Within Her Range

Gr3 Sycamore Sprint at Turffontein on Saturday


Progressive Dolomiti has won four from nine

One of three graded races on Saturday’s Turffontein card, the Sycamore Handicap over 1160m is usually a very competitive affair. Seventeen runners have stood their ground this time around and once again plenty have chances.

Shouldering top weight is the Mike De Kock trained Honorine. The only runner from the stable, this Australian bred daughter of Redoute’s Choice showed real potential earlier in her career, most notably when third in the Gr1 Golden Horseshoe. She challenged strongly when beaten only half a length in the listed Bauhinia Handicap after a five month break last time out, and is sure to strip fitter here.

Lone Raider

The sole raider from out of town is the Tony Rivalland trained Choir Maiden. This daughter of Choisir had won just two from fourteen at the end of 2013, but in this year she’s shown good improvement. Indeed, she’s won two from two. She landed a MR88 Handicap with authority at the garden course last time out, and most significantly, her rider that day Anton Marcus stays with her.

Sean Tarry is in great form

Sean Tarry is in great form

Team Tarry

Trainer Sean Tarry has been in devastating form of late and he saddles four.

The highest rated of the quartet is the Toreador mare She’s A Stunner. A winner of five sprint races in total, She’s A Stunner was only two lengths off Ebony Flyer in the Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint in 2012. She was also the runner up in this race last season. She’s been unable to find the winner’s enclosure in her last 19 starts though and chances are she’ll find one better here as well.

Also Gr1 placed earlier in her career, Extra Zero won this race in 2012 and interestingly, she has gained all three of her wins over today’s course and distance. She’s performed with credit in her three starts since returning from a 21 month layoff in January, but does appear to have a way to go to get back to her best.

The lightly raced Mary Stuart has also recently returned from a 21 month layoff, but she does have scope for further improvement. She won well when making all over 1000m here on her return and was far from disgraced in the listed Bauhinia Handicap last time out. She has her third run after the rest here and should be thereabouts.
The most likely to show good improvement from the stable is the 4yo Dolomiti. This daughter of Caesour has won four from nine and three of those victories were gained over sprint distances. She commands a fair turn of foot and with Piere Strydom again in the saddle she has to be a serious runner.

Kinematic Countess

Roy Magner’s charge has gained six of her seven career wins over 1000m, her only success over further coming in this race last season. She races off a five point higher mark here and has only managed one win in 8 outings since. She has been in good form in similar company though, and could well make the frame again.

Virgo's Babe hascome to hand nicely

Virgo’s Babe hascome to hand nicely

Virgo’s Babe

The winner of the Gr2 Fillies Nursery as a juvenile last season, Virgo’s Babe has come to hand nicely since returning from a break in November. The winner of the listed Swallow Stakes over today’s course and distance in her penultimate start, Virgo’s Babe was cramped late when running on strongly behind Winter Passion in the listed Bauhinia Handicap over 1000m last time out, and on that effort alone she should have the beating of quite a few of these.

Bauhinia Winner

Fourth in the listed Ruffian Stakes on debut a year ago, the Stanley Ferreira trained Winter Passion has been going from strength to strength since returning from a nine month layoff in January. Indeed, she’s won all three starts. She kept on resolutely when beating five of these in the Bauhinia last time out and already proven over today’s trip, she could well find enough further improvement to overcome her 4 point penalty.


Luchelle Kruger’s charge has never been the most consistent of characters, but she has nonetheless won six of her 39 starts. She ran on strongly from off the pace when causing a major upset (110/1) in the Gr3 Magnolia Handicap over today’s course and distance in November and although the runner up Dolomiti (beaten a neck) didn’t find luck in running that day, she is now 3kg better off at the weights with that one.

Sarasota wins Starling Stakes

Sarasota is the dark horse in our book

Dark Horse

The dark horse of the race is the Kahal filly Sarasota. Lucky Houdalakis’ charge looked to be a top sort in the making when running on stoutly from the rear to win the Gr3 Starling Stakes (Virgo’s Babe was third) over 1400m here in November. She’s failed to get in a blow in her four subsequent starts in good company over further, and now reverts to sprinting.


Although Barend Botes’ charge has only managed to find the winner’s enclosure twice she has finished a runner on seven occasions. She’s been beaten less than a length twice by Dolomiti in recent outings and could again make the frame.

Paschal Moon

As with Tzigane Dominic Zaki’s charge is as honest as they come and more often than not fills a place in the Quartet. She has yet to win anything better than a MR80 Handicap though, and looks set for a place again at best.

Kings V

The 3yo Kings V has only won a maiden plate as yet, but she did show considerable improvement when fourth to the subsequent Gr1 SA Fillies Classic winner Athina in the Gr3 Three Troikas over 1450m, and she was finishing best of all when only beaten a length and a quarter by Weekend Special over 1200m last time out. She could pop up at a nice price.

Weekend Special

After only managing to win two of her first seventeen starts Paul Matchett’s charge suddenly took off and has won three of her last four. At her best from the front, Weekend Special has gained all five of her wins over 1200m. She can still improve and today’s 1160m looks sure to suit.

Samba Serenage

Dianne Stenger’s charge showed very good pace when runner up in the listed Swallow Stakes over today’s C&D in January and was only collared by Virgo’s Babe in the very last stride. In comparision she’s been a little disappointing in her two subsequent starts but she does meet Virgo’s Babe on half a kilogram better terms here.

On The Bench

When beating The Which Doctor in Dec ’12, the reserve runner La Tigresse made it two from five and it looked as if she was destined for better things at that stage of her career. She performed well below best in four of her five starts in 2013 though and returning from an eight month layoff here one is not quite sure what to expect.

About The Pace

With several candidates for the role of front runner here a good pace looks assured. That honest early pace should suit those running on and in what looks sure to be a very close affair my favourites to fight it out are Dolomiti, Kings V and Choir Maiden.








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