Hot Stuff

The race will tell how good Justin Snaith's Australian bred son of leading sire Lonhro is

Frosted Honey wins at Turffontein on 2015-02-19

Frosted Honey, the only filly in the race, has Marcus up and looks to remain unbeaten

Unlike the Pretty Polly Stakes for fillies on this same day, the open Protea Stakes equivalent has had its share of upsets – and sometimes by runners who subsequently failed to frank the form. This year’s renewal looks tricky to say the least, with five once-raced winners in the line-up (one a filly who bypasses the Pretty Polly), plus three other winners last-time-out. Then there’s the matter of collateral form – two of the once-raced winners did so in other provinces. It’ll take a brave man to pick a winner.

Let our ratings do the talking, and take it from the top. That position is held by the lone filly in the race, Frosted Honey, who competes here with 2.5kg sex allowance. That’s a good advantage, as the difference between colts and fillies at this time of their careers is far less than later on.

Frosted Honey won over 1200m at the Vaal in February, starting at 28/10 (from 5/2). She won by 2 lengths from Captain’s Song, setting the pace, and reported post-race as having been in season. Captain’s Song won her next start, a month later, by seven lengths in a field of eleven, at odds of 1/3. Frosted Honey has the services of Anton Marcus (who puts up half a kilo overweight). All of which adds up to the filly being a very serious contender for top honours.

Sean Tarry enters the fray with Malak El Molok, who has yet to win a race. He came within a short-head of being a winner at his second start, early in March, when mugged on the line by Dr Finley. The latter had taken five starts to get his maiden win, which makes the form look ordinary. Malak el Moolook has Piere Strydom in the saddle, and as a non-winner has a 3kg advantage over most of the other runners. Tarry also saddles first-timer Escape Route, a Trippi colt with Danielson up. That could be anything.

Mike de Kock

Mike de Kock – saddles Baahir

The next five on the list all have the same rating. Mike de Kock saddles Baahir, a colt by Galileo, and winner of his only start to date. That was over 1200m at Scottsville in February, where he beat another first-timer Vous et Var by three lengths, starting at 15/10. Vous et Var won his next start a month later, at odds of 9/10, by a whisker from 20/1 shot King’s Knight who had been placed at his two previous starts.

That puts Baahir’s first win in perspective, and suggests that he’ll have to improve properly in this race – which is, of course, entirely possible.

Arabian Beat made a winning debut late in February, over 1000m at this track. Backed from 12/1 to 5/1, he raced with the pace to win by four lengths. He could be anything.

Buckinghampshire (sic!) won the juvenile feature at Kenilworth on J&B Met day, by a length from Seventh Plain, who gave 3kg and had beaten his conqueror the time before by a length at level weights. Neither has raced since then, and the form is difficult to interpret.

The race will tell how good the Australian bred son of leading sire Lonhro is.

Mogok Master won on debut, in January, by a length from Dr Finley (mentioned earlier), when supported from 10/1 to 15/4. The Master was beaten at his next two starts, both times by non-winners who received 3kg from him. On the face of it he’ll have to improve quite a bit to win here.

Weichong Marwing -  aboard Slinky Jack

Weichong Marwing – aboard Slinky Jack

Slinky Jack made his debut doing a Zola Budd impersonation, winning going away while racing without shoes. That was over 1200m at the Vaal, where he beat Kemal Kavut by three. The runner-up franked the form by winning his only subsequent outing at short odds. Slinky Jack will no doubt improve on his first effort, and again has Marwing in the saddle.

Redcarpet Captain, on his debut run, beat Mogok Master when the latter had his second start following his debut-win. Mogok Master gave 3kg, finishing less than a length behind Redcarpet Captain. The latter is again ridden by Khumalo, and will have to show good improvement on his first effort to have a chance.

Kingoftheworld, a son of Var, made his debut in a feature race early in March. He finished some eight lengths adrift of winner Isca, but made amends two weeks later with a start-to-finish effort over 1000m on the inner track at this course. Runner-up Bikini Girl takes her chances in the Pretty Polly Stakes, one race prior to this event.

That leaves St John Gray’s Night March, who finished 2 lengths behind Mogok Master on debut, then 4 lengths behind Redcarpet Captain and 3 lengths off Mogok Master (gave 2kg) second time out. Night March then won at his third start, ten days ago over 1200m at the Vaal, by a length from debut-runner Machismo (who will run earlier on today’s card, and may give a pointer).

In summary, a very interesting event. We put our faith in Frosted Honey, to win from (not in any order) Baahir, Arabian Beat, and Slinky Jack. The Tarry-pair of Escape Route and Malak el Moolook could provide value in exotics.

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