The Scenic Route


High Road.Bluroute could confirm her recent improvement with a big run in Saturday’s Listed Syringa Handicap

It is hardly surprising to see Mike De Kock holding a very strong hand in the R150 000 Listed Syringa Handicap to be run over a mile at Turffontein on Saturday. In a race which is not characterised by an oversupply of respectable recent form, De Kock’s trio may offer Pick Six punters a banker combination.

The most sobering aspect of this event is the number of runners who appeared to once have had bright careers ahead of them, but who have fizzled to very little when put under pressure. Never count the chickens in this game!


De Kock’s rugged Kahal mare Checcetti lumbers joint top weight with the out of sorts Queen’s Command, after her smooth recent Gr2 Gerald Rosenberg Stakes win.

Checcetti was perfectly ridden by Marco Van Rensburg to take advantage of a muddling pace in a small field, although her supporters club may not be too excited by the subsequent performance of runner up, Cherry On The Cake.

The latter put in a below par effort in Sunday’s Listed East Coast Handicap run at Clairwood, and ther may not be much substance to Checcetti’s ‘revival’ after an extended dry patch.



Back To Form. Mike De Kock’s Checcetti won a Gr2 last time and is in form

Her stablemate Bluroute is something of an enigma, but may well be a better overall bet. The Australian bred daughter of Dubai Destination is well drawn at 2 and bounced back to brighter things with a good win at her last start over 1400m in a Novice Plate at Scottsville. She has the beating of Checcetti on their Jacaranda Handicap meeting when she had her three lengths behind and this tighter galloping inside track should suit her racing style infinitely better.

Bluroute has often been spoken of by her astute trainer as being better than her form, and she could be right one amongst this largely ordinary bunch. The third of the De Kock runners is another daughter of Kahal in the two time winner, Saucy Savannah. The 4yo has not shown a lot of spark in recent runs, but has not been too far off either.

Robbie Sage’s grey Daylami filly Kalami has run to a MR of 100 in the past, but is another who puts in the odd good performance without ever finishing too far off the action. She runs well for the kind hands of Gunter Wrogemann and could improve in a race lacking depth, to at least earn some place money.

Margot On Stage ran on strongly at her last outing to beat Music Affair by a half length in a good quality MR 92 Handicap. She tries the mile again after failing at her only previous attempt, which was in the Guateng Filies Guineas last year.

Big Winner

Alec Laird’s Right Approach mare Goose Valley is a six time winner and if she was not drawn in the parking lot, would have been considered a serious threat. A winner of 4 of her last 6 starts, Goose Valley is a powerful forward runner who should challenge for the places at best.

While we suggested earlier that Queen’s Command is out of sorts, her recent fifth and just two lengths behind Thunder Dance in the Gr1 Empress Club Stakes was a run out of the top drawer.

The former Kotzen runner only tired very late there and ran way above herself at level weights with the talented winner. The blinkers may well have done the trick and St John Grey tries the headgear again.

Brian Wiid’s Varlet is 4,5 kgs better off with Checcetti for a seven length beating in the Gerald Rosenberg Stakes, but one has to trace back to the Vaal in early January for her last win.


The rest look under pressure and it is difficult making a case for any of them. We are going with Bluroute to register her third win at the expense of Checcetti and Queen’s Command, while Margot On Stage should be included in bigger permutations.

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