The R150 000 Listed Java Handicap is the supporting feature to the Gr3 Yellowwood Handicap to be run under the lights at Turffontein on Tuesday evening.Gr1 SA Derby runner up Gothic sets out to confirm his status as one of our promising progressive stayers.
Gothic, along with S’il Vous Plait and Desert Raptor, is one of a trio of sons of current SA champion sire Silvano and certainly looks the right choice in this lineup.
A change of stables and rested after his terrific effort behind his then stable mate Wylie Hall in the Derby, he went on to a contentious and controversy riddled poor showing in the Vodacom Durban July.
But early in the new season Gothic was back to best, to win a Conditions Plate run over 2600m at this track beating Winter Desire easily by two lengths.
On the strength of that effort, Gothic is 1kg worse off with Winter Desire (2 lengths), 1,5kgs better off with Balse (11,50 lengths), and also appears to hold the likes of Eastern Cobbler(4,8 lengths) and Salutation (6 lengths).
Winter Desire is a consistent three time winning son of Kahal, who comes in with a shout here off his galloping 52kgs.
The Stuart Pettigrew trained gelding, besides being in a favourable position with Gothic, is also a kilo better off with Balse, for a 5,75 length deficit last time.
His stablemate, the gallant 7yo mare Salutation, has her 51st career start here, and is set for an eight career win.
She is all heart, but frankly looks held by the bigger guns.
Piere Strydom and Gavin Van Zyl have struck up a powerful partnership in Gauteng, and the blonde champion rides the grey gelding, Balse.
An in and sort who is maturing slowly, he was well beaten by Gothic in the Derby, but found his form last time when winning over the Turffontein 2200m. While the draw is not of vital significance, he jumps tight against the paint.
His stablemate Jet Fever looks out of his depth at the weights, but is an improving 4yo, he has won two of his last three starts.
Alec Laird’s Desert Raptor was not quite as fortunate, and he jumps from draw 13.
He was beaten under a length into third by Kindle last time, and meets the De Kock runner on the same weight terms.
He tries this ground for the first time.
The lightly raced De Kock trained 4yo Kindle narrowly beat Menacing last time, when Desert Raptor ran third, and comes in a half kilo worse off with the Robbie Sage runner.
Kindle’s dam won up to 2450m and he looks to have ample scope for further improvement.
The Robbie Sage trained Menacing is another who tries this ground for the first time on Tuesday evening.
The Lammerskraal Stud bred son of Go Deputy did not make the final Derby line up, but that may well have been a blessing in disguise as he has flourished since.
He has beautifully consistent form and has come into his own as a late 3yo and now 4yo. That is a typical character trait of his sire and this bargain National Yearling Sale buy could be the dark horse of the race.
S’Il Vous Plait is a rock solid stayer, but may need this first run since the Gold Cup on Super Saturday.
He was unplaced in this race behind Soul Master last year, but has won twice in the ensuing year. He lumps top weight under Robbie Fradd, and should
All told, Gothic looks a serious challenger for the staying events in the season ahead and will be looking to take his next step up the ladder here.
He is selected to get the better of Balse, with Winter Desire and Kindling fighting over the money money.
S’manga Khumalo was stood down with an injured foot on Saturday, so it is unclear who will partner Gothic. We will update this post once that aspect is clear.