A True Handicap At Last

Sensible punters will resist temptations to go short in exotics

Based on past results the R250 000 Gr3 Sycamore Sprint for fillies and mares, over 1160m at Turffontein, is a handicap in the true sense of the definition.

The 2016 winner Tiger’s Touch is back for more

It has thrown up winners at odds in double figures with regularity, and equally so for placed horses. In the last three years, the odds of the nine trifecta horses were 5/2 (last year’s winner Tiger’s Touch), 8/1, 10/1, 11/1, 12/1, 13/1, 14/1, 15/1, 20/1. Sensible punters, then, will resist temptations to go short in exotics.

In this year’s full field of sixteen runners Joan Ranger is top weighted on 60kg, again partnering with Strydom who rode her the last three times.

The topweighted class act, Joan Ranger

Her most recent effort produced a career-best rating, and she’s one of only two runners in the race who managed to finish in the first three last time out. On the other hand, she is well exposed now to the official handicapper, who is taking no chances with the 4yo. The top-weights have not won this race in the last dozen years.

Sean Tarry has the next two highest weighted, on 59.5kg, Heaps of Fun and last year’s winner Tiger’s Touch.

Both are returning from a break.

Heaps Of Fun – best ratings over a mile and 2000m

Heaps Of Fun has Khumalo up and could be the jockey’s first choice, but oddly the filly does not appear to be a sprinter – her best ratings were earned over 1600m and 2000m. Tiger’s Touch has been lightly raced at intervals, and finished lame at her last start, in October. On her rating of last year’s win she’d have a chance again.

Tarry has two more runners, Swift Sarah and Old Em.

Swift Sarah ran below best last time, when going beyond sprint distances. Her 1200m form prior to that was good, but perhaps not good enough to feature here. Old Em, with Delpech up, looks a better bet. She showed signs of a return to best form last time, when close behind Joan Ranger. Her rating there was a little below her previous best, so she should turn the tables here.

Gavin Lerena teams up with Gary Alexander’s Crystal Glamour, whose best career rating was earned over 1450m. She looks held by Joan Ranger and Old Em on their last encounter.

The 3yo’s are represented by a quartet of runners.

Last Chirp is a front runner, but mostly races over more ground, and may find things too hot over this straight course.

Arissa’s last effort wasn’t her form, unlike the one before that which was a career-best. A repeat puts her right in the firing line.

Seattle Singer looks to have a tough task on current form.

Al Danza returns from a spell in the Cape, where she ran one good race over the stiff Kenilworth 1200m. Her best rating was prior to that, over 1400m. She is very lightly raced and could be anything, so it may be best to stay on the right side of this daughter of Captain Al.

She’s a Dragon ran below best when hampered late last time, in the sprint where Joan Ranger was second. She’s not a sprinter, though, and looks an unlikely contender for honours here. Penny Serenade is another who seems best over more ground.

Lightly raced Shaama was a beaten favourite last time out, when trying a mile first time in a false run race. She ran close to her current rating over 1200m in January, and looks well weighted here if she can still reproduce her best rating over this distance.

Lumya cannot be igtnored at the weights

Lumya’s form is rather in-and-out, but she looks well weighted on her best form and probably should not be ignored.

Seattle Lady won a good 1200m sprint in November with Dettori up, but her two subsequent runs were disappointing. Movie Show competes under sufferance, and in real terms should have carried less than the official bottom weight of 52kg.

Two reserve runners are Be Mine Tonight and Evening Breeze, who are Sporting Posts’s top and bottom rated respectively.

Be Mine Tonight wins at Turffontein on 2015-02-12

Reserve runner Be Mine Tonight – a touch sharp but decent out front

Be Mine Tonight is possibly better over more ground, but with her usual front running tactics has to be taken seriously should she get a run. Don’t fall a asleep!


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