While the Gr3 Jubilee Handicap at Turffontein on Sunday is the traditional July last chance saloon with seven big race candidates lining up, the 1400m Pinnacle Stakes that opens the Pick 6 could be the other interest race of the day.
The Pinnacle heralds the second ride of the welcome return to the saddle of Piere Strydom, who will partner his July mount, SA Triple Crown winner Abashiri, in his final prep.
Strydom, who celebrates his 52nd birthday today (Thursday), has been off since 9 May when his mount Refuge dislodged hiim after a freak accident when a stiirrup iron broke.
Hospital scans showed a neck fracture. While an old injury, it is a remarkable recovery by the veteran multiple champion, who has three rides on the day.
Mike Azzie, trainer of Abashiri who was runner-up to Coral Fever in the Gr1 Premier’s Champions Challenge over 2000m last time, told Tabnews he was planning to run his charge in the Jubilee Handicap.
But as Abashiri would have to carry 62.5kg and concede chunks of weight, he would rather opt for this Pinnacle Stakes for which the son of Go Deputy is the best handicapped runner.
Another July candidate in the Pnnacle field is Sean Tarry’s Liege, who was scratched from Saturday’s Gr1 Gold Challenge at Greyville.
Liege was not allowed to race in KZN as he had not seen action since winning the Sansui Summer Cup in November and had not obtained a Barrier Trial clearance. This trip should be on the sharp side for him.
Also in the field is Geoff Woodruff’s SA Oaks winner Secret Potion.
R130 000 1400m WWW.INTERBET.CO.ZA – 0861 150 160 PINNACLE STAKES
WFA: 2yrs-10kgs 3yrs-1.5kgs
|1||2||Abashiri||61.5||115||A||P Strydom||M G Azzie/A A Azzie|
|2||6||Will Pays||61.5||114||A||C Zackey||M G Azzie/A A Azzie|
|3||12||Liege||60||110||T A||*L Hewitson||Sean Tarry|
|4||13||Doosra||58.5||102||BA||K de Melo||J A Janse van Vuuren|
|5||9||Finchatton||57||100||A||C Habib||Gokhan Terzi|
|6||5||Zouaves||57||98||A||S Khumalo||Geoff Woodruff|
|7||8||She’s A Giver||55.5||102||A||R Danielson||J A Janse van Vuuren|
|8||4||Just As I Said||55.5||95||T A||K Zechner||Lucky Houdalakis|
|9||11||Prince Of Kahal||55.5||95||A||R Simons||Roy Magner|
|10||3||Splendid Garden||55.5||93||T A||*L J Ferraris -4.0||M G Azzie/A A Azzie|
|11||7||Clever Guy||55.5||91||T A||M Yeni||Stephen Moffatt|
|12||1||Secret Potion||54||102||A||C Murray||Geoff Woodruff|
|13||10||Tendre||50||80||T S||J Penny||Joe Soma|
|Same Trainer – Not Coupled on Tote|
|(1,2,10) (4,7) (6,12)|