Mum’s The Word

Gr2 SA Fillies Classic at Turffontein on Saturday

Katy's Lane won the Gr3 Fillies Mile in good style.

With eight graded events on the card, a magnificent days racing awaits us at Turffontein on Saturday. Fourteen line up for the second leg of the Triple Tiarra, the Gr2 SA Fillies Classic and with just five and a quarter lengths having separated seven of these runners in the Gr2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas last time out, any amount of improvement would give most a shout, writes Steven Furnish.

Trainer Leon Erasmus gained his first Gr2 success when Go Indigo landed the Fillies Guineas last time out, but she only got the verdict by the narrowest of margins.

Go Indigo

Go Indigo

A winner of five of her twelve outings to date, this daughter of Indigo Magic had another of today’s rivals behind her when winning the Gr3 Three Troikas in her penultimate start. Go Indigo is still improving and much better drawn here than she was when winning the guineas, she looks sure to fight out the finish again


The only coupling in the event is that of globetrotter Mike De Kock. He saddles all of Amanee, Ilha Bela, Blueroute and Winged Foot.
His highest rated runner Amanee wound up a very promising first campaign with victory in the Gr1 Thekwini Stakes over a mile at Greyville in July. In what proved to be a real thriller, this daughter of Pivotal ran on stoutly from the rear in the Thekwini and got up late to beat the Gr1 Golden Slipper runner up Felix The Cat. In terms of ratings, Amanee’s performances have been a little in and out, but what is interesting here is that her three wins have all been gained in soft going, and she is yet to make the frame on good ground. She will have no doubt needed the run when fifth to the unbeaten Northern Emperor in her first start since winning the Thekwini last time out and she is sure to strip fitter here. She is rated joint highest by the official handicapper and although the going is likely to be good with virtually no rain forecast in the lead up to this race, she has to be a factor if at her best.

Ilha Bela

Ilha Bela - is a daughter of the legendary Ilha Da Vitoria

A fluent winner of her first two career outings, the Fort Wood filly Ilha Bela went into last season’s Gr1 Thekwini Stakes as the 16/10 favourite. She was clearly well below par in that event, but since her return to action in November, she has again been progressing nicely. Indeed, she’s shown good improvement with each outing and she was steadily gaining at the finish when beaten by Go Indigo in the Guineas last time out. Further improvement looks sure to be forthcoming from Ilha Bela and with champion jockey Anton Marcus once again on board, she must have claims.

Stable companion Blueroute didn’t finish out of the first two in her first five starts and silently progressed very nicely during the course of 2011. She was coming off a bit of a break when contesting the Fillies Guineas last time out and only beaten two lengths by Go Indigo, she gave a very good account of herself. Usually one to race handy though, Blueroute is drawn very wide here and with stable jockey Anthony Delpech having deserted her, others are preferred.

Winged Foot
More often than not on the right one when it comes to riding in feature events for his stable, it’s surprising at first glance to see Anthony Delpech aboard the lowest rated of Mike’s four runners Winged Foot. This hat-trick seeking daughter of right Approach impressed when slamming Masaveru by five last time out and although she is now taking a giant leap up in class, it is worth noting that she was only beaten a length at levels by Felix The Cat in a maiden juvenile event in June and with that one having gone on to finish runner up to the champion filly Princess Victoria in the Gr1 Golden Slipper in her next start, then Winged Foot is in all probability much better than her lowly (in comparison) merit rating would suggest.

Felix The Cat

Felix The Cat

It is already clear then that Felix The Cat, one of just two equine athletes making the trip from Natal, is a very serious runner. After finishing runner up in back to back Gr1 events, the Golden Slipper and the Thekwini Stakes, Felix The Cat not surprisingly won next time out, but she was then reported as being lame on the off fore when beaten in handicap company in October. She was clearly below best in her next two outings, but did then show her well being when picking up a conditions event over 1400m last time out. She’ll be better suited by today’s trip and she does now have her third run after the rest.

Control Freak
Prior to crossing the Limpopo, the Zimbabwe raider Control Freak had been an impressive winner of all eight starts. She found heavy support in the her first outing in this country in the Fillies Guineas (7/2 into 19/10 favourite) and when moving through to take up the running 400m out, it looked as if she would keep her unbeaten record in tact. This daughter of Tamburlaine lost a shoe in that latest outing and she has now had more time to acclimatize. She’s drawn well in gate four here and can only improve.

Katy’s Lane
After running on stoutly from a very wide draw over 1450m at the inner track on debut, the Tamburlaine filly Katy’s Lane won both starts in good fashion last season. She continued her winning run after returning from a five month break in November and was particularly impressive when landing the Gr3 Fillies Mile. Amongst those behind her that day, and beaten fair and square, were Ilha Bela and Felix The Cat. She had excuses having been drawn very wide, and reported as lame on the near hind in her only subsequent start in the Fillies Guineas, and drawn well here she must have serious claims if all is now well.

Sean Tarry’s charge has shown flashes of real ability, most notably when running on from the rear to score on debut, and when easily accounting for fourteen rivals in handicap company last time out. One gets the impression that there is still a lot of improvement to come from this daughter of Dynasty and although she has been comfortably beaten in her two previous outings in feature race company, I wouldn’t be surprised if she made the frame.

Awesome Beauty
Kom Naidoo’s charge has progressed well during the course of this season and she did show that she is not to far off the best here when third, beaten just two lengths, by Go Indigo in the Three Troikas. Awesome Beauty was in receipt of 2kg that day though and having been comfortably beaten by that one when racing off levels last time out, she does look held here.

Avenue Of Gold
Weiho Marwing’s charge is as consistent as they come and is sure to win more races. Her two successes to date though have been gained over a minimum of 2200m and although further improvement will no doubt be forthcoming, she won’t find it easy now up in class and racing over shorter.

One who could improve plenty here is the lightly raced daughter of Daylami, Kalami. As yet, she’s only managed to get her head in front when winning her maiden over 1900m in October, but she has caught the eye running on stoutly in each of her last three outings, most notably when finishing as well as anything over the final 400m when sixth, beaten three lengths, by Go Indigo in the Fillies Guineas. The extra 200m here is sure to suit. A dark horse.

Bambina Stripes
Another dark horse is the lightly raced Bambina Stripes. After running on strongly on debut, Dennis Drier’s charge won well in both starts during the recent Cape season. She was again running on strongly in the latter stages when only beaten half a length by Felix The Cat on her return from a two month break last time out. She can still improve stacks.

Classic Illusion
The most lightly raced runner in the field is the Gary Alexander trained Classic Illusion. She impressed when shedding her maiden tag under a hands and heels ride in her penultimate start, but she was then comfortably beaten by Tresco in her only subsequent outing last time out. It will be interesting to see how she fares here.

About The Pace
Although a high percentage of the contenders prefer to race up handy, there are no proven frontrunners in the field, so we are in danger of getting a false run race. Katy’s Lane has done nothing wrong and she could turn out to be anything if all is now well. Whereas her well being has to be taken on trust though, Ilha Bela is fighting fit and having shown good improvement in each of her last three starts, it is the daughter of the very talented Ilha Da Vitoria who narrowly get the vote.


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