The lure of the Ready To Run riches has not detracted from the smart quality line-up for the R200 000 Gr3 Graham Beck Stakes and a bigger issue could be the forecast of a 68% chance of thunderstorms as we head into Turffontein’s first big day of the new season.
When Mike de Kock won the race in 2015 with Muwaary he bemoaned the fact that the chase for the sales race cash had reduced the early season barometer of 3yo classic strength to a degree.
While the recent stakes reductions – the Gr3 offers 20% less than 4 years ago – won’t assist the cause of the chasm between rich Non Black Type races staged on the same afternoon as lowly funder Graded events, the 2019 Graham Beck Stakes renewal has some smart sorts in the mix.
Sean Tarry’s Putontheredlight was a flying runner-up in the Gr2 Golden Horseshoe last time but his subsequent effort behind Got The Greenlight in the Premiers Champion Juvenile Stakes last term was below that. He has had one prep run and ran a very nice race when just over 2 lengths off Prince Of Kahal in the Joburg Spring Challenge.
Mike de Kock’s SA Nursery winner Frosted Gold has his first run since going unplaced in the Mercury Sprint last term. The NZ-bred gelding was a flying second behind Eden Roc in the Gr1 Gold Medallion and, depending on fitness levels, must be right there.
Gold Medallion winner Eden Roc disappointed in the Premiers and has the advantage of a prep run under the belt. A classy colt, he is well drawn and a decent effort is expected.
The Philanthropist filly Magic School has produced two good fairer sex post-maiden handicap efforts and now faces a serious test as she steps up into mixed company.
John Hancock won his maiden but has produced two near placed efforts since. He will need improvement.
Stablemate to Eden Roc, Shango comes off a 14 week break since chasing Alibi Guy home over 1900m on Super Saturday.
Mike de Kock’s unbeaten-in-three runs filly Tallinn has drawn wide but showed a really decent turn of foot when beating the boys easily last time. She is fit and in form and is an interesting competitor against some class colts.
In a race that will paint a clearer classic picture, we are going with Putontheredlight to fight it out with Frosted Gold.