The national racing programme cupboard looks a little bit bare this weekend, with two non black-type features topping the bill.
The R135 000 Allez France Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday honours one of the great racehorses of the 20th century – but there are no real standouts in a competitive contest.
The Ideal World mare Zante was formerly trained by Neil Bruss and the 2016 Queen Palm Stakes winner looks ready to open her Gauteng account at her third outing for Geoff Woodruff.
Topping the SP ratings, she gets the services of Piere Strydom and looks quite nicely in if running to her best form.
Zante stays well and had excuses last time when hampered and running 4,50 lengths behind Banking April – who added value to the form strength when following up at her next start.
The very consistent Patchit Up Baby – like Zante, a daughter of Ideal World – shares joint top weight honours and this consistent galloper looks ready to register her fourth career win.
She was runner-up in this race last year when having only her second outing on transfer from the Duncan Howells yard.
Her and Zante bumped heads at her penultimate start where she had 6kgs in hand and beat the Woodruf runner by six lengths.
That makes for an interesting tactical rematch here.
Patchit Up Baby’s’ stablemate Tiger Flame gets the 1,5kgs claim of apprentice Calvin Habib and is another mare who stays well.
This versatile galloper – she has won from 1200m to 2000m – finished 1,60 lengths ahead of the hampered Zante last time and meets her opponent on 1,5kgs worse terms
The 2016 Listed Oaks Trial winner Inaninstant came good at this time last year when registering a hat-trick of wins – including beating her highly vaunted stablemate Trophy Wife.
The daughter of Silvano has run two low-key races, with a breathing noise reported at her last start.
She must be included on her best form.
The Bankable filly Parisienne Chic goes for a hat-trick of wins and comes in fit having had seven starts since 1 December
She ran a great prep when hanging on well to beat Rose Water last Saturday, and if all the racing does not catch up with her with arduous stamina test on Saturday, she can be included in quartets.
Geoff Woodruff’s Silver Stripe is a course and distance winner and looks capable of improving.
She impressed when trying serious ground at her penultimate start and beating Bondiblu going away.
Dropped 400m in trip, she failed to confirm that next time when fancied and only managing a midfield finish.
Heather Adamson’s 6yo Tobesuretobesure looks a likely pacesetter and always tries her heart out.
The four-time winner has not really sparked at her last three runs and will need to put her mind to the task at hand to have any chance of threatening quartet money.
Maine Chance Farm’s Galileo filly Cidada came to hand early, winning at her fourth start – and last time making it 2 from 3 when slamming Wind Chill by 1,25 lengths.
Cidada tries the 2200m for the first time but looks to relish the extra and could well be much better than currently rated.
The Horse Chestnut filly Seal My Fate comes in with a handy 51,5kgs and has proven nicely consistent at her last three starts.
While yet to prove that she actually stays the 2200m, she has shown no signs of stopping, coupled with plenty of pace at her starts around 2000m.
Her and Cidada have met twice recently and the Laird runner turned the tables by 2,40 lengths – although Seal My Fate is 3,5kgs better off here.
It looks a keen duel between the proven and the up-and-coming 4yo group.
Zante and Patchit Up Baby have been around the block a few times and will be involved in the finish. Inaninstant has shown she can turn it on, while the unexposed Cidada and Silver Stripe could step up to the plate.