South African champion trainer Sean Tarry has made a typically quiet start to the new season but he can be expected to start upping the ante in the next few weeks.
He saddles the Captain Al filly Myfunnyvalentine in a fillies and mares Pinnacle Stakes at Turffontein today.
There are no features on the national weekend programme and the R130 000 Pinnacle Stakes on the Turffontein inside track is the highest valued event amongst some competitive racing programmes.
It is good to see Tarry’s old ally Piere Strydom back in the irons on the Klawervlei bred Myfunnyvalentine.
The 4yo ran second in the SA Fillies Nursery of her year behind the smart Fursa and has always looked above average. She won the non black-type For The Ladies last season and, while winless in a year, she can go in and register her third success here. She ran a good second to Spring Wonder in August, but bolted and was withdrawn from her last start. She goes beyond 1200m for the first time but there is every indication that she will go the extra 250m with ease.
Coenie de Beer’s Lady Starlett is a full sister to champion sprinter Talktothestars and a very talented mare on her day.
She is another who takes a step up in trip but is holding her form well and has a nice turn of foot. She strips a very fit horse and will be running at them late.
The Elusive Fort filly Smokey Affair relocates from the Mike Robinson Phillipi yard and has her first start for Mike de Kock. The Favour Stud bred 4yo was stakes placed in the Cape summer and looked to have the makings of a decent racer.
It is worth noting the strike rate of the De Kock yard with ex-Cape horses and she can be monitored for good improvement as her fitness improves.
The second of the carded Sean Tarry duo, the Klawervlei Stud-bred Sweet Lady Jade has been scratched.
The Mike and Adam Azzie partnership struck gold in the Gr3 Spring Spree Stakes at Turffontein last Saturday.
They saddled the top two in that feature and will be looking to maintain their rich vein of form with the classy Trippi mare, Shatoosh.
This classy sort has been lightly campaigned and has only her thirteenth start here. She has won 4 races and will enjoy the 1 draw as she has plenty of gate speed and pace. On a line through her defeat of Knysna Rose at her penultimate start, she may hold Sylvan On Fire.
Durban-based owner Vanessa Harrison bred the Silvano filly Sylvan On Fire, who comes in here having won 2 of her 4 starts – including a gutsy post maiden win over a mile last time out.
The 4yo shed her maiden in fine style over the course and distance in April and her last win was made all the more impressive as she was slow off, probably needed it after a four month break and still won impressively. On these weight terms she looks to have lots to do, but is streets ahead of the handicapper on the face of it and is improving fast.
With Smokey Affair likely to need it, we are going with Myfunnyvalentine to hold the edge over Lady Starlett, with Shatoosh and the improving Sylvan On Fire in the shake-up.