SA champion trainer Justin Snaith gets his Highveld feature season campaign underway at Turffontein today where he bumps heads with Geoff Woodruff and Sean Tarry in the R400 000 Gr2 Hawaii Stakes run over the standside 1400m.
Tarry deserves full credit for keeping Whiteline Fever going. The son of Right Approach goes for a hat-trick of Hawaii Stakes wins on Saturday!
But Justin Snaith won’t be getting sentimental about historic bids and the like.
He has been granted 26 boxes at Turffontein and his competitive streak and mere presence in the explosive mix of Gauteng group racing will add plenty of provincial needle and interest for those racegoers looking for more than delicious prawns and cold beer.
The champion trainer saddles the lightly raced Australian-bred gelding Readytogorightnow who comes off a rest of ten weeks following his strong finishing fourth, just a length behind Jet Aglow in the Listed Jet Master Stakes,
According to reports, Readytogorighnow was withdrawn from the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate in order to be prepped for Saturday’s feature, with an eye on his ultimate target – the R1 million Gr 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes to be run over 1600m on March 28.
Bernard Fayd’herbe is up from the Cape to ride the 5yo who jumps at his Gauteng debut from an 11 draw.
Geoff Woodruff’s yard, much like Sean Tarry, has hit top-form and Terrance Millard’s son-in-law saddles a powerful duo..
With Shadow Ofhis Smile out, his Var gelding Sabadell (how beautifully has this fellow blossomed at 5?) could be the pick.
Sabadell is very comfortable over the 200m shorter and Piere Strydom suits this fellow’s bold galloping style to a tee.
The second of the Woodruff two is the Jet Master gelding Lockeheed Jetstar, who may need a run after a nine week break. While he ran poorly in the Summer Cup when slow away, he is not far off the best.
Alec Laird saddles two decent 4yo’s in Bezanova and Chekilli.
The latter came to life last time when leaving his opposition for dead over the course and distance when beating Halve The Deficit by 3,75 lengths.
He meets the Tarry horse on 2kgs worse terms and Halve The Deficit will also be fitter as he had been rested some eight weeks when racing there. But Chekilli showed his mettle as a 3yo when runner-up in this race last year and is no slouch.
Bezanova has drawn very wide and has not run since the Summer Cup where he did not fire.He looks likely to be better after a run or two.
Halve The Deficit’s stablemate Whiteline Fever was hampered when 7 lengths behind Chekilli last time. That was after a four month plus rest so he should be fitter come Saturday – and is 4.5kgs better off with the pacy Laird galloper.
Whiteline Fever is a classy sort and goes, as we mentioned at the outset, for an extraordinary hat-trick of wins in the Hawaii Stakes.
He has drawn poorly though and is not getting any younger.
Mike Bass and Vaughan Marshall make up the balance of the Cape attack.
Chestnut’s Rocket was a modest 8,70 lengths behind easy winner Arion in the Gr2 Peninsula Handicap and prior to that beat Ottimo up in PE.
He is a decent 4yo but will need things to go his way to win here.
Mike Bass’ Ashton Park ran out of his skin behind Futura in the Green Point Stakes but failed last time when a bit one –paced late in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate.
Anthony Delpech rides the son of Battersea Park who is not far behind Readytogorightnow at best.
Of the balance, it is difficult to make a case for the likes of:
Ormond Ferraris’ Snowdon has produced two ordinary recent efforts and at 7 may be looking for a more relaxing career.
Mike Azzie’s 6yo Brooks-Club who may need it after a 13 week break.
The poorly drawn Robbie Sage-trained Sovereign Mint also returns after a similar break following a poor Summer Cup run.
The Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained 4yo filly Winter Star faces a tough test against the boys.