It’s Flamingo Park’s homegrown Super Saturday today.
A bumper card headed by three well subscribed features will launch the Northern Cape into a season of what we hope are promises of better days to come.
The pressures facing the industry have been exposed in recent weeks and while not as well ventilated as we’d believe they should be, the uncertainty does not augur well for the team effort required to lift the spirits.
That said, there will be a party at the Diamond Dustbowl today and some really smart horses in action. That, despite the absence of hype or promotion in any quarter.
A winner of the 2016 Gr1 Gold Challenge on an objection, the Sporting Post Flamingo Mile top-rated Mac De Lago broke the heart of Sean Tarry’s Trip To Heaven that afternoon. The latter, a top son of Trippi, was always said to be the best horse not to win a Gr1 – even though he passed the post first that dramatic day.
An Australian-bred by G Downey, the now four-time winning Mac De Lago was purchased by James Bester Bloodstock for A$65 000 off the 2013 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
A son of Fairy King stallion Encosta De Lago, he is out of the six-time winning Vettori mare, Macavelli Miss, and raced in the Hassen Adams silks throughout his career.
Now an 8yo, his last win was all the way back in July 2018 over 1800m at Kenilworth. In an interview this week with the Sporting Post, trainer Corrie Lensley said that Mac De Lago had needed his first two runs here and would be a fitter horse on Saturday. One concern that he harboured was that the gelding had something of a ‘daisy cutting’ action and this was a negative with the sand.
“Some top-class turf horses just hate the sand. But Mac is the class and he is good enough to win it,” he added.
The R110 000 Diamond Stayers is the longhaul contest of the afternoon.
Former Sean Tarry charge Yamoto, now with Tienie Prinsloo, tops the SP ratings and looks to win his first start here. A R2,2 million son of Dynasty, he stays well and if adapting to the sand – he showed good ability behind the well-performed American Indian on the Greyville polytrack last run and should strip fit.
Jacques Strydom’s topweight Frikkie ran a cracking third on Fairview all-weather on Monday and has maintained consistent placings in his last eight starts. The son of Elusive Fort is a former winner of the Northern Cape Stayers (2017) over Saturday’s track and trip.
The Tobie Spies yard are well versed with the rigours of the Flamingo Park bullring and the well travelled Singfonico can register his first victory here when he runs in the R135 000 WSB Sprint.
The son of Bezrin is one of two runners from the Spies yard – the other being 63,5kg topweight Basilius, who may have found the 1600m of Saturday’s Darley Arabian a bit far.
The son of Potala Palace is a versatile sort who has taken on some hardknockers on the all-weather and the turf and in-form jockey Muzi Yeni takes the reins.
It’s a competitive and entertaining programme on the first Saturday of the new season.
Click on the image below to find the key to all the winners: