If reminiscing about great horses and the good old days grabs your fancy, the news that champion sprinter Tommy Hotspur turned 24 recently will have you feeling your age. The speed demon son of Harry Hotspur is honoured with the running of the R250 000 Gr3 Tommy Hotspur Handicap at Turffontein on Tuesday evening.
The powerful chestnut bullet out of the Brer Rabbit mare Tabitha Twitchett, was a Ferrari on four legs and demolished his opposition with his lightning toe.
Trained for the larger part of his career by Gary Alexander, and then by David Ferraris, he won his first 8 starts in a row, and 10 races in total, including the Gr1 Computaform Sprint.
A dazzling sprinter that entertained us so royally, he was plagued with unsoundness during his career.
He is enjoying a well deserved retirement on the sprawling Shearwood Farm – where he still goes for the occasional outride, under the guidance of his doting ‘Mom’, Ashleigh Hughes, who is also an assistant to Justin Snaith.
There is nothing close to the brilliance of Tommy Hotspur in Tuesday’s ten horse field, but Mike de Kock’s Moofeed is out to register the Hotspur double after staying on smartly to beat One Man’s Dream in the 2015 renewal.
A rare sprinting son of Duke Of Marmalade, Moofeed won his last start over the course and distance beating Mod Barley by 1,30 lengths.
Dollar Dazzler and Splendid Garden look the two most likely to stretch Moofeed.
The 5yo Var gelding Dollar Dazzler showed plenty of toe when running a 0,40 length second to Brutal Force in the Joburg Merchants – it is a stretch of collateral, but Brutal Force’s storming effort in last Saturday’s wfa Gr1 Cape Flying Championship is fresh in the mind.
Dollar Dazzler’s run in the Merchants was given added credibility as his saddle slipped. He runs fresh off a ten week break and Andrew Fortune will get the best out of him.
The temperamental Splendid Garden has come good, winning 4 of his 6 most recent starts.
He beat Moofeed over the 1160m last time by 1,25 lengths, but is a half kilo worse off and should definitely not be troubled by the minimum trip.
Aurum Pot was beaten 3,25 lengths there by Splendid Garden after showing good speed and is also a half kilo better off.
He won his penultimate run giving Splendid Garden 1,50 kgs and a 2,10 lengths beating, so is very capable of a bold performance.
Louis Goosen’s Doing It For Dan was runner-up in this race last year and will be keen to exact revenge on Moofeed.
He certainly comes into it on their last meeting , where giving away 4kgs, he was beaten 2,55 lengths by the De Kock speedster.
One Man’s Dream is thus 3,50 kgs better off here and a massive threat over a track and trip that he relishes.
Moofeed’s stablemate Tiger Territory is consistent, but tends to get there too late off the early rush.
Former PE campaigner Mod Barley is very quick and meets Moofeed on 1,50kgs better terms after beaten 1,30 lengths last time. That surely brings him into the reckoning and his fourth career win looks long overdue.
Viking Hero was beautifully ridden by Karl Zechner to win the Gr3 Lebelo Sprint over Tuesday evening’s course and distance at his penultimate start.
He then ran below that in a handicap over the Vaal 1200m and it may well be that he is more effective over the 1000m. Jarryd Penny takes the reins under a galloping 52,5kgs.
Lumya is the only filly in the race and has good form against her own sex. She was not disgraced against the boys when beaten 2,30 lengths by Moofeed last time and certainly has a place chance
Jade Bay has only had one run in a year and pulled up lame when 7,45 lengths behind Moofeed. He appears past his best and has his issues.
Moofeed is our selection to narrowly get the better of Dollar Dazzler and Doing It For Dan.
If Splendid Garden behaves himself, he could prove a major threat, with Aurum Pot one for the back end of quartets.
Feel like going down to the racing?
The next night racing event takes place this Tuesday, 9 February 2016 at the City Deck Coffee shop which not only offers the best views of the track and convenient tote facilities, but also offers delicious meal specials for under R 50.
Entrance into Turffontein is free and the first race kicks off at 17h55.
Let Johannesburg’s spectacular night skyline provide a perfect backdrop for a relaxed and enthralling evening of horseracing!
For more info call (011) 681 1702