Top-class racing headlines the opening day of the Cape Summer Season today at Kenilworth. A healthy Pick 6 projected at R2,5 million is on the line!
Recent Magnolia Handicap winner True To Life is an interesting runner in the R1 million WSB Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas. The daughter of Duke Of Marmalade has produced her best form over the sprints but her connections are showing faith in her breeding, which suggests she will get the mile with ease.
The SP top-rated True To Life turned on the jets late in the running of the 1160m fillies and mares handicap on Summer Cup Day to win well and after disappointing in the Golden Slipper and Thekwini, it is a bold move on the part of the Janse van Vuuren team to travel and take on the cream of the Cape with a first time in competition on a left-handed turn.
The Ridgemont Team have enjoyed a top season so far and will be looking to follow up on last year’s sensational victory by the top-class Front And Centre.
Brett Crawford sends out their trio of Jackson daughters Pretty Young Thing and Flame Tree, and Anton Marcus’ mount Kelpie. The latter has won four on the trot since shedding her maiden and appears to be improving with every start. There will be no questions about her seeing out the trip as she has already won twice over the mile.
Pretty Young Thing ran a courageous race from a wide draw when chasing Third Runway home in the Western Cape Fillies Championship. She tries 1600m for the first time and the draw gods have once again been unkind.
The least experienced of the Ridgemont attack, the poorly drawn Flame Tree is a winner on the Kenilworth mile winter course and is a half-sister to Gold Cup winner Dynasty’s Blossom. She looks a very promising sort and can run into the money.
Corne Spies raider Cockney Pride, a winner of the Golden Slipper last season, will surely strip very fit after a tough November programme when she ran in three features. She produced a courageous effort last time out when staying on for third and 3,75 lengths behind Guineas and Met entry male Shango in the Dingaans. Her draw is likely to do her no favours, but she won’t lack for experience and race-readiness.
Glen Kotzen’s Third Runway has drawn wide but the smart daughter of Gimmethegreenlight for a fourth straight victory after winning the Listed Irridescence Stakes and Western Cape Fillies Championship (after a break) at her last two starts. The big question is whether she will be as effective at 1600m – but has all the credentials to produce a big effort again.
Eric Sands has always held Larentina in the highest regard and after following up on her maiden win with an impressive late burst over the Durbanville 1400m, she was given the chance to show her ability in the Western Cape Fillies Championship. She was drawn very wide there but was not disgraced and ran on well to be beaten only 3,10 lengths into fifth. She stayed on well in a quality MR 100 Handicap last time out and with the pole position draw on Saturday, she can go very close.
Roll In The Hay goes the mile and in the opinion of our Personality Of The Week, Robert Khathi, she should relish the long straight and will have every chance from the draw.
Castellano, a maiden winner, was considered good enough to take her chances in the Gr1 Thekwini Stakes where she showed some pace before being beaten 4,90 lengths by Gabor. While she has failed to earn since, she did catch the eye when running on late in an MR 86 Handicap last time out over 1400m.
Driving Miss Daisy is another who goes the mile for the first time and had no luck in running when a fair fourth and 2,70 lengths off Third Runway in the Western Cape Fillies Championship.
Sailing Ship has drawn wide but tries the mile for the first time – a trip she has been crying out for based on the manner in which she has run on. She was beaten 3,40 lengths by Third Runway in the Western Cape Fillies Championship.
Missisippi Burning has won 3 of her 6 starts over the sprints and now tries the turn and the mile for the first time. Her top sire certainly gets them to go the ground, while her Australian-bred stakes placed dam won up to 1400m. She is an unknown quantity out to show her merits.
Drama Queen is not far off Third Runway at best and had excuses in the Western Cape Fillies Championship when staying on out of the money.
Follow The Star has maintained a consistent formline but may be marginally held by Flame Tree on their last meeting. She should enjoy the longer run-in of this track.
Fourth of the Woodhill Racing quartet, the lightly tried and beautifully-bred Dynastic Light is a maiden winner and has her first run in feature company. The R1 million buy could be anything and is worth including as a quartet kicker.
Justin Snaith has won this race four times in the past decade and he sends the Kingsbarns filly Casino Queen to post. She won her first two starts up the Kenilworth sprint track in good style but then went unplaced in the Western Cape Fillies Championship when possibly in need of the outing.
The draw could play a major part in the outcome, despite the balancing factor of the long run for home. The Gauteng raiders True To Life and Cockney Pride should be thereabouts, but we are siding with the Brett Crawford – Ridgemont trio to have a serious say in the finish, with the gutsy Third Runway in the mix.