Mike Azzie-trained Abashiri heads up the nominations for the R2-million SA Classic over 1800m and will be looking to close out the second leg of the SA Triple Crown at Turffontein on Saturday 2 April.
The son of Go Deputy scored a facile 2.50-length victory in the Grade 2 Betting World SA Guineas and is already being touted as the third horse to win the SA Triple Crown.
To emulate Horse Chestnut and Louis The King Abashiri will need to win the SA Classic and the SA Derby over 2450m on Saturday 30 April.
Azzie will have a plenty of back-up in this event as he has also nominated highly regarded Rabada, Le Clos and a new acquisition to the yard, Trading Profit, who was recently bought by Adriaan van Vuuren who also owns Abashiri.
Rabada travelled to the Cape for the summer season but things did not go his way and he had to be given a break. He was rated as one of the best two-year-olds in country and it will be interesting to see how he trains on.
In the Guineas Abashiri beat Champagne Haze, Malak El Moolook and Brazuca and they are all among the nominations as are New Predator, Romany Prince and Suyoof, who ran unplaced but all had very poor draws with which to contend.
There will be some new challengers for Abashiri, the main one coming in the form of Jubilee Line from the Mike de Kock yard.
The son of Dynasty has raced five times for one win but De Kock said his charge would take a while to mature and would be better as a SA Classic and SA Derby contender. His last race was in the Investec Dingaans in which he finished a 6.50-length fifth behind stable companion Noah From Goa over 1600m.
He has also been nominated to run in the Grade 2 Colorado King Stakes over 2000m at Turffontein on Saturday 26 March.
The other runner of interest is Count Tassilo from the Sean Tarry yard. He is a one-time winner from four starts but the son of Silvano has not run beyond 1600m and races as if he needs further. Gauteng Fillies Guineas winner Heaps Of Fun will be trying to take a step closer to winning the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara when she lines up in the R1-million Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic over 1800m.
Current log leader and former champion jockey S’manga Khumalo was at his superb best when bringing home the Visionaire filly in the Guineas and Tarry’s charge will have a lot of support to add this Grade 1 race to her record. Tarry has also entered Inaninstant, Intergalactic and Witchcraft, a very easy winner over the course and distance on Guineas Day.
Fillies Guineas runner-up Negroamaro is also among the entries and racing fans could be in for another exciting finish.
De Kock has nominated Persian Rug, fifth in the Fillies Guineas, Noor and Shaama.
Entries for the R2-million SA CLASSIC (Grade 1) over 1800m at Turffontein
on Saturday 2 April:
ABASHIRI (M G Azzie); BRAZUCA (J A Janse van Vuuren); CHAMPAGNE HAZE (G M
Alexander); COUNT TASSILO (S G Tarry); JUBILEE LINE (M F De Kock); LE CLOS
(M G Azzie); LIEGE (S G Tarry); LUNAR APPROACH (S G Tarry); MALAK EL
MOOLOOK (S G Tarry); MUWAARY (M F De Kock); NEW PREDATOR (J A Janse van
Vuuren); RABADA (M G Azzie); REVELATION (L W Goosen); ROCKETBALL (G H Van
Zyl); ROMANY PRINCE (O A Ferraris); SAMURAI BLADE (S G Tarry); SUYOOF (M F
De Kock); TRADING PROFIT (M G Azzie); VAL ET AL (G V Woodruff)
Entries for the R1-million Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic (Grade 1) over
1800m at Turffontein on Saturday 2 April.
ALEXA (G V Woodruff); CHRISTMAS CAROL (G V Woodruff); HEAPS OF FUN (S G
Tarry); INANINSTANT (S G Tarry); INTERGALACTIC (S G Tarry); JUXTAPOSE (S M
Ferreira); MELLIFLORA (M G Azzie); NEGROAMARO (J A Janse van Vuuren); NOOR
(M F De Kock); PERSIAN RUG (M F De Kock); POLYPHONIC (A G Laird); PRINCESS
VARUNYA (K Naidoo); SHAAMA (M F De Kock); SHE’S A DRAGON (C Mayhew);
WITCHCRAFT (S G Tarry).