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Test The Talent

Listed Secretariat Stakes at Turffontein on Wednesday

Master Archer

Testing Time. The promising Jet Master colt Master Archer faces his first test on Wednesday evening at Turffontein

Turffontein feature race night action has been moved to Wednesday due to excessive rain.  The meeting makes a welcome return to the national programme, when the R150 000 Listed  Secretariat Stakes, powered by Mike De Kock Racing, is run under the lights over 1400m.

The handicap for 3yo’s may favour one of the lighter weighted unexposed sorts at the bottom of the weights. Run on the stand-side track, a field of ten up and coming youngsters line up in a race where pace won’t be lacking. Last year’s winner, Fantastic Mr Fox went on the win the Gr3 Tony Ruffel Stakes, even though his overall career has since somewhat fizzled out. The majority of the 2013 field see the lights for the first time. That could make a difference.


Leon Erasmus saddles the two sprinting topweights, with the Bezrin gelding Jimmi Choo looking to have an onerous task with 63,5kgs to lump. A speedy gelding, he has not fired previously beyond the sprints and should battle over the 1400m. His stablemate Tiger Territory has drawn against the paint and has much the same profile as Jimmi Choo. He comes out a fit horse after having run second behind another of his stablemates in Nice Stride in a 1160m sprint on Sansui Summer Cup day.


Trainer Geoff Woodruff comes off the high of a wonderful Summer Cup and he sends out the unbeaten Louis The King, and the Windrush gelding, Principled Man. The Alchemy bred Louis The King has won his first two starts in convincing fashion, albeit when accounting for very little in the process. The Black Minnaloushe colt cost what looks a bargain R55 000 off the National Two Year Old Sale and now gets asked his first serious question.

He has drawn well, and if not green at his first try at Turffontein (and under the lights), he could frank the promise. His stablemate Principled Man won two on the trot as a 2yo, but has battled since and ran a poor race in the Graham Beck Stakes at the beginning of November.


Sean Tarry’s Jet Master colt Master Archer won his maiden in impressive style at his third start, when going the turn and an extra 200m for the first time. The R1 million Cheveley Stud product is a half brother to the well performed Pocket Power conquering Ivory Trail, and is a classy looker. While he has drawn awkwardly at 10, better things are expected of him and the duel between him and Louis The King should make for interesting analysis.


The sponsor of this event would be an appropriate winner. Mike De Kock sends out the Duke Of Marmalade colt Moofeed, who was an easy maiden winner on debut. He only beat Flaming Ace there, but demonstrated a level of maturity and enthusiasm, that could count in his favour here. He is a Cape Guineas nomination and would need to win this to win his ticket to the Mother City for the classic. Roy Magner’s Hillbrow may need the run after a 22 week break following his unplaced run in the Gr1 Golden Horseshoe on July day.

Corne Spies’ Campbell Black shed his maiden quickly at his second start, but then did not enjoy the Vaal sand next time out when unplaced behind Gold Prospector. He is well bred and was a talking horse prior to winning his maiden. He has all the signs of a quartet kicker. Recent Vaal 1400m maiden winner Victorinox is lightly raced and difficult to assess, Stephen Moffatt’s son of Lithuanian gets thrown into the deep end, and we will know more about his ability after the race.

Only Filly

Piere Strydom rides the only filly in the race. Stan Ferreira’s Aldora Stud bred Saint Angelique cast a shoe when running just under six lengths behind impressive Gauteng Fillies Mile winner Close The Gap last Saturday. She showed good speed when winning on debut, but has failed to win again in her subsequent five starts. This race comes quite soon after a big race for a filly, and seems like a big ask from her.

Top Yards

Lightly raced youngsters facing each other on handicap terms often throws up a curved ball. Louis The King, Moofeed and Master Archer stand out and are the obvious three that look set to fight it out. They hail from the top three yards, and all look set for bright careers. This race offers them the first step on that ladder.

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