Flirting With Summer

Delayed To Wednesday evening


Overdue. Mike De Kock trained Bluroute is champing at the bit for a first stakes win and should be right there

In 2010 Mike De Kock’s Silvano filly Flirtation won the Gr3 Yellowwood Handicap and used it as a springboard into a glorious victory in the Gr1 Sansui Summer Cup just a month later. That puts Tuesday night’s Turffontein double feature bill into perspective. It’s a longshot, but don’t say that you weren’t warned.

The R175 000 Gr3 Yellowwood Handicap and the supporting R150 000 Listed Java Handicap add quality and substance to the eight race programme under the lights, and while we are not suggesting that another Flirtation lurks amongst the eleven ladies engaged, stranger things have happened in this game.


Paul Peter sent out last year’s shock winner En-chanted Kingdom, who got up to catch the pacesetting Without Malice and another outsider Up Front, in a PA knockout. Peter does not have a runner this time round, but his colleague Mike De Kock will be keen to get back on to the scoreboard after a dismal race last year. De Kock saddled the favourite Berry Blaze as well as the lesser fancied Atlantic Oak, and they both ran right downfield. The champion trainer saddles Bluroute and Al Kindi on Tuesday evening.


Bluroute is a very capable daughter of Dubai Destination, who caught the eye when running on strongly for fifth behind stablemate Ilha Bela in the Joburg Spring F&M Challenge a fortnight ago. She should be a lot fitter when lining up now and is the mount of stable jockey, Anthony Delpech. She seldom runs a bad race and looks much better than a three time winner at this stage of the game.

Her year younger stablemate Al Kindi used the same pipe opener, but was over six lengths adrift of Bluroute and appears well held. She will naturally, however, improve over this extra ground, and is a consideration for place money.

Very Fit


Very Fit. St John Gray’s trojan mare Formation goes for her biggest career prize on turf when she runs at Turffontein on Tuesday evening (JC Photos)

St John Gray’s Sarge mare Formation is an interesting runner. A noted exponent of sand galloping, Formation runs off a 94 on turf (after adjustment) and a 100 plus on the sand. She won the Emerald Fillies Handicap for the second year running on Emerald Cup day, to add to her career haul of eight victories.

Two of those victories were achieved on the turf, and she is interestingly, a course and distance winner. She also has the distinction of having registered a victory over subsequent Triple Tiara winner Cherry On The Top almost a year ago to the day, and then gave weight to the champion, too! Formation is very fit, and has the benefit of the 1 draw. She was also scheduled to run at the Vaal on Thursday, as we went to print, and the form of that run may be worth considering.

Alexander Duo

The Gary Alexander yard has had a quiet time of things of late, and they saddle Mystic Tigress and Classic Illusion. Mystic Tigress has won 2 of her 16 starts and the daughter of Tiger Ridge impressed when beating Burlesque going away over the inside course and distance by 6,25 lengths in June.

Her two subsequent starts have been promising and she ran on well in the first week of September, when going handy and second to Cherry On The Cake. She may well be better than rated and off a galloping weight, could well produce that blistering turn of foot that has seen her run on powerfully late in her races.

The Kahal mare Classic Illusion will enjoy this trip after running on strongly for fourth in the Gr3 Joburg Spring F&M Challenge last time. She has earned her top weight, but has the services of the ‘king of bling’ S’manga Khumalo.


The Gavin Van Zyl trained Flitter is battling for her third win, but showed a flicker of better when running on strongly over a mile in an MR 93 Handicap behind Break Of Dawn ten days ago.

Geoff Woodruff’s Rhyth-mic Roxy appears better over slightly further than this, but is a half kilo better off with Mystic Tigress on her last outing when three quarters of a length behind the Alexander runner. A stakes placed daughter of Requiem, she looks likely as one of a few that could go out and make the pace here.


Mike Azzie saddled the 2011 Yellowwood winner Queen’s Bay for Mrs Bridget Oppenheimer, and he is represented by Magic Smoke this time. Tinus Gericke’s daughter of Fort Wood is generally regarded as a more serious customer on the sand, and ran right downfield when contesting this event last year. She comes off a run in the Emerald Cup, where she was squeezed out and did not threaten.


Cape trainer Glen Kotzen is a lone, but very welcome, out of town raider here and the Paarl based conditioner saddles Golden Dawn. The daughter of Goldmark put in some smart efforts earlier in her career, but looks to have lost her focus recently. Both Cyclone Michelle and Go Indigo try their luck again this year. Neither flattered last year and coupled with lacklustre recent form look stretched again.


In what looks like a race full of pace and despite that capable of producing an upset, we are siding with the fit as a fiddle Formation to get the better of Bluroute and Mystic Tigress. As we have noted previously, fillies and mares are capable of swings in form. So beware.

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