Speed legend Tommy Hotspur is honoured at Turffontein on Valentine’s Tuesday evening when the R250 000 Gr3 1000m sprint is run in his name again.
Plagued by unsoundness throughout his career, Tommy Hotspur, now 25 years of age, was 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.
The powerful chestnut out of the Brer Rabbit mare Tabitha Twitchett, was An equine Ferrari on four legs and demolished his opposition with his lightning toe.
While there is nothing remotely near his stature in Tuesday’s twelve strong field, the contest should be an entertaining one with two speedy 3yo fillies and Cape visitor Percival adding plenty of colour.
The Var gelding Percival marks a first Gauteng raid for Cape West Coast trainer Andre Nel.To be ridden by Callan Murray, the 4yo tops the SP ratings and ran a decent, albeit unthreatening 2,75 lengths back to superstar Carry On Alice in the Cape Flying Championship last time out.
He has won 5 of his 10 starts and clocked some decent times in the past. If travelled well, he could go close.
Splendid Garden was runner-up behind Viking Hero last year and is threatening to win again after a long dry spell.
The son of Black Minnaloushe is under new ownership and jockey JP van der Merwe will be keen to win his second Gr3 in 4 days – after Saturday’s Gr3 Three Troikas heroics.
Dollar Dazzler is another to consider.
He ran fifth in this event last year and shows plenty of pace – his last run being a fair fourth behind Rivarine in the Lebelo Sprint.
Top weight African Ruler was pipped by Champagne Haze last time – and while the latter ran below his best and did not confirm that form strength on Saturday, it would be folly to omit the Paul Peter runner.
British Royale is a progressive 3yo and he finished 2 lengths behind African Ruler in the same race. This nippy son of Great Britain is a half kilo worse off here but seems to enjoy the minimum cut and could come into play.
Highway Explorer travels from Summerveld. The Aussie-bred son of Mossman has his first run away from home but is quick and could handle the plunge.
Alec Laird’s Pure Blonde was in the mix behind African Ruler last time just 0,30 lengths behind.
The smart 4yo drops a kilo and looks tempting off the 52kg mark.
S’manga Khumalo takes the ride on the very quick filly Wrecking Ball, who could hang on for quartet money at best.
Piere Strydom has won twice previously on Roy Magner’s Greasepaint and he stays aboard after his quiet last run.
The 6yo son of Kahal is a hardknocker on his day and he would not surprise if adding to his seven win tally.
Get all the ratings and the runners in the Sporting Post racecard