The fairer sex classic game unfolds on the Kenilworth Summer Course playground today where a nationally representative best of generation bunch vie for honours in the R1 million Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas.
With the male classic picture still a touch hazy after the Selangor Cup and Dingaans results, the fillies get a chance to assert themselves for Equus honours and sort the wheat from the chaff.
After her dazzling end-to-end victory in the Gr2 Western Cape Fillies Championship last month, the beautifully drawn Snowdance has been priced up favourite and the Justin Snaith-trained daughter of Captain Al gets a serious opportunity to stamp her class. Bernard Fayd’herbe, who rode a cracking catch-me-if-you-can from a wide draw last time, is aboard again, and gets a chance to ride the Cheveley product more conservatively over the extra 200m.
Candice Bass-Robinson’s Magical Wonderland finished a well-beaten second to Snowdance in the Fillies Championship, but like most of the opposition was caught napping by Fayd’herbe’s creative approach to beating the draw. There must be a question mark over the daughter of What A Winter staying the mile, but she was a 2yo champion and could find her best foot.
Dennis Drier’s Gr1 Thekwini Stakes winner Lady In Black ran from a similarly poor draw in the feature won by Snowdance after a three month rest and was a well beaten 8,55 lengths. The champion daughter of Dynasty has proven she stays the mile and should relish the fair summer course long run-in from her better draw.
A runner who adds a fascinating dimension to the puzzle is Gr3 Starling Stakes winner Via Seattle, who travels from PE to take her place from the 11 gate. The Ascot Stud bred filly hammered Folk Dance on Charity Mile day and the latter endorsed the quality of the form with a facile victory in Sunday’s Gr3 Fillies Mile at Turffontein. If fresh after her travels, Via Seattle looks to take on the big guns and warrants every respect.
Rockin Russian enjoys the undeniable advantage of Piere Strydom but the drawback of a shocking draw out wide. The daughter of Seventh Rock took on the boys under a paper weight in the Cape Classic, but dropped out after running handily. She is not far behind Lady In Black on her best juvenile form and comes into the quartet calculations.
Mike de Kock raider Silver Thursday runs at level weights with Via Settle after getting 2kgs and a 1,75 length beating in the Starling Stakes. The daughter of Silvano will very definitely prefer the mile here and she cannot be ignored. Brandon Lerena has replaced Anthony Delpech.
Glen Kotzen’s bargain buy Too Phat To Fly ran a 6,50 length fourth in the Western Cape Fillies Championship and is a consistent earner who is always thereabouts. Whether she has the class to take on this lot is questionable, but she cannot be discounted as a quartet kicker.
Her stablemate, the Gr3 The Debutante winner Princess Peach has failed to recapture her best 2yo form and tries a mile for the first time.
Elusive Heart never got into the race when beaten 11 lengths by Snowdance in the feature last time. Coincidentally, she beat the Snaith galloper in receipt of a kilo at her penultimate run. The daughter of Elusive Fort gets the value added services of Richard Fourie and we are inclined to give her another chance – although there is no guarantee that she will stay the mile.
The Listed Irridescence Stakes winner Rose In Bloom has drawn wide but was not disgraced when staying on for third and 6 lengths off Snowdance in the Western Cape Fillies Championship last time. She looks inferior to, but not far behind, the likes of Magical Wonderland and the distance could be the major leveller in her case.
Her Joey Ramsden stablemate, the well-bred Fresnaye, has pulled the pole position draw and despite winning her last start in a handicap beating older gallopers, looks well held on her penultimate jump when beaten 9 lengths by Snowdance.
The Australian-bred Oh Susanna looks well held by Snowdance and Magical Wonderland on her last few starts and looks the junior of the Justin Snaith duo. She also has to overcome a wide draw.
Midnight Moonlight booked her place here with a good win over 1700m in a rather modest handicap last time out. A well-bought winner of two of her four starts, she takes on the best of her generation and cannot be fancied.
The beautifully bred and highly regarded Love Supreme has won two of her three starts comfortably and could follow in the footsteps of her dual Gr1 winning dam, who ran third in this race in 2011. This is her stiffest test to date, but she remains a wildcard amongst the proven girls.
The grey Lanark has drawn wide out but looks progressive with 3 wins from her 6 starts. She now takes on much stronger but has done little wrong to date and could be anything.
Anton Marcus rides Rings And Things, who steps into the major league and up to a mile – a distance she looks likely to enjoy. She has won once in eight starts and has not suggested star potential yet.
All told, a classic contest awaits us.
The competition amongst the likes of Snowdance, who will be watched closely this time, the visiting Lady In Black and Via Seattle, and local star Magical Wonderland, looks tight. Have we seen the best of Rockin Russian and Love Supreme? Don’t miss this one!