Alice Or The Wizard?

Tarry pair could dominate - but is horseracing ever so straightforward?

The visitors tend to more than hold their own in the R1 million Gr1 Computaform Sprint and with a quartet of quality ‘out-of-towners’ in Saturday’s line-up, Sean Tarry’s high-class mare Carry On Alice will have to be at her razor-sharp best to defend her title.

Val de Ra

Flashback – Champion Val De Ra wins here in 2011

The away team hold the marginal upper hand in the past seven runnings of this prestigious speed contest with Noble Heir (2010), Val De Ra (2011), What A Winter (2013) and Copper Parade (2014) having shown that the winner can hail from any corner of the country.

But, as is the case on any big day up North, Sean Tarry is the man for anybody with winning aspirations to get past and he saddles the SP top-rated pair of Trip To Heaven and Carry On Alice.

Trip To Heaven has not run in 14 weeks since going down narrowly to Carry On Alice in the Cape Flying Championship after a characteristic slow start.

This top class gelding is a multiple Gr2 winner  from 1160m to 1450m and is surely overdue to register a maiden Gr1 score in his best season yet.

Anton Marcus is an interesting and possibly key jockey booking and the now 5yo will be doing his best work late.

Four-time Gr1 winner Carry On Alice produced a no fuss prep win in the first week of April and looks well set to defend her title.

Carry On Alice wins the Gr1 SA Nursery at Turffontein on 2014-04-26

Carry On Alice – one of our best

A Gr1 winner at 2,3,4 and 5, she is in her prime and will be given every opportunity by her favourite jockey, S’manga Khumalo over a course and distance on which she has proven herself to be lethal.

Coenie de Beer’s Talktothestars can match strides with the best over the sprints on his day but the son of Overlord has not been his good old self lately.

He has not looked like earning in his three runs since returning from a dull Cape campaign and has tumbled from a career high 121 under a year ago to his present mark of 110.

He runs again in the alumites and needs major improvement on his Senor Santa 8,50 lengths deficit.

Gr2 Joburg Merchants winner Brutal Force, aka ‘Fatty’, is unbeaten at this track in three starts and the son of Western Winter presents the major obstacle to the Tarry duo after his gutsy prep win in mid April.

The Wizardry of Piere Strydom is the perfect foil for this superb chestnut speedster and he looks capable of registering a hat-trick to give Joey Ramsden another overdue Gr1 Gauteng success.

Justin Snaith

Justin Snaith – brings Jo’s Bond to take on the big guns

Justin Snaith has no doubt noted that history shows that the fairer sex are very capable of winning this race and he brings recent Listed KZN Stakes winner Jo’s Bond up from the coast to take on a strong field.

The daughter of Captain Al has the distinction of dethroning an admittedly below fit Carry On Alice in the Gr2 Southern Cross Stakes but now faces the star in her own backyard at 2kgs worse terms.

Dollar Dazzler has his issues and was reported lame after the Senor Santa.

He is capable if coming out sound and well, but cannot be supported with any confidence.

Ashburton-based Duncan Howells travels with the champion Via Africa’s supremely consistent half-sister Elusivenchantment.

She was beaten a length on the same weight terms by Jo’s Bond last time and is proven against her own sex. This is a big leap for her.

Mike de Kock throws a potential tiger amongst the pigeons in the form of the Gr2 Hawaii Stakes winner Rafeef, who drops in trip but gets the blinkers added.

Rafeef wins the Hawaii Stakes – drops in distance

The 4yo is out of the 2006 winner of this race, the lightning fast National Colour, and he cannot be written off.

Gr3 Lebelo Sprint winner Rivarine travelled for the Cape Flying Championship on Sun Met day but was never in the race and finished 8,25 lengths behind Carry On Alice.

He is 2kgs worse off with the Tarry flyer and while that wasn’t his run, he will battle at these weights against the top rank older horses.

Mauritius bound Andrew Fortune rides the 7yo Pivotal Pursuit for Gary Alexander.

He looks stretched at level weights with the proven speed merchants and needs to bounce back from a lameness report following his last run.

Superquick filly Wrecking Ball managed to stay on well for second in the Senor Santa but then ran 3,75 lengths behind Brutal Force in her last jump over the course and distance.

.Superfast Wrecking Ball is very talented

She looks well and truly held by the Ramsden runner on that.

Second of the Azzie attack, Splendid Garden showed some spark when coming again for third in the Senor Santa.

He hasn’t won in ages but didn’t run the worst fifth in the world in this race last year and could burgle a quartet berth.

The 6yo Moofeed is the second of the De Kock duo and this Duke Of Marmalade entire runs the odd decent race.

He flew up late from way back over the course and distance last time to get within a length of Brutal Force. But he frankly seldom strings two good efforts together.

The speedy Isca was earmarked for this race by his trainer Gavin Van Zyl some time ago.

Isca is very fast but will need to up his game

The grey son of Var’s form has tapered negatively though and he cannot be fancied against the big gun speed machines.

The 3yo Pillar Of Hercules is the second of the Joey Ramsden pair.

He is 4,5 kgs off with Brutal Force on their last start, when he was 1,40 lengths adrift, but improved fitness and true ability still gives Brutal Force the edge.

Doing It For Dan has lost his best form and this talented nine-time winner has been a frustrating horse for his connections.

Ronnie Rocket is a reserve runner – watch the scratchings, but iif he makes the cut he looks outclassed.

This looks without question to be the most open of the four Gr1’s on the Champions Day programme.

Carry On Alice and Trip To Heaven could add to the Tarry celebrations but the likes of Brutal Force, Rafeef and Rivarine just cannot be ignored.

But exercise caution – it doesn’t end there if looking for a guaranteed passage through the exotics.

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