The Cape raiders have a top-class record in the R150 000 Listed Racing Association Stakes to be run over a mile at Fairview today.
But with the African Horse Sickness lockdown in place and 9 of the 10 runners carded, the locals have a great chance to pull one back in the 2018 renewal.
Justin Snaith has the lone raider in the line-up in the form of the Cape stakes-placed Frank Lloyd Wright, a fellow who ran four seconds en route to his maiden success. One of those runner-up berths was achieved against undefeated Cape Guineas contender One World. Drawn wide a his first Fairview start, the son of Captain Al can follow up with a victory here in the hands of Richard Fourie.
East Cape Champion 2yo Filly Madame Speaker has taken on and beaten the boys and steps up to the mile with an exemplary record over shorter. The daughter of Pathfork may have just needed her first run this term when staying on late to be beaten 3 lengths by the top-class National Park last time out.
Just Chaos is the second of the three fillies in the race. A winner of her last two starts, the daughter of Just As Well is on a hat-trick after two eyecatching polytrack wins. She takes a step up in class from the 2 draw and could be a quartet candidate at best.
March Music won her polytrack maiden by ten lengths four runs back and has continued to maintain her form – including a fair 2,60 length third to Madame Speaker in the Champion Juvenile Stakes last term. That brings her in with a decent shout after a nice prep run in September.
Wildcat’s better efforts appear to have been on the turf and he reverts after two runs as a 3yo on the poly. He looks well held by Madame Speaker.
Jacques Strydom’s recent poly 2200m maiden winner Cape Leopard has a tougher task here as he steps back to the mile.
Gavin Smith’s pair of Emerito and The Highway Man look to have some ground to make and the preference is for the fourth of his quartet. Pomaceous has better form on the poly but has shown promise at every one of his 6 starts. A two-time winner, he looks likely to enjoy the extra and cannot be disregarded.
Second of the Sharon Kotzen coupling, Handre The Hero appeared to enjoy the switch from turf to poly and has done reasonably well since winning his maiden in August. That said, he will have to up his game here.
There has been little to touch Madame Speaker, a winner of 50% of her starts. Frank Lloyd Wright took inordinately long to win his maiden. But he looks better than that. It should be interesting!