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It’s Guineas Day!

R4 million Pick 6 pool projected at Turffontein

Sun Met winner Rainbow Bridge’s undefeated half-brother Hawwaam takes his first step to SA Triple Crown glory at Turffontein today as he takes on fourteen rivals in the R1 million Gr2 Gauteng Guineas.

The SA Triple Crown offers stardom and a  R2-million bonus for any horse who can win the Guineas, SA Classic and SA Derby in the same season.

Hawwaam – tough draw but looks really top-class (JC Photos)

Fresh off his great Gr1 Cape Derby surprise in the same Sheikh Hamdan silks with Atyaab at Kenilworth on Met day, Mike de Kock comes to the party with a four-pronged attack, headed by Hawwaam.

Hawwaam is unbeaten in three starts with his most spectacular win coming in the Gr2 Dingaans over this course and distance. It was only his second start, and the son of Silvano, from a bad draw and coming from last, ripped through his field to win going away by over 3 lengths. The Tony Ruffel Stakes was run over 1 400m – a distance on the sharp side for him – but he displayed class to get up and beat longshot Inexhaustible.

PE raider National Park – Fourie rides (JC Photos)

While the PE raider National Park is the obvious threat, De Kock stablemates Alyaasaat and Barahin are no slouches. Met winner Anton Marcus has been engaged to ride the Gr2 Golden Horseshoe winner Barahin which hints at some confidence seen that the colt has been rested 30 weeks and has his first start as a 3yo.

Read what Mike de Kock said earlier this week

Alyaasaat gave National Park 2kgs in the Graham Beck Stakes but was royally trumped by close on 9 lengths by the PE star. His run to older horses in the Joburg Spring Challenge suggests that this Dawn Approach colt be given another chance.

De Kock also has Arlington’s Revenge in the field. The son of The Apache has improved nicely with 3 wins from 6 starts but now takes on the big guns.

Yvette Bremner’s cracking Graham Beck Stakes winner and SP top-rated National Park is back for more from the 1 draw – and with a new jockey in the shape of Cape ace, Richard Fourie. While well beaten by Hawwaam in the course and distance Dingaans, National Park showed his well-being with a nice win against senior hardknocking handicappers at home three weeks ago.

Sean Tarry – three in the field

Sean Tarry has three runners in the field in Against the Grain, Vontreo and Zillzaal.

Against The Grain has decent consistent form but now takes a step up.

Vontreo has drawn wide and received 2kgs and a 0,70 length beating by Hawwaam in the Tony Ruffel Stakes.

The best of the trio could be Lyle Hewitson’s mount, the lightly raced Zillzaal, who produced a fair post-maiden effort for third behind last season’s SA Derby winner Hero’s Honour. He is unexposed but highly regarded and is something of an unknown quantity.

Of the balance, the Chesney van Zyl duo of Marchingontogether and Stream Ahead would have place chances at best. Poorly drawn, Marchingontogether looks held by Chijmes, while Stream Ahead was well beaten by Hawwaam in the Tony Ruffel Stakes – but will be more at home over the extra.

Listed Sea Cottage Stakes winner Chijmes (JC Photos)

The Listed Sea Cottage Stakes winner Chijmes gave apprentice Denis Schwarz his first feature success there and is a very decent front-runner, who holds Green Haze.

Candice Dawson’s Approach Control and Geoff Woodruff’s Owlinthetree are both recent maiden winners with scope to improve.

It comes down to a shootout between the visitor National Park and the exciting Hawwaam, But the race doesn’t end there with chances to Alyaasaat, Barahin (depending on fitness) and Zillzaal.

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4 comments on “It’s Guineas Day!

  1. Avril says:

    Ed could you please explain to me why the Cape Guineas has a GR1 status yet the Gauteng equivalent is a GR2 ? Surely all legs of a Triple Crown should enjoy the prestige of GR 1 grading.

    1. Editor says:

      Will do some more research on Monday Avril, but in terms of SA racing’s contract with the Asian Pattern Races Committee, all features are reviewed every three years based on top four finishers– eg the Gold Cup has fallen down the ladder from a Gr1 to Gr3 over time. Just had a quick check – the average MR of the 2018 Cape Guineas field was 107 and today’s Gauteng Guineas field is 96 – if our calculations are correct.
      But an interesting question and certainly one for an editorial.
      As for the Triple Crown automatically bestowing Gr1 status on a race ? Maybe the Cape Guineas should be the one and only first leg of that prestigious prize?

  2. Kay says:

    SA Triple Crown should be Cape Guineas GR1, SA CLASSIC GR1 and SA2000 GR1. Three races over various distances across the main racing centres in SA. The current triple crown adds interest to Joburg racing but should not being labelled the SA Triple Crown.

  3. Jay August says:

    I’m not sure how they appraise the reclassifying of races but you cannot compare the two Guineas exactly like that. The field sizes are completely different – 8 runners versus 15 runners. A larger field is always likely to have a lower average. The average rating of the Gauteng Guineas top 8 is 105 versus the Cape Guineas 107 so not much in it. Compare that to the really substandard Gr1 Cape Derby of last week where the top eight rated just 95 on average.

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