It was third time lucky for last season’s winner Salutation, as she had previously finished 3rd and 6th. She was rated 83 by the official handicapper last year, but having failed to find the winner’s enclosure in fourteen starts since, this 7yo daughter of Requiem races off a mark 5 points lower here. She is marginally out at the weights off her current rating, but she is at her best over today’s trip and could make the frame again.
Shouldering top weight of 62kg is the 4yo Dylan’s Promise. A winner of seven of his eighteen starts to date, this daughter of Dylan Thomas is yet to race over a distance this far. She has won over both 2400m and 2500m at the garden course though, and usually one to race up with the speed, this circuit could suit.
Forgive No Forget
In receipt of 6kg the next highest rated runner is Mike De Kock’s sole entry Forgive No Forget. Since relocating to South Africa this Mejeiro mare has won two from five. She was coming off a two month break when only beaten 0,55 lengths by the improving Orator’s Daughter in the Gr3 Jacaranda Handicap last time out, where drawn wide at twelve she ran on from the rear. She could still improve plenty over this longer trip and down in class to boot, she has to be a serious runner.
Michael Azzie’s charge is more often than not seen out over shorter on sand, and she is currently rated 23 points higher on that surface. She has gained three of her six career victories on turf though, most notably last time out when trying ground for the first time.
Slow into stride, and then baulked for a run between the 400-100m poles that day, Magic Smoke fairly flew and won going away. She has to improve further with a clear run. Expect a bold effort.
Western Cape based jockey Richard Fourie rode two winners for Weiho Marwing at last Saturday’s Turffontein meeting and here he rides Sky Pirate for the stable. She’s without a win in 12 outings now, but she was only beaten a length and three quarters over today’s course and distance in January, and she did run Orator’s Daughter to a length and a quarter in the Gr3 Jacaranda.
She was rather harshly penalised three points for latest effort by the handicapper, but it is worth noting that she was rated as high as 94 in November.
The runner up in five of her last eight starts, Joey Soma’s charge gained just reward for her consistency when winning the non-black type Sun Chariot Handicap over today’s course and distance last time out. She’s gained both of her career wins over this trip and although she is now stepping up in class and a little out at the weights, she could make the frame again.
The dark horse of the race is Five Moons. Geoff Woodruff’s lightly raced 4yo ran Dylan’s Promise to a length in a graduation event back in Dec ’12 and she is 8kg better off at the weights with that one here.
She was off the track for eleven months following her next outing, but since returning to action in December last year she has steadily been coming to hand. She was finishing by far the best when only beaten by the narrowest of margins over 1700m last time out and interestingly, Sky Pirate was behind her in that event. Five Moons could improve stacks over this trip.
A well exposed handicapper, Lucky Gambler has only managed to win two of her thirty starts. She was beaten fair and square by Rodeo Sioux last time out and poorly treated at the weights here is not easy to fancy.
David Nieuwenhuizen’s charge showed promise over ground earlier in her career. Since finishing runner up in a lowly MR66 Handicap on her seasonal debut though, she’s failed to get in a blow in ten starts.
Although this daughter of Pin Cushion has run relatively close to a couple of today’s runners in recent outings, she has only managed to pass the post first on one occasion since 2012. She’s badly out at the weights here and clearly faces a mammoth task.
About The Pace
There isn’t a great deal of pace amongst the ten going to post so there is chance that this could develop into a 500m sprint. If at her best the not too consistent Dylan’s Promise could hold on to win it, and the sand horse Magic Smoke must have a shout. My two favourites to fight it out though are Forget No Forget and Five Moons, with the former narrowly taking preference.