The Champions Clash

Gr1 President’s Champions Challenge

Yorker wins the Gr1 Horse Chestnut at Turffontein 2014-03-29

Yorker, Geoff Woodruff’s smart Jet Master gelding is expected to follow up on Horse Chestnut’s win

The R2 million Gr1 President’s Champions Challenge produced the 2013 Vodacom Durban July winner last year. The race looks tailor made for the quality Jet Master gelding Yorker, who comes in buoyant off his thrilling Horse Chestnut Stakes victory on Classic Day.

The Carl and Amanda de Vos bred son of Jet Master has turned the corner since gelding and the 2013 Sansui Summer Cup winner won the Horse Chestnut by a nostril beating the visitor Capetown Noir last time out. That was a great effort two months after going down second behind Hill Fifty Four in the J&B Met.

The big strong galloper will be piloted by Anton Marcus and he looks very well in here off a rating of 112. Geoff Woodruff saddles three runners and Yorker has ample support in the form of Tellina and the Australian bred, Killua Castle.


Tellina wins the Gr3 London News at Turffontein 2014-01-12

The Silvano colt Tellina is expected to give stablemate Yorker plenty to think about

The Silvano colt Tellina will be right there on his best past form. The 2013 Gauteng Guineas winner is edging back to his best form and won the Gr3 London News Stakes before registering two nice thirds.

He was under a length behind Yorker last time in the Horse Chestnut Stakes and will enjoy the extra 400m of this race. He is partnered again by Glen Hatt who has an excellent feature strike rate up North.


Robbie Fradd partners Killua Castle from the best of the draw. A difficult horse to unravel, the son of Churchill Downs has a tough task on the handicap but is never far off the best and looks likely to run into minor money again. Is last win was on the sand but he is a versatile sort.

Tarry Trio

Sean Tarry saddles a trio, headed by the Right Approach gelding Halve The Deficit. Tarry won this race last year when subsequent July winner Heavy Metal beat Knock On Wood and Shogunnar

Halve The Deficit has come good winning three of his last four starts, including a defeat of his stablemate Cagiva in the Gr2 Colorado King Stakes last time out in a small field.

Long Rest

Piere Strydom probably had choice of rides

Piere Strydom probably had choice of rides

Former July winner Pomodoro has his third run back after a long rest and ran a fair fifth behind Yorker in the Horse Chestnut Stakes. He showed good pace there and will be readier and fitter this time.

It is conceivable that Piere Strydom would have ridden him if he was considered the stable elect though. Baracah is way out at the weights. The son of King Of Kings finished a rather weak third behind Savage Wind in the Hennenman Memorial Stakes two weeks back. It is interesting that while Baracah does carry a stayer’s tag, five of his six wins have been recorded over distances from 1200m to a mile.

Hall Of Fame

The Marwing brothers team up with the Australian bred Wylie Hall. The son of Redoute’s Choice won the Gr1 SA Derby on this day last year and the ensuing 12 months has produced just one further victory.

He ran a disappointing race in the J&B Met but has run two fair places since coming back home. He ran handily when a 3 length fourth in the Horse Chestnut and will be more comfortable over the extra 400m of this race.


Gavin van Zyl

Gavin van Zyl sends out Seal

Gavin Van Zyl’s Seal is an interesting runner. The first thought is that the 2000m will be on the short side for the son of Silvano. He bounced back to form at his last start when winning the Gr3 Caradoc Gold Cup run over 2850m, so will be fit on Saturday.

It is also worthwhile noting that Seal won the Gr3 Jubilee Handicap over 1800m last year beating subsequent Durban July winner Heavy Metal, So theoretically he will have the toe to run a decet race here.

Ormond Ferraris’ Muhtafal gelding Knock On Wood ran a surprise place in the Colorado King Stakes when going third and 1,25 lengths behind Halve The Deficit. He ran on well from off the pace and will strip fit at this his third run after a rest. It is worth noting that he was runner up last year.

Club Class

Mike Azzie’s Brooks-Club is an enigmatically talented son of Strike Smartly.He is in under sufferance here. He ran a fair 4,75 length fifth behind Halve The Deficit over Saturday’s course and distance in the Gr2 Colorado King Stakes three weeks ago.

He is carded to run four days prior to this race when e lines up in Tuesday’S Listed Highveld Sand Challenge. If he takes his place there, he will certainly come in to the contest racing fit.

The Edge

The weight for age terms of the race give Yorker the edge. The son of Jet Master as found good form as a maturing 4yo and he looks likely to go on to better things. The dangers are likely to lie in the form of his stablemate Tellina and the improving Halve The Deficit.

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