The Cat’s Out The Bag

De Kock’s Ektifaa and the low-key Smokey Affair could be the two jokers in the pack

Trainer Vaughan Marshall is looking for history to repeat itself at Kenilworth today with a family close to his heart. The undefeated The Secret Is Out is poised to emulate the 2012 feat of her older sister All Is Secret in the first Gr2 event of the Cape Summer Of Champions Season.

The R400 000 Gr2 Choice Carriers Championship inevitably sets the stage for future fireworks and the honour roll speaks amply of the giant hoofprints of those that have gone before.

The Secret Is Out wins Gr3 Strelitzia Stakes

The Secret Is Out makes her 3yo debut

The Secret Is Out looks likely to start a warm order favourite despite obvious reservations about her less than favourable draw and natural ring rustiness after a 21 week break.

The draw weighting comes into play to a greater degree on the winter track, with its shorter run-in, than it would on the summer course.

But if there is a trainer to pull a rabbit out of the hat – or cat out of the hat, if you prefer – then it is the vastly experienced Marshall, who has the confidence booster of knowing how good The Secret Is Out really is – and that he has done it before.

All Is Secret might have had a bit more in her favour when she won in 2012.

Say Nothing! Anton Marcus gets All Is Secret up to win the Gr2 Choice Carriers Championship. Butterfly Girl (blue cap) ran a smart second

Flashback – Anton Marcus gets All Is Secret up to win the Gr2 Choice Carriers Championship in 2012

Like her full sister, she had won the Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship and had scored a peach of a win in the Gr1 Thekwini Stakes on Super Saturday.

So her rest period was a lot shorter than the 21 week break her little sister has to overcome on Saturday. She was also only drawn 7 out of 13.

But The Secret Is Out looks top-class and ready to step up in trip after three facile victories.

The race is scaled off a base weight of 58kgs with Gr1 winners getting a 2kg penalty and Gr2 victresses just 1kg extra,

Glen Kotzen has two in the field and his Gr2 Golden Slipper winner Final Judgement is joint top-rated with the Marshall filly and could be a danger from her 6 draw.

Final Judgement pleased her trainer in work

Final Judgement pleased her trainer in work

Kotzen was pleased after her recent gallop. He said: “It was a nice gallop and the first one she has had since her break. She is very athletic and doesn’t take much work.”

We are not privvy to the riding arrangements, but the fact that Greg Cheyne partners Final Judgement ahead of O Tamara could be a pointer to supremacy on his assessment of the former.

Party Crasher is the second of the Kotzen duo and is a half-sister to past winner, In The Fast Lane.

The daughter of Philanthropist is nicely drawn but looks held by Felicity Flyer on her last start.

Dennis Drier and Sean Veale are yet to open their Cape summer account but the promising Sail gives them a big chance of doing so.

Rated just off the top two, the daughter of Philanthropist finished under a length off Final Judgement in the Golden Slipper and was then third in the Gr1 Thekwini behind Querari Falcon.

She has her first run as a 3yo but looks way above average and should not be discounted.

Local powerhouse operations Justin Snaith and Candice Bass-Robinson saddle six of the fifteen starters between them.

The Merry Widow_k151219 (2)_web

Snaith’s The Merry Widow is well drawn

Snaith had varied joy with the draws – The Merry Widow starting on the paint, while Red Light Girl makes her jump somewhere in Chukker Road.

The Merry Widow is not the biggest girl around and could be held on her six length arrears in the Golden Slipper behind Final Judgement.

Red Light Girl has the back-from-injury Andrew Fortune up to counter her barrier gate blues and will strip fit after her good Durbanville win three weeks back.

Gimme Six also pulled a wide draw but has run on strongly at her last two 1200m starts and the daughter of Gimmethegreenlight will relish the extra.

Grant van Niekerk

Grant Van Niekerk – rides Whose That Girl

Bass-Robinson’s riding arrangements suggest that Whose That Girl (with Grant Van Niekerk up) could be best of her trio.

The daughter of Gitano Hernando just failed behind Captain Gambler in the Listed Irridescence Stakes at her one and only try around the turn. She drops 100m in distance here and will be fitter than some of her opposition after a pipe-opener last month.

Noordhoek Flyer’s daughter Felicity Flyer has drawn wide and looks to hold Gimme Six after her good win a fortnight ago.

She stayed on well for third in the Irridescence Stakes after a tardy start and could be a quartet kicker if Devin Ashby can get her into the race early.

Extradite ran a fair race at her post-maiden try when giving Red Light Girl 3kgs and finishing 2,30 lengths behind.

She was stakes placed behind the high-quality O Tamara in PE and she gives the underrated Sihle Cele a golden chance to show his skills in a decent race.

Mike de Kock indicated that he was headed for the Starling Stakes with his More Than Ready filly Ektifaa after her last impressive handicap win.

The fact that the master trainer has travelled all the way to Cape Town for this Gr2 suggests that he may have the Cape Fillies Guineas in mind and with his charge growing in confidence and labelled ‘progressive’, it may pay to include her.

Richard Fourie - back home

Richard Fourie – rides the interesting Smokey Affair

It is good to see Richard Fourie back in action and he will be aboard the Team Valor filly Smokey Affair.

The well-drawn daughter of Elusive Fort has been brought along steadily and won two of her four starts with a smart turn of foot.

She is yet to be exposed at this level but could prove the joker in the pack. Fourie has ridden her at all of her starts and knows her well.

Michael Robinson also makes a bold bid with his recent maiden winner Pint Pot.

The daughter of Judpot won over the Durbanville 1200m  at her sixth start beating Moonsaballoon – who subsequently ran a poor race. She should battle.

The unbeaten Trippi filly California Girl has her first run around the Kenilworth turn but has won her first two starts with a nice burst.

She needs to find 4,5kgs on Gimme Six who she beat narrowly last time.

O Tamara wins Champion Juv Cup

O Tamara – the only PE raider in the field

O Tamara is the sole PE representative in the race and has her first run away from home after winning four good races in her 2yo term.

The daughter of Argonaut ran out of puff at her first start as a 3yo but that run should have brought her on nicely. On a line through her 0,75 length defeat by The Merry Widow earlier on, she is not far behind the better locals.

Class inevitably rises to the top and The Secret Is Out should go very close on her best form.

That is if she has some luck from the draw and doesn’t lack extra when it counts after her break.

In her favour is that both her major opponents should also need it a bit and Final Judgement and Sail look set to fight over minor money.

De Kock’s Ektifaa and the low-key Smokey Affair could be the two jokers in the pack.

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