Fortune On Five

NBT Arlington Flying Five, at Arlington on Friday

Jella Loochee

Off Form. Grant Paddock’s Jella Loochee needs to find his best form to feature here

Silvano gets them to run like the wind right across the spectrum, and his son Sedge looks to cement his reputation as the best young sprinter in the Eastern Cape when he runs in Friday’s R90 000 NBT Arlington Flying Five. Gavin Smith’s 3yo goes for his fourth straight win.

An undoubted drawcard on the Arlington programme will be the presence of the charismatic former SA champion jockey Andrew Fortune, who has been engaged to ride for the Yvette Bremner yard.

Strong Hand

As the name of the Port Elizabeth Friday feature would suggest, it is run over the flying five furlongs, or 1000m as we know it better, and Gavin Smith holds a strong hand with a trio of runners, which includes the fast Le Var, who is a few kilos inferior to his stable companion.

The Champion Juvenile Stakes winner Sedge has found his best form over the sprint track in 2013 and comes off a courageous win in the East Cape Sprint Cup, when he showed great fight when getting up to beat the older and very capable Copper Parade on the line.

He meets Yvette Bremner’s Copper Parade on 2,5kgs worse terms so will have a tougher task. Particular with Fortune to contend with! He is a kilo worse off with Act Of Supremeacy, whom he held to 1,30 lengths there. He also meets the speedy Villandry on a kilo better term than on his penultimate start.

Having never won over Friday’s course and distance, there are varying theories as regards Sedge’s genuine comfort over the minimum trip, and thoughts abound that he may be run off his feet with proliferation of pace in this race.

Natural Speed

The second of the Gavin Smith runners is the Dahlia Stakes winner Le Var, who meets his highly vaunted stablemate under sufferance on the weight terms here. He has plenty of natural speed, but will need to show that he can carry that all the way. Smith’s 8yo Kings Troop formerly campaigned for Herman Brown Jnr in KZN, but probably has his better days behind him.

Much interest will be generated by Copper Parade, with the top talent of Fortune in the saddle. While the former Gr1 winning Copper Parade has been ridden by something like twelve different jockeys in his career, Fortune has ridden in a race exactly once previously. That was at his third start when he went down narrowly in the Gr2 Umkhomazi Stakes at Scottsville on 27 April 2010.

There might be some magic in the fact that Friday is as close as dammit to the third anniversary of that day. The very fast Villandry is a Gr1 winner, but is a troubled talented fellow who seems past his best.

Ages

Wayne Agrella partners one of three Vars in the race. Bandol has won 7 of his 27 starts. He is 2kgs worse off with Sedge for a 2 two length beating at their last meeting, and has not put a winning show together since September 2011.

Justin Snaith’s Icemberg is another who meets Sedge on better terms than their East Cape Sprint clash when he was beaten into fifth and just over 4 lengths. He ran a cracking second to his stablemate Apolo Grey in this race last year, but has not managed to put a winning effort together in the interim.

Hekkie Strydom trains two of the most capable 4yo’s in the province in Russian Mig and Act Of Supremacy, who have collectively won 9 races between them. They both would undoubtedly prefer at least another 200m, and it is interesting to note that neither has won over 1000m so far.

Grant Paddock’s Jella Loochee has been a frustrating horse to follow and registered his last win over the course and distance just under a year ago. He ran fifth in this very race last year behind Apolo Grey. He appears held by Sedge on his penultimate start, and while never too far off the action seems to be battling to find the enthusiasm required in the final 200m of his races.

London Perfect has hit a purple patch this year, winning 4 of his 7 starts, and earning good place money at the balance. He now earns a tougher task, and needs to up his game again. The son of Muhtafal is fit and fast, and he could rattle the more fancier cages, despite his deficit.

Wiese Coupling

Mitch Wiese sends out a coupling longshot coupling of South Ranger and Sandy Celebre, who both showed flickers of form at their last starts. South Ranger, formerly based with Mike De Kock, has achieved 2 wins from his 38 runs, and he lack of heart is probably best displayed by his 9 places.

He ran on well behind London Perfect over the course and distance last time, and now meets London Perfect on 5kgs better terms for that 1,5 lengths beating. It is slightly worrying that South Ranger was withdrawn sore on his off hind a fortnight ago.

Sandy Celebre was touted as a Cape Flying Championship candidate after two wins in September last year, but has had his problems. He showed a bit of his old speed last time when collared late by Var Light in yielding going over the Fairview 1000m. He was reported with a respiratory noise, so caution needs to be exercised again.

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