The R1 million Tsogo Sun Sprint heads the Gr1 speed jackpot at Scottsville this Saturday.
Sentiment suggests we go for 2016 winner Talktothestars to pull off a rare double.
On the flipside, logic points us in the direction of the Ramsden trio, headed by the progressive 3yo Attenborough.
Being a handicap, this is the widest open of the four Gr1’s and with a capacity field lining up, a surprise result could well be on the cards – particularly if the draw bias comes into play.
David versus Goliath is the mind’s picture created by small-time trainer Coenie de Beer taking on a powerhouse yard with fifteen horses to every one of his, of the likes of Joey Ramsden and Sean Tarry, who have six runners between them.
De Beer celebrated a personal Gr1 first in this event last year with his barefoot bomber Talktothestars, and a year down the line the gelding may have reached form at just the right time.
Fair enough, the barefeet have been replaced by alumites, and with just one modest Flamingo Park success in the ensuing 12 months, the son of Overlord looks to have it all to do.
He ran a cracker at his last start, when chasing Rafeef late to run a courageous second in the Gr1 Computaform Sprint.
On the other end of the scale, Ramsden’s 3yo Attenborough opened his local account in style with an impressive late burst to win the Listed In Full Flight Handicap.
Ridden by Anton Marcus, his racing style suggests he won’t be bothered by his widish draw and this R2 million purchase could go on to realise his potential now.
Make The Call
Local course and distance specialist London Call has earned his stripes at this track and trip and he takes on his first Gr1 test as a 6yo.
The son of Kahal is perfectly drawn at 2 and has the gate speed and toe to go all the way.
Vaughan Marshall’s at times in-and-out galloper Exelero meets Attenborough on 3kgs better terms for his 1,25 length defeat at the course last time. He is a little unreliable.
The 4yo Search Party is one of five Captain Al progeny in the field.
He meets Attenborough on 3kgs better terms for a 1,50 length defeat in the In Full Flight Handicap at his second KZN start this season.
The son of Captain Al was well weighted to win the Gr2 Cape Merchants late last year and is not far off London Call on recent form.
Barbosa is 4kgs better off with Attenborough for a 4,20 length beating last time. The 7yo’s form has been a little uninspiring but he has not been too far off.
The lightly raced Bull Valley is a quality 4yo and ran an eyecatching fourth behind Champagne Haze at his last start in the Gr2 Senor Santa Stakes.
This Gr3 winner has his first start at Scottsville, but may find the 17 draw an unwelcome opening present.
Joey Ramsden’s dual Gr3 winner Table Bay gets the blinkers as he comes out of an unplaced effort in the Cape Derby 17 weeks ago.
This free striding son of Redoute’s Choice may need this but was rated highly as a late 2yo into his 3yo term – and cannot be written off.
Piere Strydom won this race last year but switches allegiances in 2017 to Brutal Force, one of a trio of Joey Ramsden runners.
This class 5yo (aka ‘Fatty’)needs to prove he is as effective at Scottsville as he has been at Turffontein and finds himself fit and in good form after his Computaform Sprint running on fourth last time.
Justin Snaith’s gutsy multiple stakes winner Sergeant Hardy improved nicely on his CTS Sprint unplaced run on Met day.
He was beaten a length by London Call at a prep run in mid April and meets the Dixon star on 2kgs better terms for a 1,75 length beating.
He is known to have his issues, but is capable of a big effort.
It’s a tussle between the battle hardened proven brigade versus the emerging new generation racers.
Attenborough could give the Mayfair Speculators silks another victory and he is the marginal first selection to beat Bull Valley, with Talktothestars and Brutal Force picking up the pieces.