The names of star female flyers of the ilk of Val De Ra, Via Africa, Ebony Flyer and Carry On Alice grace the honour roll of one of the premier catalogue-page boosting races on the local calendar.
The R750 000 Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint has attracted a top class field of sixteen and with a powerful trio, SA champion trainer Sean Tarry will fancy his chances of lifting the trophy for the third time in four years.
The current Tarry attack may lack the lethal force of the likes of superstar Carry On Alice but the Gauteng trainer brings three form fillies to a race he loves to win.
The Var filly Exquisite Touch heads the Tarry trio and ran a commendable race last time when just over 3 lengths behind Attenborough in the Gr1 Computaform Sprint. This lightly raced 4yo looks to be coming back to her best and as a winner of 6 of her 11 starts, she will be a popular choice for many to go on and confirm her top class ability.
Her stablemate Green Plains came right back to her brilliant best with a four length victory over another Tarry speed queen in Myfunnyvalentine in the Camellia Stakes last time out. It is worth noting that Green Plains was runner up on this very day last year to Brave Mary in the Gr1 Allan Robertson.
Third of the Tarry trio is the Captain Al flyer, Myfunnyvalentine, who was far from disgraced when chasing Green Plains home last time. This 4yo runs and finishes her races as if she is looking for 1200m and her placement here could be a masterstroke by Tarry.
Johan Janse van Vuuren’s Green Pepper disappointed behind Green Plains and Myfunnyvalentine last time but has shown a liking for Scottsville from early on and is a class galloper and very capable of stretching this lot if things go her way.
Neptune’s Rain was a scintillating winner of the KZN Stakes on the Greyville poly at her penultimate start and then followed up when chasing Sommerlied home in the Poinsettia Stakes over Saturday’s course and distance. Duncan Howells is on record as suggesting that this 3yo is a Gr1 filly in the making and Saturday could be her big day.
Live Life is the first of the Candice Robinson duo and was desperately in need of the run when seven lengths back to Sommerlied in the Poinsettia last time. She was well beaten in this race last year but showed her class when a close up third to Sergeant Hardy in her penultimate run in the Cape Flying Championship.
The Secret Is Out rattled through late when under a length third in the Poinsettia. She ran a commendable third behind Carry On Alice in this race last year and is a filly bred to win this race.
The Var filly Sommerlied came out of her shell and showed that she can handle the 1200m when bursting through late to win the Poinsettia. The Drier Flyer had little luck in the Cape during the summer but rates a major runner in this race and has shown smart ability.
Justin Snaith’s Jo’s Bond ran a poor race in the KZN Stakes (switched to the polytrack) and has lacked zip at her last two starts. She is held on current form if not showing improvement.
The exciting Candice Bass-Robinson trained Magical Wonderland needed the run in the Poinsettia Stakes when beaten just out of the money, and if recovering her Cape form, ranks as a major contender to win her first Gr1.
Listed Sweet Chestnut Stakes winner Too Phat To Fly is in a rich vein of form and takes on a quality field. The daughter of Bezrin is extremely versatile but would be a surprise winner.
Daisy Fillies Guineas winner Gimme Six is yet to win as a 4yo and comes off an unsuccessful bid on the Empress Club Stakes last time out. Her best ability has been shown over slightly further.
Joey Ramsden’s perennial bridesmaid Rose In Bloom has not won as a 3yo but has first class consistent form from the Cape summer.
Stan Ferreira’s Winter’s Forge showed blistering pace in the Camellia before tiring late for a 4,5 length third to Green Plains. She has her first run at Scottsville and looks held.
Justin Snaith’s Var 3yo Casual Diamond returned after a five month break and was beaten just over 2 lengths in the Poinsettia. This lightly raced speedster may need another run to find her best form.
Glen Kotzen’s Princess Peach has not quite recaptured the promise shown when running fourth in the Gr1 Allan Robertson last year behind Brave Mary. The daughter of Captain Al looks better than her recent form but she will have to improve to feature.
Sean Tarry holds a very strong hand but he has plenty to fear from his Cape colleagues in Candice Bass-Robinson (Magical Wonderland) and Vaughan Marshall (The Secret Is Out).
On a competitive afternoon, the winner could well come from lower down the ratings.