Unagi returns to his favourite course and will give punters a good run for their money in Race 7 on the Inside track at Turffontein on Sunday.
This Gary Alexander-trained runner has run five times at this course for three wins and a fourth place and all three wins were over 1600m, the distance of this MR 90 Handicap. In recent races Unagi has come up against arguably the best three-year-olds in the country. He ran 5.80 lengths behind Janoobi in the Betting World Gauteng Guineas (Grade 2) and then a 5.50-length fourth behind Heavenly Blue in the Grade SA Classic over 1800m, both on the Standside track.
Last time he was well backed top win a MR 95 Handicap over 1600m on the Standside track but after going clear at the 400m mark, faded late to finish fourth, two lengths behind Cashin. The two meet again but the 1.5kg turnaround and the change in course should be good enough for Unagi to swing the result around.
Craig Zackey takes the ride and one is always assured of top-class assistance from the saddle.
Cashin has to be the main threat especially as Weichong Marwing is in the irons and they will jump from No 1 draw. Ormond Ferraris’ charge seems to take a while to get going and he looks a better prospect on the Standside track with the longer run-in.
Trading Profit comes into this race with just 52kg on his back and this four-year-old son of Toreador is knocking on the door. He tried to lead all the way last time over 1600m at the Vaal with 61kg on his back and was only caught late by Nephrite.
Mike Azzie’s charge takes a climb in class but if Mathew Thackeray is able to escape the opposition at the top of the straight he could be hard to catch.
Whatever the fate of Trading Profit it should still be a good day for the Azzie yard. They saddle Orpheus in Race 1, a Juvenile Plate over 1450m and this son of Western Winter out of Stratos, who was trained by Azzie, easily won on debut. He is drawn No 1, has Anthony Delpech in the irons and is expected to make it two from two.
However, their best could come up in Race 3 with Varimax. This two-year-old son of Var was beaten by Purple Diamond on debut at this track last time and the winner is one of those “bombs” from the Sean Tarry yard.
With Piere Strydom up Varimax looks to be a banker in all bets.