Choice Of Champions

Gr2 Choice Carriers Championship at Kenilworth today

Along Came Polly

Stands Out. Gavin Van Zyl’s Equus champion Along Came Polly adds glamour to the Gr2 Choice Carriers Championship

The fillies’ classic picture should be clearer after the running of the R200 000 Gr2 Choice Carriers Championship at Kenilworth on Saturday. The 1400m contest has attracted a high quality field of sixteen runners, which includes Judpot’s Equus Award winning champion daughter, Along Came Polly.

Visiting KZN trainer Gavin Van Zyl, who also sends out the Australian bred Mohave Princess, will have high hopes this season for the Varsfontein Stud bred Along Came Polly.

Top Sort

Brian Burnard’s flyer is ‘only’ a one time winner, but closer investigation will reveal that she has run in Gr1’s at three of her four career starts. She shed her maiden in dazzling style in the Gr1 Thekwini Stakes at Greyville on Super Saturday at her last start. She turned the tables there on the Gr1 Golden Slipper winner For The Lads, who had beaten her by a length over 200m shorter at the same venue three weeks earlier.

The beautiful mobile billboard for racehorse ownership and for first season sires, Along Came Polly cost just R60 000 on the National Yearling Sale and was also the flagbearer in a stunning first season for Judpot. While she is up against some good sorts here, we have come to the conclusion that only the draw or lack of match fitness (she has been rested 15 weeks) can beat her.

Royalty

Mohave Princess

Class Act. The Australian bred Listed Devon Air Stakes winner Mohave Princess must be included in calculations, despite her draw

Her stablemate Mohave Princess has pulled the widest of the draw and won her first two starts, including an eyecatching victory in the Listed Devon Air Stakes. She was caught a bit flatfooted late at her opening Cape start when just over 4 lengths off Captainofmysoul a week ago over Saturday’s course and distance. While enjoying the services of Bernard Fayd’herbe, she may need to up her game a few lengths. She will certainly strip a fitter runner.

Super Snaith

Trainer Justin Snaith has a terrific record in this race and he is represented by a smart trio. Richard Fourie rides the Jet Master filly In The Fast Lane, who made a huge impression when winning her maiden at her second start by close on ten lengths over the Durbanville 1400m.

She has won two of her four starts and has done little wrong, the last time getting the better of Baby Be Mine in a modest fillies handicap over the Durbanville mile.

Progressive

The Team Valor International owned Highly Decorated is a lightly raced progressive looking daughter of Captain Al, who won her last start in a common canter. She will be ridden by Sean Cormack and steps up in class here. Although running green and unplaced at her only try this far, she has the stamp of a filly that has plenty of scope.

Trippissa has been rested 13 weeks, since going second behind the speedster Knock ‘Em Out over the Kenilworth 1000m. She was scratched footsore from an engagement in September, and based on the rest aspect of recovery from that, she may lack fitness.

Rampant

The Glen Kotzen trained Masked Lady has her second run for her new owners Maine Chance Farms. The daughter of Casey Tibbs showed smart ability in the KZN Champions Season when running excellent places in two Gr1’s, behind top class fillies. She was interestingly beaten at both of those feature starts by Along Came Polly, so will be keen to reverse the picture.

She was fancied to go in on her first run back, but was caught flatfooted by a rampant Run Like Hell. She stayed on well to run third and will be a lot more competitive here. She has a 12 draw to overcome, but is a game and talented individual.

Bass Bombers

Pure Power

Tough Draw. The Mike Bass trained Pure Power can challenge for top honours if Karl Neisius can overcome her wide draw

Mike Bass saddles a smart trio, as well as a reserve runner. His stable jockey Grant Van Niekerk has been engaged to ride Alascan Maiden. She ran unplaced at her rerun run on 19 October, when beaten 2,20 lengths by the promising looking Theme Park. That run would have brought Alascan Maiden on, and although held by the Van Zyl duo, she did prove fairly competitive in the features last season to be competitive here.

The Drakenstein Stud owned Trippi filly Lanner Falcon is a three time winner from just five starts. She is held by Pure Power on her Irridescence Stakes effort, but appears to have improved in the interim and if she stays the extra 200m, comes into the picture with the genius of Robbie Fradd in the saddle.

