Probably the singularly most fascinating race on the big Greyville day, the R500,000 Gr1 Durban Golden Slipper run over 1400m sees sixteen upwardly mobile two year old fillies go to post for what should prove a closely contested affair. Mike De Kock and Vaughan Marshall look like the teams to be with.
This race is won by horses that generally go on to do great things, and last year’s winner Princess Victoria is living proof of that. Mike De Kock has won it twice in the past five years and has a strong hand, as does Vaughan Marshall who has had a wonderful season and now puts his speedsters to the test over a little bit more.
Marshall’s coupling of All Is Secret and Valdivia is a powerful duo that any trainer would give anything to have in his yard. They have won five of their seven races between them. It is rather bizarre to note that regular Marshall stable rider MJ Byleveld rides neither of them, and this is partly readily explained by Anton Marcus riding for Markus Jooste. Bernard Fayd’herbe’s booking on Valdivia is less clear. After all the speculation prior to the Allan Robertson about their respective track work abilities, which has since been refuted by the trainer, it is probably not surprising that a fresh riding appointment has been made.
All Is Secret has won two of her three starts and her emphatic win in the Allan Robertson last time proved that her defeat by Straight Set in The Debutante was not her top run. That said, Straight Set underlined the strength of the form and went on to run a cracker in the Gold Medallion against the boys. All Isi Secret quickened to win the Robertson and looks like a filly who will handle the Greyville 1400m test. She is by Captain Al out of the brilliant Goldkeeper mare Secret Of Victoria, who won up to 1400m. She is not well drawn, but Marcus negates that drawback to a large degree.
Valdivia was naturally touted as a rising star after winning her first three races by a total of sixteen lengths before being downed in the Allan Robertson. She did not enjoy the most enterprising of rides that afternoon and was switched in late for a run and in reality was only two lengths behind.
All Is Secret did win rather readily though and it appeared that the homework legend of her being superior to Valdivia was being confirmed. Trainer Vaughan Marshall has since cast doubts on that information by suggesting that they don’t work together and that there may not be that much difference.
The Mike De Kock coupling for Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum looks very strong. The grey Red Ransom New Zealand bred Rumya skated home on debut three weeks ago to win at 7-10 in good time. A long-striding filly out of a Fuji Kiseki mare, who is a three parts sister to an Oaks winner, she should enjoy the extra and has the best of the draw.
Her stablemate Tayba won on debut and was then narrowly beaten by Yellow Card after setting the pace over the Scottsville 1400m. Anthony Delpech sides with the less experienced Rumya, but there may not be too much between them.
Out To Dry
Dennis Drier and Sean Cormack team up with the Var filly Schiffer, who won her debut and only start to date four weeks ago. That was over the Clairwood 1000m and she showed natural speed before drawing away to win well. She could be anything and there is no support form from the race. She is out of a Model Man mare, and may not just be pure speed.
Charles Laird’s Dylan’s Promise is an interesting runner in the hands of Piere Strydom. In a sensational Listed Devon Air Stakes race at her last start, she came back from the grave to narrowly beat Lizzy Grey. Besides being a superb ride by Anton Marcus, that was courageous and a great effort after a rather ordinary maiden win. She is drawn wide of midfield, but might be improving quicker than we realise.
Lizzy Grey is a very smart Windrush filly who won her maiden at her second start by 7,25 lengths. That sort of catapulted her into the limelight, but starting a 5-10 favourite at her next outing , Kevin Shea lost his stirrup irons at the start and the race developed into a wasted effort. She looked a winner in the Devon Air Stakes, but fell victim to a top ride and a gutsy filly. Keagan Latham has to overcome a 16 draw.
Corne Spies’ The Debutante winner Straight Set has had a tough programme, but ran a top-class race against the colts in the Gold Medallion. She stormed through late there to get within 1,25 lengths of Potent Power.She has Jeff Lloyd up from a fair draw, and must be serious runner after winning her only previous try at 1400m at Turffontein.
SA Fillies Nursery shock winner King’s Temptress ran poorly in the Allan Robertson,and she gets a chance to redeem her shattered reputation from a nice draw.
It looks a tough task for the rest and ultimately a straight shootout between De Kock and Marshall. History favours the former, but we know that Marshall’s two are more experienced and both extremely capable. Then there is the wily Dennis Drier with another smart Var in Schiffer.
Mouthwatering prospects in abundance and a real thriller on the cards.