Trainer Mike de Kock is likely to play his two trump cards in the upcoming R2-million SA Classic and R1-million Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic. The two Grade 1 races will be run over 1800m on the Turffontein standside track on Saturday 28 March.
The two races are also the second leg of the SA Triple Crown and the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara. The Triple Crown looks unlikely to be won this year as Cape Guineas winner Act Of War has not been nominated for the SA Classic while Betting World Gauteng Guineas winner Harry’s Son, even if he does win the Classic, is unlikely to go for the SA Derby over 2450m in April.
The Triple Tiara, however, looks to be heading for a thrilling finish as both contenders – Cape Fillies Guineas winner Majmu and Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas champion Siren’s Call – will be chasing the R1-million bonus, only won twice before – by Igugu in 2011 and Cherry On The Top in 2013.
De Kock, who trains Majmu, and Sean Tarry, trainer of Siren’s Call, have both expressed the view their runners will be suited to the 1800m of the Fillies Classic and the 2450m of the Wilgerbosdrift SA Oaks. Majmu drew well enough at No 9 but Siren’s Call is at No 14 of the 20 nominations.
Unbeaten Ertijaal, winner of the Grade 1 Investec Derby over 2000m at Kenilworth in January, tops the 17 entries for the SA Classic but he has landed a wide No 16 draw. Also nominated are the first four past the post in the Gauteng Guineas – Harry’s Son, French Navy, Forest Fox and Unparalleled.
The bad news for Harry’s Son is that he will have to jump from the widest draw of all, although over 1800m on the standside track it is not necessarily a disaster as you have a 400m straight before you hit the turn.
Mike Azzie has nominated Deputy Jud and Greek Legend who finished second and third respectively behind Ertijaal in the Listed Sea Cottage Stakes, which has produced one of the strongest form lines in SA racing with six horses having won their next starts. Second-placed Deputy Jud and third-placed Greek Legend are among those.
Harry’s Son won the Guineas with authority but will be moving into unchartered territory in what is likely to be his first race over 1800m. French Navy, who was flying in the closing stages of the Guineas, will no doubt benefit from the extra 200m while the connections of Unparalleled and Mljet will be delighted that after their hopeless draws in the Guineas they have landed barriers No 4 and No 1 respectively in the Classic.
Same Jurisdiction, who started favourite for the Fillies Guineas but ran into all sorts of problems, has also been entered into the Fillies Classic. Duncan Howells’ charge raced wide, suffered interference and still managed to finish fifth, beaten just 2.85 lengths. Howells was planning to leave her in Joburg with Joey Soma for the next month so the daughter of Mambo In Seattle will be more in harmony with her surroundings in the Fillies Classic, especially as she has landed draw No 4. .
Supplementary entries close at 11am on Monday 16 March with declarations by 11am on Thursday 19 March.
Nominations for the R2-million SA Classic (Grade 1)(2nd Leg of SA Triple Crown) over 1800m at Turffontein on Saturday 28 March.
17 HARRY’S SON (AUS) (3C) 58.0 114 Paul Lafferty
4 UNPARALLELED (3G) 58.0 112 Johan Janse van Vuuren
16 ERTIJAAL (AUS) (3C) 58.0 107 Mike de Kock
2 FRENCH NAVY (3G) 58.0 105 Sean Tarry
1 MLJET (3G) 58.0 105 Vaughan Marshall
6 FOREST FOX (3G) 58.0 102 Paul Peter
13 ILLUMINATI (3G) 58.0 100 Weiho Marwing
11 PRINCE OF ORANGE (3C) 58.0 99 Roy Magner
10 MUTAMAKKIN (AUS) (3C) 58.0 97 B Mike de Kock
3 ARNISTON (3G) 58.0 94 Joe Soma
15 DEPUTY JUD (3C) 58.0 94 Mike Azzie
14 GREEK LEGEND (3C) 58.0 94 B Mike Azzie
9 AMSTERDAM (3G) 58.0 88 Paul Peter
5 DIESEL JET (3C) 58.0 88 Erico Verdonese
8 MAC DE LAGO (AUS) (3C) 58.0 86 Weiho Marwing
7 RAMPANT ICE (3G) 58.0 86 Weiho Marwing
12 FINCHATTON (3C) 58.0 83 Sean Tarry
Nominations for the R1-million Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic (Grade 1) (2nd Leg of Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara) over 1800m at Turffontein on Saturday 28 March.
9 MAJMU (AUS) (3F) 58.0 114 Mike de Kock
4 SAME JURISDICTION (3F) 58.0 110 Duncan Howells
14 SIREN’S CALL (3F) 58.0 105 Sean Tarry
12 BANBURY (3F) 58.0 104 Gavin van Zyl
17 PINE PRINCESS (3F) 58.0 103 B Mike de Kock
6 TROPHY WIFE (3F) 58.0 103 Sean Tarry
11 SMART CALL (3F) 58.0 101 Alec Laird
8 SENSIBLE LOVER (AU (3F) 58.0 99 Weiho Marwing
18 TAMAANEE (AUS) (3F) 58.0 99 Sean Tarry
19 BILATERAL (3F) 58.0 98 B Weiho Marwing
13 ATAAB (AUS) (3F) 58.0 97 Mike de Kock
3 KILEIGH (3F) 58.0 94 Gavin van Zyl
16 SILVER CLASS (3F) 58.0 92 Johan Janse van Vuuren
1 ESTIDRAAJ (AUS) (3F) 58.0 90 Mike de Kock
15 KISSIMMEE (3F) 58.0 85 B Mike Azzie
20 ZRINSKI (3F) 58.0 85 B Robbie Sage
5 MAAYAAT (AUS) (3F) 58.0 83 Mike de Kock
7 MODERN MUSE (AUS) (3F) 58.0 83 Mike de Kock
10 WITHBATEDBREATH (3F) 58.0 83 Gavin van Zyl
2 FIRE DANCING (3F) 58.0 78 Corne Spies