Gr3 Final Fling Stakes over 1800m at Kenilworth on Saturday
The weight for age Gr3 Final Fling Stakes over 1800m at Kenilworth heads up the four card program this weekend and if the handicapper has gotten his sums right only three of the runners can win it, writes Steve Furnish.
The highest rated, and indeed best in at the weights of the ten, is the Windrush mare A Daughters Legacy. Riaan Van Reenen’s charge won four in a row at this stage of the season last year, and most significantly those successes included victory in this race. The going was heavy when A Daughters Legacy won this race last season and interestingly five of her seven wins have been gained with cut in the ground. She’s come to hand nicely since returning from a three month break in April and she did have one of her main rivals behind her when a runner up to Ocean Of Time in the listed Ladies Mile last time out. The going is likely to be good with the sun set to shine every day in the lead up to Saturday’s event, but her ratings would suggest that she is equally effective with the going on the top. She should be right there again.
Also in good form at the moment is the highest rated of Justin Snaith’s two runners We Three. This daughter of Silvano has shown improvement in our book since winning the Winter Oaks over 2200m at this circuit last season and although she has been battling to get her head in front of late, She has been keeping very good company. She was running on nicely when best in at the weights in a pinnacle event last time out and although she is held by A Daughters Legacy on their running in both the Victress and Paddock Stakes earlier in the season, there was very little between them. She has a shout.
Stable companion Cause To Believe had looked to be pretty average having taken nine starts to shed her maiden tag, but since being put over ground she has taken off in no uncertain terms. Indeed, she was only beaten three quarters of a length when traveling 1600m for the first time in the listed Stormsvlei Mile in her post maiden start and in her only subsequent outing she won the listed Winter Oaks. At her best racing up with the speed, Cause To Believe is undoubtedly taking on stronger here. She is very nicely drawn though and any amount of further improvement would put her in the shake up.
A winner of the listed Jamaica Handicap over 1700m on the new course here earlier in her career, Tassie Belle commands a very nice turn of foot on her day. She finished close up in both the Gr1 Woolavington and Gr1 Garden Province Stakes at the back end of last season and it is worth noting that her latest win was over today’s course and distance. A daughters Legacy did finish a half length in front of her when they met on identical terms in the Ladies Mile here last time out. Tassie Belle was finishing much the stronger in that event though and the extra 200m here is sure to suit.
Placed in both the Fillies Championship and Fillies Mile as a 3yo last season, Eric Sands’ charge has shown flashes of real ability. More often than not seen out over shorter, Secret Pleasure has been very sparingly raced since finishing six lengths off the subsequent Triple Tiara and July winner Igugu last October though, and having only her second outing following a five month break here one is not quite sure what to expect.
A winner of the Cape Fillies Guineas back in 2009, Stephen Page’s charge was once rated 13 points higher in the handicap than she is today. This talented daughter of Silvano has been fighting a losing battle against soundness since running on best of all to land that prestigious event though and has only managed to find a place in the Quartet once in thirteen outings since. She’s been reported as not striding out in both starts since returning from a four month break in May and is clearly best just watched for now.
Light The Moon
The highest rated of trainer Mike Bass’ two runners, albeit by just a pound, is the Victory Moon filly Light The Moon. At home in both good and soft ground, Light The Moon had been showing steady improvement prior to trailing in a 22 length last of fifteen when stepping up in class to contest the Ladies Mile last time out. She had been beaten fair and square by both Ocean Of Time and Maxixe in her two previous outings though and on a line through those two she does look held here.
Stable companion Scarlet Sky finished behind Light The Moon in both of those recent races won by Ocean Of Time and Maxixe and on that is also held. She was running on nicely in the latter of those two events though and it could well be that she is better than currently rated.
A veteran of some 45 racecourse appearances, the Jet Master mare Mystery Dame is as consistent as they come and fully deserved her win after a seventeen outing drought in her penultimate start. She’s sure to give of her best here, but badly out at the weights and setting off from the widest draw to boot, she clearly has a very stiff task.
If there is to be an upset in terms of the official merit ratings, the one most likely to achieve it is the Western Winter filly Maxixe. A winner of four of her eleven starts to date, Joey Ramsden’s charge has produced a very nice turn of foot on several occasions. She finished best of all when beating Tassie Belle amongst others in a MR94 Handicap over 1600m here in her penultimate start. Maxixe was receiving 9kg from Paddy Kruyer’s charge in that event though and when they met again on 5kg less favourable terms last time out, she was beaten fair and square. Maxixe only receives 1,5kg from Tassie Belle here and strictly by the book is held. She does have an enormous amount of scope for improvement being a 3yo though, and the extra 200m here can only aid her cause. The dark horse.
About The Pace
Although there isn’t a great deal of speed in the race, those preferring to race prominent will need to be up there if they are to secure some black type. With that in mind at least a fair clip can be expected and that is sure to suit those running on. Last year’s winner A Daughters Legacy looks sure to fight it out again and bold efforts can be expected from both We Three and the dark horse Maxixe. The one I like best on the day though is Tassie Belle.