Karl Neisius jumps aboard the promising Captain Al filly Pure Power, who with her stablemate Lanner Falcon, is one of only two three time winners in the race. The Listed Irridescence Stakes winner comes to racing a fit and vastly improved filly, and but for her poor draw, would have been a top three selection. The Bass’ reserve runner Princess Of The Sky will strip fitter after a run last week, and although held by Highly Decorated, may be worth a shout from a good draw. That is if she gets a run.

Visitors

Ashburton trainer Duncan Howells made a superb start to his Cape summer campaign with a winner and a second placed runner last Saturday. He sends out the Greys Inn filly Lemonade River who has solid consistent form. Unfortunately she has drawn widest of all at her first Cape start, and this could nullify her prospects of challenging for place money.

On Fire

Brett Crawford and Glen Hatt have been on fire in recent months and the combination are represented by the Lundy’s Liability filly Zacharias, who was a smooth maiden course and distance winner at her penultimate start.

She was run off her feet last time out when staying on well for second behind Run Like Hell over the Kenilworth straight track. She beat the well performed Masked Lady there and has drawn nicely.

The Lurker

Joey Ramsden’s Icy Winter Air is a classy sort. She won on debut in April and then cracked the nod for a tilt at the Gr1 SA Fillies Nursery at Turffontein three weeks later, when not disgraced with a third finish behind Virgo’s Babe.

She ran downfield in the Devon Air Stakes at her only KZN start and was then rested until last Wednesday when running unplaced behind Run Like Hell. Icy Winter Air obviously needed that run badly and was cramped and run off her feet by the helter skelter Run Like Hell, who ran away from her opponents.

Icy Winter Air must be watched for serious improvement here and from a 2 stallgate, will have every chance of putting her best foot forward. The lurker for bigger exotics! Brandon Morgenrood gets aboard the second of the Ramsden duo. Coco, formerly named Chanel Five, is a promising daughter of Royal Air Force, who shed her maiden over Saturday’s course and distance at her third start.

She looks held by Mohave Princess on the Devon Air Stakes run and has not run for three months. She has drawn against the paint though, and may sneak a minor place.

Cat Woman

Vaughan Marshall trained Wheredowego is another progressive daughter of Captain Al, who has won two of her three starts. Her last win was in the Gr3 Kenilworth Nursery some seven months ago, when she accounted for subsequent dual winner Pure Power.

Paul Reeves’ Sea Cat was a surprise raider into the KZN Champions Season, and while she sneaked a Gr1 fourth place cheque in the Allan Robertson, she was well beaten by, amongst others Along Came Polly, in the Golden Slipper. She has not run for 18 weeks and has been nastily treated by the draw gods.

Good Form

Paddy Kruyer’s yard has been in good form recently, and his Ashaawes filly Catchphrase jumps from the 14 draw. She won at the second time of asking, but has been well beaten in three starts since. She appears held here. Mike Robinson has done very well with the Western Winter filly Hurricane Wind, who comes in as a second reserve runner. She ran on strongly last time after winning her maiden at any price at her penultimate start.

Improvers

The race does not look likely to produce an upset, but these are young fillies capable of improvement. Along Came Polly stands out head and shoulders above her opposition with her excellent feature performances and should have the measure of her opponents. Her stablemate Mohave Princess and well as the Bass and Snaith runners look most likely to challenge. Don’t leave out the Ramsden runner Icy Winter Air, either!

Prizes & Fun

There will be plenty of on course fun at Kenilworth on Saturday. The Choice Carriers Championship race day offers a quality nine race card which includes the prestigious R200 000 Gr2 Choice Carriers Championship for three year old fillies. The sponsor is offering a R15 000 nationwide horse transportation travel voucher on the day, so horse owners are encouraged to enter. The prize valid for 12 months and entrants must be on course to claim it.

In keeping with the Cape racing season’s Summer of Champions theme, there will be a Beach Club theme in the Somerset Room where partygoers are expected to dress smart casual in white. Fashion will be showcased and glitz and glamour is the name of the game. There will be something for everyone on Saturday with free kiddies entertainment to keep the little ones busy , while those with a sweet tooth can enjoy the famous Ice Cream Ninja’s who will be serving up a selection of flavours while entertaining the crowd with their flaring skills.

Gates open at 11h00 and entry is FREE. Somerset Room bookings are essential and seats are limited so don’t delay and book your table now by contacting the Racecourse Caterers on (021) 797 6037. The admission gates open at 11h00 and entry is free.

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