The R1 million Gr1 Tsogo Sun Sprint field of 16 speedsters who will do battle down the tricky 1200m straight of the KZN Capital City’s speedway include the top three finishers in the recent Gr1 Computaform Sprint – a race often used as a benchmark for excellence in this category.
Milnerton-based Joey Ramsden has enjoyed plenty of success at this race day and he saddles the classy Attenborough and the year younger Speedpoint, who filled first and third places in the 1000m Joburg speed spectacular.
Dorrie Sham’s Pinnacle Peak was sandwiched between them and the trio are set to renew their rivalry over the testing Scottsville course, where they are joined by, amongst others, the winner and runner-up in the In Full Flight Handicap in Bold Respect and Sunset Eyes from the in-form Brett Crawford stable.
The handicap conditions of this feature throw the cat amongst the pigeons and Attenborough will find this a different ball game – but he is classy and good enough to pull it off!
Attenborough could well make it a hat-trick in this race for away horses and won his first race in a year when bounding home to win the Gr1 Computaform Sprint last time. That was a major improvement on his form but maturity and the blinkers looked to have brought the best out in the son of Western Winter.
Candiice Dawson’s Rocky Valley won his penultimate start well but failed to fire when beaten into fifth in the Computaform Sprint last time. Formerly based with Dennis Drier in KZN, the son of Seventh Rock has plenty in his favour and could turn the tables on his conquerors in the Computaform Sprint.
Stakes placed Kasimir heads the Snaith attack and had decent sprint form at home. He was unplaced in the Byerley Turk when probably in need of the outing last time and may be better over the shorter trip.
Lafferty’s Sniper Shot drops in trip after a class second behind Do It Again in the Daisy Guineas. He showed some decent ability over this trip earlier and makes for an interesting runner.
Vaughan Marshall’s Always In Charge is a Gr1 winner at this track but his form as a 3yo has been disappointing. He must be better than his recent lines show.
Bold Respect bounced back well from a three month rest when winning his opening run here in the In Full Flight Handicap. If maintaining that form and improvement, he must have a serious chance again.
Second of the Crawford duo, Sunset Eyes won four on the trot in KZN before beaten a half length by Bold Respect last time. One of the most improved 4yo’s around, he must be a danger on the 52kg mark and is a kilo better off with his conqueror.
The perennial slow starter Trip To Heaven has not won in ages and while capable of a big run at best, failed to impress in the Computaform Sprint where beaten 9 lengths. It would be folly to dismiss this fellow’s chances and he would run this lot down on a near good day.
Mike de Kock travels with Lonhro 3yo Naafer, who was beaten almost 4 lengths in the Computaform Sprint. He is 2kgs better off with Attenborough but did not impress at this meeting as a 2yo and needs to show he can be competitive. Mathew de Kock gives him a mention in his profile later in this edition.
Romi’s Boy was beaten 5 lengths by Tandava in the Senor Santa and while 1,5kgs better off with the Terzi runner, he looks a little outgunned here.
His stablemate and fellow Gauteng raider Pure Blonde gets the blinkers again and is a kilo better off with Tandava for a quarter length beating in the Senor Santa. He was beaten over 6 lengths in the In Full Flight but is as much as 3kgs better off with Bold Respect. He has drawn against the rail and looks overdue to win again after a host of places. He could be the value!
Sir Frenchie finished just out of the money behind Bold Respect in the In Full Flight Handicap. He won his previous starts – in the Sophomore at home and the Ibhayi en route to KZN at Fairview. This is much tougher though.
Gokhan Terzi’s Senor Santa Stakes winner Tandava carries a handy galloping weight and was given a stretch at the Vaal over 1000m a fortnight ago. The 5yo will be a popular winner if he adapts to his first view of the Scottsville track.
Topweight London Call finished just out of the places in this race last year and is an established course and distance specialist who goes for a twelfth win from his 21st run on Saturday. No horse would be more deserving of the trophy and he always delivers an honest bid.
Former PE galloper Pinnacle Peak has raised his game since his move North and after winning the Man O’War Sprint with a dazzling speed display came out firing in the Computaform Sprint when beaten a length by Attenborough. Given the extra 200m here, he will have to be more conservatively ridden – although has won at 1200m in a lower division.
The 3yo Speedpoint raised his game dramatically with his 2 length third to stablemate Attenborough in the Computaform Sprint but now needs to raise the bar again.
Attenborough needs to maintain his upturn – but the Crawford pair of Bold Respect and Sunset Eyes will be no pushovers. London Call and Trip To Heaven are class heavyweights – and there are more to consider. Competitive is the word!