In the Deep

Tomorrow at Clairwood! The Listed East Coast Handicap should be a sizzler

Cherry On The Cake

Top Class. Cherry On The Cake should make a bold bid for glory in the Listed East Coast Handicap on Sunday

The Gauteng form gets thrown into the deep end in Sunday’s R135 000 Listed East Coast Handicap to be run over 2000m at Clairwood. Gavin Van Zyl’s Cherry On The Cake may be consigned to a life in the shadows of her Triple Tiara winning younger half sister, but she is no slouch and could add to her impressive record.

The Clairwood nine race programme shows a pleasing and vastly improved level of support to that of last Sunday’s meeting at the same venue, and with bumper fields the order of the day, some exciting racing is on the cards. The feature event pales in terms of the usual glitter and glamour of Champions Season, but as Gold Circle Chief Operating Officer Graeme Hawkins quipped earlier this week, ‘we can’t have a Gr1 every weekend.’

Mixed

In a typically mixed bunch of twelve fillies and mares, Cherry On The Cake stands out as the fit and form runner in a race where both characteristics are lacking in certain instances. A relatively slow starter, this half sister to the brilliant Cherry On The Top has come into her own in her 5yo year and has won two of her last three starts in great style.

She scored a terrific win in the Gr3 Jacaranda Handicap beating the capable Enchanted Kingdom, but then went down just over a length to Mike De Kock’s Checchetti in an awkwardly run Gr2 Gerald Rosenberg at end April on Champions Day. Cherry On The Cake knows the Clairwood track, and is a versatile campaigner who will have every chance off her 3 draw in the hands of Brandon Lerena.

Kotzen Trio

Beloved Betty

On The Fringes. The capable Beloved Betty is overdue to score another win

Glen Kotzen sends a trio to post, headed by the ever reliable Beloved Betty. The daughter of Spectrum is owned by a trio of the game’s staunchest patrons and has earned the ‘privilege’ of carrying topweight, courtesy of some excellent fringe performances.

We are putting a line through Beloved Bettys lacklustre Scarlet Lady effort after a two month break, but she is bound to come racing a lot fitter on Sunday. Beloved Betty showed up prominently last Champion Season as a 3yo with good placed efforts in the likes of the Fillies Guineas, the Oaks and the Woolavington 2000.

She also went on to produce top class runs in the Victress Stakes, and then just under six lengths off Beach Beauty in the Paddock Stakes in the Cape’s Sizzling Summer Season. On those black type efforts, she deserves to win a reasonable feature and could prove a major danger.

Eyecatching

The Goldmark filly Golden Dawn made an eyecatching, albeit well beaten debut, when running on for second in the Scarlet Lady. A Listed winner, this 4yo looks way better than a two time winner and could be thriving in KZN. She will be ridden by Billy Jacobson from a good draw, and could prove some value.

The lightly weighted Prairy Star looks like the Kotzen tactical ace as a likely pacesetter and one that could make the likes of Cherry On The Cake carry their weight. Prairy Star has won her four races the hard way, and is a good sort who could burgle a place if ridden conservatively by her promising young apprentice.

Top Gear

Mike Bass would have moved into top gear after his Highland Night Cup success of last Sunday and he sends out the Jet Master duo of Shimmering Jet and Daily Flight.

Shimmering Jet never kicked in the Scarlet Lady where she finished nine lengths behind Europe To Africa, but produced consistent form prior to that and comes in as a course and distance winner. Anthony Delpech has won on her previously, and rides her again on Sunday.

The 4yo Daily Flight had excuses when being hampered in the Scarlet Lady, and her owners Maine Chance Farms will be keen to register some black type in advance of her stud career. She is a difficult sort to guage and may be worth considering in larger quartets if things go her way.

Newsmaker

Augusta National

Improver. Justin Snaith’s Augusta National was desperately unlucky last time and could be competitive with a light weight

The Justin Snaith yard has been in the headlines in recent weeks after a record breaking purple patch and they are represented here by one of the four Jet Master progeny in the race.

The lightly raced Augusta National was unlucky not to win her Champions Season opener at the end of April, when she stormed trough under Bernard fayd’herbe to be beaten by the Bart Rice trained Masaveru.

That may not sound particularly impressive, and punters may have underestimated a filly that went to PE to register her second win, but she appears to have plenty of scope and carries a nice galloping weight from a good draw under Alec Forbes.

Gallant

James Goodman’s gallant mare Las Ramblas has her 38th start and ran a solid and game race when running prominently in the Scarlet Lady to stay of for third some eight lengths behind Europe To Africa.

The daughter of Toreador goes for a sixth win and won a terrific race to win the Listed Michael Roberts Handicap in January when outgunning some fair males. Chris Taylor retains the ride on Las Ramblas.

Mike De Kock sends out the Fort Wood filly Al Kindi, who finished just behind Las Ramblas in the Scarlet Lady. A rather disappointing two time winner, Al Kindi meets the Goodman mare on a kilo worse terms and will have to up her game dramatically to have a say here.

Hands Up

Hijacked

Outside Hope. Kannemeyer’s Hijacked (8) could improve if ridden with more restraint

Dean Kannemeyer now trains the Jet Master 4yo Hijacked for Fred Crabbia. He had immediate success with her at her first outing for the yard, when she ran a cracker to win a MR 94 Handicap over 2000m at Scottsville under a shrewd Kevin Shea ride on 9 April.

She was blowing after running close to ten lengths behind Europe To Africa in the Listed Scarlet Lady, but is a fair sort who also likes to be given a chance in her races.

Yogas Govender’s Sydney’s Girl was a weak fifth in the Listed Scarlet Lady behind runaway winner Europe To Africa after losing ground at the start, but is a fair sort on her day and could upset the applecart if things go her way.

Adobe Pink was a shock winner three days before Christmas of 2012, and then followed that up with a smooth win in the Sun Classique Handicap in January. The daughter of Go Deputy has cracked the Champions Season nod, so is obviously highly thought of. It is worrying though that she comes off a 120 day rest, and may need the run.

Good Form

Cherry On The Cake stands out as the form runner and could confirm her recent enthusiasm and commitment with a win here. Her clash with the underrated Beloved Betty could prove a highlight of the race.

The contrasting racing styles of the two add to the interest of the tactical spectacle. In a race endowed with plenty of likely pacemakers, we expect a true run affair, but beware it is a handicap and there are a few on the fringes.

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