Spies Pride At Stake

Daughter of Querari steps up to the mile

Trainer Tobie Spies has enjoyed a great season and he holds all the aces in the R750 000 Gr1 Thekwini Stakes at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday.

Although he gives his son Corne all the credit for the astute eye when selecting the youngsters at sale, the veteran is a master with the 2yo’s and with long distance travelling – two aspects of training horses that can take years of refinement and experience to perfect.

Cockney Pride beats What You Are in the Golden Slipper (Pic – Candiese Marnewick)

On Saturday he saddles a quartet of runners headed by the Gr2 Golden Slipper exacta pair of Cockney Pride and What You Are. As Murphy often dictates, both are drawn in West Street – with the least fancied of the Spies attack – Gallic Princess – pulling the only decent gate.

A daughter of Querari, the narrow Sporting Post top-rated Cockney Pride built on her 40-1 Scottsville maiden score in June, with a smashing victory on July day in the Slipper. Craig Zackey was highly complimentary in the post-race interview, suggesting she was an athletic filly that gave him the feel of a very decent horse. On Saturday she gets tested over 200m further and needs to beat her draw.

Runner-up to Cockney Pride in the Slipper, Captain Of All’s Listed Devon Air Stakes winning daughter What You Are has also had no luck with the draw. The Spies duo had the race to themselves that day and they could repeat the feat on Saturday.

What You Are wins the Devon Air Stakes (Pic – Candiese Marnewick)

Just 1,70 lengths behind in third there, after jumping from the worst of the draw, smart Hollywoodbets Greyville debut winner Gabor will have the advantage of a nice 2 gate here and looks a live challenger.

True To Life faded out to a 3,35 length fifth there and had no excuses with the draw. The manner in which she was backed – and then coasted into the lead, grabbed the attention. But she had little to come when asked and went rather one-paced. Anton Marcus keeps the ride, which is a good sign.

It looks tough for the balance.

Kayla’s Champ was beaten 4,35 lengths in the Golden Slipper and will need to improve.

Victoria Paige was a further 0,55 lengths in arrears after winning her first two starts well. She has a more advantageous draw on Saturday and hails from a top yard.

Richard Fourie takes the reins on David Niewenhuizen’s Mill Queen, a winner of her last two starts. She has shown good gate speed and has a top jockey in the irons.

Recent polytrack maiden winner Jack’s Bird has more to do here but has done little wrong in two starts.

Castellano is another with three good runs to her credit – the last over 1500m when beaten 1,25 lengths by Simply Russian.

Paul Peter (Pic – JC Photos)

The Paul Peter yard have been in red hot form and the recent Vaal maiden winner Swept Off My Feet takes her chances. She showed good toe at her first two starts

A two-time winner in lesser company, Ardenne steps into Gr1 competition but has a very wide draw to overcome.

Snow Palace came out after three Gauteng runs to score a five length maiden victory at Hollywoodbets Scottsville at her fourth start. She has drawn very wide.

Gallic Princess is the fourth of the Spies quartet – and the best drawn of the lot. A recent emphatic maiden winner, she has her first run on the coast and is difficult to assess.

Lyle Hewitson (photo: Gold Circle)

Lyle Hewitson – rides Keep Smiling

Sean Tarry and Lyle Hewitson team up with a rare big day longshot in the Flower Alley filly, Keep Smiling. She won over the Turffontein 1200m at her second start and then may have needed the run when failing to feature over 1400m at the same track earlier this month. She will be fitter on Saturday.

The Spies pair look the obvious chief protagonists, with Gabor the lurker from the improved draw. True To Life may warrant another chance from the 1 gate – while Mill Queen looks the best outsider.

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