While our local stalwarts are well represented, two daughters of Coolmore stallion Dylan Thomas go head to head in Sunday’s R250 000 Gr2 Betting World Oaks run over 2400m at Clairwood.
Mike De Kock has a powerful hand with the Fort Wood filly Al Kindi offering some solid support for her less exposed stablemate Munyatee, who has only her fifth start after shedding her maiden in a workrider’s race at her fourth run in runaway style.
She looks classy and scopy but will have to be taken on trust though. Together with Charles Laird’s Australian bred Dylan’s Promise, Munyatee is one of two daughter of the terrific Irish bred Dylan Thomas.
A son of Danehill, Dylan Thomas, was trained by Aidan O’Brien. In a racing career which lasted from June 2005 until December 2007, he ran twenty times and won ten races.
After winning two minor races in 2005 he improved to become one of the leading European three-year-olds of 2006, winning the Irish Derby and the Irish Champion Stakes as well as finishing a close third in the Epsom Derby.
In 2007 he won three of Europe’s most important weight-for-age races, taking the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, a second Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. His performances led to his being named European Horse of the Year in 2007.
He was retired at the end of 2007 and now stands as a shuttle stallion for Coolmore, serving mares at the main Coolmore farm in Ireland during the Northern Hemisphere breeding season and at Coolmore’s Australia farm during the Southern Hemisphere breeding season.
The 2012 Listed Devon Air Stakes winner Dylan’s Promise has won 4 of her 12 starts and did not feature in the SA Fillies Classic. She ran a fair prep race last time and is likely to improve further here. She has by the far the best proven credentials in the race.
Al Kindi ran a disappointing race last time out in the Woolavington 2000, but ran on strongly in the Listed East Coast Handicap at her previous outing behind Adobe Pink.
Trainer Ivan Moore had a terrific day at Clairwood last Sunday where his Australian bred Red Rock Lady shed he maiden in good style as the first leg of a stable double. While a runaway winner there, the daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar will find this a lot tougher and strikes us as a likely pacesetter.
Adam Marcus and David Nieuwenhuizen are two yards that we have not seen often in Champions Season action. They are the new kids on the block by Group race standards.
Marcus, son of the world renowned Basil Marcus, sends out the Ashaawes filly Priceless Jewel. She looked a fair sort reeling off two wins after winning her maiden in Cape Town.
She has produced two blank efforts in the Cape Guineas and Woolavington, and may be more at ease in this contest. She may be also be best ridden more conservatively (as when she won) than her Woolavington effort where she ran freely,
David Niewenhuizen sends out the Requiem filly, Billy Jo. A proven stayer, having won over 2450m and 2600m, she could find a place after winning her last start in a lowly rated handicap very easily. Former KZN rider Karl Zechner, who won on her last time, comes back to Durban, and will be keen to make an impact.
Weiho Marwing’s Sky Pirate ran ten lengths off Cherry On The Top in the SA Oaks. The daughter of Victory Moon stays well and could surprise if adapting to the right hand turn.
The former Weiho Marwing trained Moikavano is a smart daughter of Silvano, who seems lengths better than a modest one time winner. Good runs in three Gauteng features suggest that she is not without a chance here.
Joey Ramsden’s Fort Wood filly Rachel Leigh finished tailed off in the Listed Queen Palm Handicap behind the outstanding Adobe Pink. She will have to improve dramatically, but it would also be foolish to assume that Ramsden is running her here to bolster the fields in his favourite racing province.
The programme does not favour preps for the staying fillies and Joey suggested that on her run to Adobe Pink she is bound to improve on that poor last effort. Craig Eudey’s Pecan is a lightly raced daughter of Strike Smartly, who is crying for this ground and may be better than rated. She has been running on strongly and won’t be stopping when the whips are flailing late in the race.
This is a small field of generally beautifully bred fillies. If Munyatee takes to the trip, she could prove too classy for the rest. Dylan’s Promise is a good sort, while Al Kindi is always capable of a good effort. Include Rachel Leigh in larger quartets.