Racing News 3.8.2015 01:26 pm

Flamingo Park Ready For Big Day

Image credit: Thinkstock

Image credit: Thinkstock

The Flamingo Park Festival on August 8 is Kimberley’s biggest annual race meeting and will hold more prestige than ever this year.

This because one of the three features on the card, the R135.000 Non-Black Type World Sports Betting Sprint over 1000m, will form the first leg of the R1 885.000 Supreme Challenge.

The Supreme Challenge will comprise of the World Sports Betting Sprint as well as the Gr 3 R250.000 August Stakes over 1200m on the Vaal Sand and the Gr 2 R1 million SAP Supreme Cup over 1450m on the Vaal sand.

Any horse that can win all three legs will land a bonus of R500.000 sponsored by World Sports Betting.

This means some of the best sand-to-1450m horses in the country will descend upon Kimberley for the Flamingo Sprint.

Corné Spies could well be nicknamed “the travelling trainer” and might well have a strong hand in the first leg of the Supreme Series as he has nominated the decent filly Sarve, who finished just 5,8 lengths back in the GR 1 SA Fillies Sprint over 1200m, the Gr 3 winner Olympic Owen, who won last time out over the course and distance of the World Sports Betting Sprint, the in form Velvet Verona, and also Atso Time and Defender Of Peace.

Louis Goosen has already declared former champion jockey Andrew Fortune to ride his only entry in the Sprint, Varbration. This Var gelding is speedy but has also won twice over 1200m, so the August Stakes and possibly the Supreme Cup could also be in his sights.

One of the most interesting entries is undoubtedly the Coenie de Beer-owned and trained Talktothestars, who will be going for five wins on the trot and impressed with first time blinkers on Sunday over 1160m at Turffontein.

The Wallace Tolmay-trained Green Rock has won from 1200m to 1450m on the Vaal sand so is one that could be going for all three legs, although he will have to bounce back from a poor last run, having won his previous two outings.

Port Elizabeth trainer Jacques Strydom might raid for the Sprint with Tetelestai, and evergreen veteran who has won over 1000m on the Fairview polytrack before.

The most interesting local entries in the Sprint are the consistent Tienie Prinsloo-trained Black Pepper, the Cliffie Miller-trained Devon Gold, the  Coerie Lensley-trained pair The Queen and One Cool Cat and the Bill Human-trained Caribbean Bay.

The other two features races at the Flamingo Park Festival are the R200.000 Non-Black Type RA Flamingo Mile and the Non-Black Type R100.000 Diamond Stayers over 2200m.

Jacques Strydom has entered the 105 merit-rated Gogetthesheriff in the Mile and another interesting potential raider is the Mike de Kock-trained filly Ahlaam, who was a facile winner over this trip on the Vaal sand last time out.  De Kock has also entered decent sorts Capricorn Ridge and Guy From Dubai. Interesting local entries include the Lensley-trained Pinot Noir, the Sarel von Willingh Smit-trained Stone Pine and the Cliffie Miller-trained Kingofmountain.

Miller has also entered Stone Pine in the Diamond Stayers, as he won over course and distance last time out, and he might have back ups in this testing event in the form of African Gladiator and Wimoweh. Other interesting Diamond Stayer entries are the Human-trained Sir Isaac, the Stephanie Miller-trained Over Achiever, the Prinsloo-trained Pontedera, the Jacques Strydom-trained Mauri Blue and the Luchelle Kruger-trained Big Shot.

Spies has entered All The Bids in both the Mile and the Stayers but this horse has a merit rating of 111 so would be asked to carry a massive weight in either event.

Kimberley’s biggest racing weekend will commence with the Racing Association’s Northern Cape Awards on the Friday night. These will honour the sport’s regional stakeholders who have excelled throughout the season. Furthermore, runners participating in the feature races at the Festival will be “auctioned off” with a percentage of the takings being contributed to a local charity.

A bevy of children’s activities will be on offer the following day at the track, so it will be a fantastic day out for the whole family.

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