Lady Of The North

Mrs Miller goes it alone

 

La Tourelle

Le Tourelle – could spoil the Miller party (Pic: JC Photos)

One of Flamingo Park’s first ladies has her maiden feature runner at the track on Monday and old-fashioned sentimentality suggests Stephanie Miller and her Albert Hall gelding Modus Tollendi to win the R100 000 Kimberley Classic. But horseracing fairytales don’t always run entirely true to the script.

The well-known wife, mother and former Dorrie Sham assistant trainer has taken the brave plunge into one of the world’s toughest professions and saddles her first runners on Monday.

The day is bound to be an emotional occasion as she follows in the footsteps of her late husband Peter, and son Sean, who both trained in this centre with great success.

And the word is that the Sham family have been allocated more boxes in PE and will be expanding their very successful operation on the coast.

Top Five

Despite the handicap terms, there look to be only five runners capable of winning this race with four of the ten ‘boasting’ merit ratings of 60, or less.

Gunter Wrogemann rides the two-time winning Modus Tollendi, who ran an average fourth 4,50 lengths off Dodgy Itie in a 1400m contest last time.

The Steph Miller representative is 2kgs better off with Dodgy Itie, but it is worrying that his worst efforts appear to have been over a mile.

Cliffie Miller - always a yard to take into account

Cliffie Miller – always a yard to take into account

Cliffie Miller’s Dodgy Itie hasn’t drawn too well but he will strip fit, having had three runs since his clash with Modus Tollendi.

He appeared to enjoy the mile last time when running on well for third behind There Is A Dream, and this may well be his game after a few in-and-out performances so far.

He was beaten 4 lengths three runs back by our top-rated Taso The Sailor, who has won twice since transferring from the Paul Peter yard as a one-time winner earlier this year.

Bill Human’s charge was slow away last time before running on late over 1200m for a short head beating by Luxardo. That was a fair effort against older horses, particularly seeing he was reported not striding out.

His stablemate La Tourelle (another former Peter charge) carries topweight and will be ridden by S’manga Khumalo.

The son of Mullins Bay has won twice in Kimberley and finished fifth and 7,50 lengths behind Black Pepper in a 1400m Conditions Plate last time out. Black Pepper is surely close to the local Horse Of The Year candidates this season, and this will be a little softer for La Tourelle against his own age.

He has also won smartly over the mile.

Four In A Row

Tienie Prinsloo’s Latino’s Jet goes for four wins on the trot, since clinching his maiden in good style over 1800m. He has won over a mile and 2200m and if one considers that he ran four consecutive seconds before winning his maiden, then he has really run 7 honest races in a row.

He has gone from an MR 60 to a 72 in four runs, and while not beating much has won convincingly.

With regular jock Muzi Yeni up, he must be included in all calculations.

First Law ran a decent 5,50 length post-maiden third to Latino’s Jet last time and meets his conqueror on 6kgs better terms, including Callan Murray’s claim.

He showed plenty of pace last time and from the 2 draw could stretch them.

Lensley Quartet

Corrie Lensley has four runners, with his Cupid’s Gold the only filly in the race.

She won her maiden at her penultimate start at the Vaal over a mile and dropped out last time at her first Flamingo Park appearance when fading out to 8 lengths off Grey Area in a F&M 66 MR handicap.

She could have settled in and may improve a few lengths – but it doesn’t look exciting enough to create any anticipation of picking up that generous first cheque against the boys here.

Former Gauteng-based Mighty Flash won at his third start in this centre over 1200m.

That was his first cheque in 11 runs and he beat the rather modest former Justin Snaith galloper Seventh Lute.

He should battle.

Drawn on the paint, the Mambo In Seattle gelding Messenger John took 15 runs to shed his maiden, but despite modest third cheque has mostly battled since and looks unlikely to trouble the judge.

First Answer has his first run in Kimberley.

The son of A P Answer won on debut when trained by Doug Campbell in KZN, but has been struggling and has not earned in his ten subsequent runs.

The only remote aspect in his favour is the 2.5kg claim and the services of apprentice Mathew Thackeray.

Solved

The race looks likely to be fought out by La Tourelle, Modus Tollendi and Latino’s Magic – with respect for Taso The Sailor, who, if over his problems, could win it.

Dodgy Itie is inconsistent, but worth including in bigger perms.

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