A disappointingly small field turns out to contest the R400 000 Gr2 Hawaii Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday. With thunderstorms probably the real best bet of the day, exotic backers may be able to go quite narrow with Kangaroo Jack and the back-up of the Australian-bred New Predator.
This Gr2 feature is open to all horses with 4yo’s and older to carry 58kgs and 3 yo’s 55,0 kgs. Winners of Gr1 races get 2kgs for each such win, while Gr2 wins accrue a 1kg penalty.
We are aiming simplify matters by going in a big way for Gary Alexander’s smart Querari gelding Kangaroo Jack, who was in a sweet vein of form, when producing a rare below par showing at his last start. He did reportedly pull up lame on the off-fore there.
A dual Gr 2 winner, Kangaroo Jack understandably failed to produce his customary kick when plodding for a 4,50 length fifth behind New Predator at his last start.
His earlier form and reputation suggests he could make amends here.
New Predator – a fast improving sort – received 6kgs there and now takes on Jack at level weights.
The Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes winner gets the plum 1 draw and with his natural pace could stretch all of jockey Andrew Fortune’s patience on Kangaroo Jack – who has a very different racing style.
Mike De Kock’s lightly raced and exciting Redoute’s Choice colt Rafeef takes his first plunge into deep waters after a very good second to Irish Pride in the Listed Wolf Power 1600 last time.
The winner of 4 from 7 starts looks to have plenty of scope to build on his current 95 rating and is an interesting dark horse in this field.
The consistent Romany Prince enjoys a healthy weight swing with the De Kock runner after finishing third in the Wolf Power.
He could find this a trifle sharp.
The multiple Gr1 winner French Navy returns from an unsuccessful tilt at the Sun Met and has lost some of his 3yo sparkle.
The 5yo cannot be discounted but will prefer further and looks under pressure to produce a winning run.
Mike Azzie’s Will Pays is another that has gone off the boil.
He finished almost 6 lengths off New Predator and is 4kgs better off here – but looks hard pressed to up his game.
Fort Ember is the only filly in the line-up and the Gr3 Flamboyant Stakes victress returns after a two month break and could need the outing.
A winner of 5 of her 9 starts, she could force a cut throat duel up front, which can only play into Kangaroo Jack’s hands.
Bulleting Home is the second of the Tarry runners and while always thereabouts is battling to land a decent prize.
The 5yo will be ridden by S’manga Khumalo and can be considered the stable elect.
Coenie de Beer’s barefoot bomber Talktothestars returns from a disappointing Cape summer campaign.
Set topweight of 60kgs, the son of Overlord ran stone last in this race last year and is a proven sprinter with no qualifications to boost his credentials beyond 1200m.
Despite that, he would win if producing his best form.
Let’s not complicate matters. If Kangaroo Jack is back to good health he should just about win it.
New Predator and the scopy Rafeef are the likely dangers.