Celestial Storm at 11-2 could be the answer to the Interbet.co.za Pinnacle Stakes at Kenilworth today, particularly as the M.J. Byleveld-ridden bottom weight is so well treated.
The weights in pinnacles are determined by merit ratings, but in bands of five points at a time, and the best horses tend to come out marginally better than in a normal handicap. However fillies and mares receive a 2.5kg allowance which they don’t get in a handicap and on adjusted ratings here the selection comes out equal top with Bold Respect – and the pair are 2kg clear of the next best (Sergeant Hardy who doesn’t seem to be quite the force he was).
Bold Respect has not raced since the Mercury Sprint three months ago whereas Celestial Storm won a conditions race at Durbanville before taking third to Pacific Trader in a pinnacle there a month ago. She would probably have finished second had she had a clear run.
The danger could well be Bold Respect’s stable companion Traces, the mount of Anton Marcus. This one suffered serious interference in that pinnacle, not once but twice, and Brett Crawford said: “He was in need of the race – it was his first run since having a wind op – and he has come on a hell of a lot since.”
What A Flirt caught the eye on debut at Durbanville earlier in the month and gets the vote to reverse the placings with Silver Tiara in the Play Soccer 6 Maiden (race two). It might seem folly to suggest she can turn the tables on the in-form Glen Kotzen/ Morne Winnaar combination. However Greg Cheyne, who rode Silver Tiara last time, is now on the Paddy Kruyer runner who is bound to have come on from the run and has only half a length to make up.
It could pay to follow the Crawford-Marcus-Ridgemont combination in races three, four and five. It is unlikely that all three will win but they all have chances and the Crawford stable is in tremendous form with 14 winners at the last seven Cape Town meetings.
Duke Of Cards (33-10) in the 2 400m maiden (race three) has the weakest chance of the trio and, being out of a Trippi mare, there must be doubts about him getting the trip but his trainer says: “He is a big horse and he is relishing to go this type of distance.”
In the next Water Spirit (28-10) will be having her second run after an enforced rest (a bad sign!) when she had problems behind the saddle but apparently she has come on since her fourth-placed return seven weeks ago.
Flame Tree (22-10 for race five) was good enough to win first time out but lost ground at the off when tried in handicap company on Matchem day. Her trainer says: “Her work at home has been good.”
By Michael Clower