Challenging Choices Today

There won't be much in this one!

The Judpot filly Double Whammy

The Judpot filly Double Whammy

If ever one needed a rare example of a sponsor getting genuine bang for the buck then today’s R400 000 Gr2 Choice Carriers Championship at Kenilworth is it. The first time feature clash of four high quality 3yo fillies looks to be the race that will set the benchmark for pure racing excellence in the Summer Of Champions that lies ahead – and a delightful teaser for the Avontuur Fillies Guineas.

This early season feature has produced the quality goods over the years and big names like Mother Russia, Princess Victoria, Ebony Flyer and Captain’s Lover will be familiar to many.

Supremacy

Glen Kotzen trains Double Whammy

Glen Kotzen trains Double Whammy

After Majmu’s crushing victory in the Starling Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday and the news that she will travel down for the Avontuur Fillies Guineas, nothing less than an emphatic win here will suffice for a serious psychological edge for one of the local ladies as the 6 December classic approaches.

And the four top-rated fillies stand out a mile and hail from top yards with proven records that will have them ready to fight for supremacy.

Interestingly, bar Cold As Ice’s maiden win over Double Whammy in August, none of them have clashed previously, so the collateral deductions will be rather hypothetical.

Champion

Glen Kotzen trained the champion Princess Victoria to win this race in 2011 and he comes in with the Shirluck Stud bred daughter of Judpot, Double Whammy, who tops the SP ratings.

The Gr3 Lanzerac Diana Stakes winner has won three from four after being narrowly beaten by inexperience on debut.

The same bogey caught Cold As Ice out when the Ramsden flyer went down to Double Whammy on her own debut.

Drawn 11 here, Double Whammy has beaten older horses at her post maiden runs and looks a very progressive sort.

Ramsden Duo

Cold As Ice looks very progressive

Cold As Ice looks very progressive

Joey Ramsden sends out a lethal looking coupling of the Highlands Stud bred Tapit filly Grey Light and the Avontuur bred, Cold As Ice.

Cold As Ice has looked every inch a star in the making and the dogs were barking months before inexperience got the better of her when going down 0,75 lengths to Double Whammy on debut.

She has won her subsequent two Kenilworth 1200m starts by a collective nine lengths plus and tries the turn for the first time.

Ice Cool

Jockey Sean Cormack said after her last win: “This was the highlight of my day. She got the job done in a procession and I’ve no doubt she will go a bit further.”

Trainer Joey Ramsden is on record as expressing doubt about Cold As Ice going the mile of the Guineas (her dam was lightning fast) but adds as a cautionary that she doesn’t work like a five or six furlong horse either – so there is hope in the medium term.

On the question of racing her in a Grade 2 feature only nine days after her last win, his retort was: “Why not? I would have galloped her anyway.”

Bright Light

Grey Light is a beautifully bred filly

Grey Light is a beautifully bred filly

The beautifully bred Grey Light is Ramsden’s support string. She is the highest rated filly in the race but achieved her rating in part through her two dazzling Greyville polytrack wins.

Her seasonal debut run over Saturday’s course and distance was slightly disappointing as she was caught flat-footed when beaten 2,25 lengths by Acrostar.

A Lack of fitness no doubt played a role and she will be much better prepared on Saturday.

The Jet

The Vaughan Marshall trained Jet Set Go is yet another Avontuur product and remains unbeaten at three starts.

She is indirectly the most experienced of the quartet as her victories have been achieved from 1000m to 1400m at three different tracks, including a really impressive Gr3 Champion Juvenile Cup win at Fairview against the boys.

If there are stamina doubts on any fronts, they do not apply to Jet Set Go, whose dam won up to 2000m.

Her return run when walloping Hurricane Wind in a small field at Durbanville suggested she will be fit and ready for this showdown.

Snaith Hand

Snaith Justin

Justin Snaith has a good record in this race

Justin Snaith has won the race four times in the past eight years, but has a tougher ask this year with Harvard Crimson and Princess Chloe representing him.

Harvard Crimson won three on the trot before disappointing at her first try of the turn last time.

Based on jockey engagements, Princess Chloe may be the elect.

Her sire Captain Al has a great record in this race and she came back smartly from a four month break to slam a field of older fillies at Durbanville a month ago.

Bass In Form

Mike Bass hit top form last Saturday

Mike Bass hit top form last Saturday

Mike Bass hit terrific form last Saturday and he sends out three runners.

Stable jockey Grant Van Niekerk rides the Trippi filly Inara who won well at her second run when beating the talented Cat And The Moon.

She kicked on well at her first try beyond the sprints when running on behind Indaba over a mile.

Australian bred Lucky Tuesday put in a fair post-maiden effort when staying on behind Abbey Creek in a modest fillies and mares handicap at her last start. This will be very much tougher.

Seven Grand had her first run after KZN Champions Season when a one-paced fourth behind Miss Saigon at Durbanville a fortnight ago. She will need improvement on that.

Thaler Point is the third of the Ramsden runners. She is well held by Cold As Ice on her last run.

Classic Picture

The fillies classic picture will be a little clearer after this race.

There is little to choose between the top four and anyone of the quartet would be a deserved winner.

We are leaning towards Double Whammy and Cold As Ice to fight it out, with nothing between Jet Set Go and Grey Light.

But enjoy it, as this is what class racing action is all about.

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