of anything when they produced six winners on the Turffontein card. Callan Murray, who rode five of them, will take the ride on Spero Optima Informative took five runs to shed his maiden and since then has run a fifth and a fourth in his two runs back from a rest.
It is worth noting that in all of his seven runs, Paul Matche ’s charge has not been further back than 2.50 lengths behind the winner and, with Muzi Yeni up, this three-year-old son of Greys Inn must be included in all Trifectas and Quartets.