The return to action of the champion sprinter Via Africa will add plenty of excitement to Sunday’s Scottsville meeting. The brilliant daughter of Var steps out in the R135 000 Listed Kwazulu Natal Stakes to be run over 1000m and looks to have things at her mercy.
Via Africa is the top rated filly in a small but high quality field of sprinters, that includes the long rested Vaughan Marshall runner All Is Secret, who has her first race of the season after winning the Gr1 Mercury Sprint last year.
Now a multiple Gr1 winner, the superfast Via Africa has not run since a glorious summer’s day at Kenilworth in January, when she demolished a class field in the Gr1 Cape Flying Championship.
The performance was an important one as she had not been herself that season, and had almost been sent back to home base.
Word has it that she is fitter this time around as compared to last year at the same time, and this will be an important prep for the Computaform Sprint.
Kevin Shea rides her again and she will enjoy the benefit of home ground.
Vaughan Marshall saddles a trio of runners, headed by Mercury Sprint winner All Is Secret.
The daughter of Captain Al is a three time Gr1 winner and if she hadn’t been rested for 37 weeks, would have been considered a serious treat to Via Africa.
While there is little between them at the weights, Via Africa did beat her at this track last year in the 1200m SA Fillies Sprint, and should have her measure again.
Captains Lullaby and Countess Of Rhynie are the others from Marshall’s yard.
Both look to have their work cut out in this field.
Gavin Van Zyl saddles Franny and Princess Julietta.
Franny has her first run since coming back from a rather quiet Cape season. She has been off for ten weeks but Anthony Delpech takes the ride and she is not without hope of a decent place cheque.
Princess Julietta is always right there and will be one of the fitter runners in the race.
She has a tough task at the weights though and should not finish in front of Via Africa.
Chris Erasmus trained Cotswold is in under sufferance and should struggle in this company.
Via Africa is a true champion and she has run well fresh previously.
She is a popular banker selection ahead of All Is Secret and Franny.
It could be a big weekend for Var!