Scrumming At Altitude

Gr3 Victress Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday

Jet Aglow

On The Up. The Dennis Drier trained Jet Aglow looks set for her first stakes win

Two very smart 4yo fillies stand out in the R150 000 Gr3 Victress Stakes run over 1800m at Kenilworth on Saturday. Mike Bass trained local lady Hammie’s Hooker takes on Dennis Drier’s recent emigrant Jet Aglow, in what should be a fascinating contest.

Both the Trippi filly Hammie’s Hooker and Jet Master’s Jet Aglow will have their supporters, and each have their own story of a road travelled into the major league.

Off basic weights for four-year-olds and older of 58,5kg, with three-year-olds on 52,0kg, penalties are applied for Gr1 races at 4,0 kgs, Gr2 races at 3,0 kgs and Gr3 races at 1,5 kgs, Jet Aglow receives 1,5 kgs from the Bass charge , which should technically leave very little between them.

Hammie’s Hooker started her career in flaming fashion when winning five on the trot as a 2yo. Her purple patch included a peak win in the Gr3 Kenilworth Fillies Nursery, and ended with her trying the turn for the first time in the Listed Irridescence Stakes run over 1500m.

She won a cracker at her second start as a 3yo when producing a sustained effort to win the Gr3 Diana Stakes over the Durbanville 1400m, beating Captainofmysoul and the rated Jet Supreme easing up. Hammie;s Hooker was outgunned by the colts in the Gr2 Merchants when a not disgraceful 4,55 lengths behind her stablemate Tevez. It is possible that she is a better prospect around the turn these days.

Jet Aglow started her career out with Glen Kotzen and was one of the better 3yo female prospects of last season. Her excellent placed efforts in all of the Fillies Guineas, Paddock Stakes and Majorca Stakes stamped her as a really good sort and she was to have only one run(a very good second behind Festival Of Fire in the KRA Fillies Guineas) in the KZN Champions S

Hammie's Hooker

Playing The Game. Mike Bass trained Hammie’s Hooker will be right there on her best form

eason before returning to the Cape as part of the Drier summer season army.

Jet Aglow toyed with her opposition in a pipe opener 1500m Progress Plate on 9 November, when disposing of some older males (who admittedly she was weighted to beat), with absolute insolence. The two top contenders met in the 2013 Gr1 Majorca Stakes where a length between third and fourth cheques favoured Hammie’s Hooker at level weights.

There should be nothing between them. Of the balance, Adam Marcus may hold the lurker trump card with the Ashaawes filly Priceless Jewel. The 4yo was found wanting in the big league during the KZN Champions Season, but has won her last two starts back in the Cape. Incidentally,she wore blinkers in both and does the same again.

Her last effort was an end to end win over the Kenilworth mile, where she survived an objection from the Snaith yard to deservedly keep the race. She appears to be a few lengths short of top class, but could be dangerous if allowed to dictate matters out front. Joey Ramsden and Justin Snaith saddle a trio and double respectively. Ramsden had a frustrating Avontuur Filies Guineas day, and will be looking to bounce back here.

Ramsden saddles the former Piet Steyn mare, Super Elegant. The daughter of Daylami has the distinction of winning this race in 2011, when downing Beach Beauty in a thriller. She ran on well at her last start, and while poorly drawn, is worth including at best.

The Mauritius Magician Andrew Fortune is back in town and he rides Schism. The daughter of Count Dubois is battling to regain her form, but as a course and distance winner, must have place prospects in the hands of the genius. The most likely of the Ramsden trio could be Silver Holly. The Ascot Stud bred filly has won four races and while her boss would have preferred a better barrier gate, she appears to be improving nicely and jumps in class without requiring a parachute.

It is unusual to see Justin Snaith without a big hand in a race of this nature. He saddles Count To Ten and Petara. The latter will be the stable elect with Piere Strydom in the saddle and is a mare that has promised much, but delivered little. Dean Kannemeyer saddles Hijacked for Fred Crabbia.

The daughter of Jet Master has good form, with five wins from her 28 starts. She would have needed her last two starts, and should strip a lot fitter. Her connections will be keen to register the black type that goes with a win in this league, and she is a well bred future broodmare prospect. Paul Reeves’ Nonki Poo won her penultimate start, and stayed on well again last time. She is a filly that is always thereabouts, and could burgle a place given the necessary luck in running.

Stephen Page’s Dancing Dynasty showed a long overdue flicker of a form return when staying on well behind Silver Holly over the Kenilworth 2000m. She will need to confirm that froma 13 draw here. Vaughan Marshall’s Dubai Gina is a fair staying type mare, who comes off two tough races against the males. She ran fourth behind Hot Ticket in the Woolavington and then ran a fair fifth behind Paddy O’ Reilly in the 3200m Kenilworth Cup. If those efforts have not taken the wind out of her sails, she could have a place chance here.

The race looks to be a straight duel between Jet Aglow and Hammie’s Hooker. Neither will have any excuses to put their best foot forward and luck in running and a split second decision could make the difference. We are going with the Drier runner, to edge Bass. But Grant Van Niekerk is riding at the top of his game, and will have a plan up his sleeve.

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