The Candice Bass-Robinson-trained star filly Clouds Unfold will start off her winter campaign in a 1000m Pinnacle Stakes event against the boys at Kenilworth on Sunday before travelling to KZN to run in the Grade 2 Tibouchina Stakes over 1400m at Greyville on June 8 and the Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes over 1600m on Vodacom Durban July day.
Bass-Robinson explained why she avoided the Grade 2 KRA Fillies Guineas to be run on SA Champions Season opening night this Friday, “I didn’t want to start her in a 1600m and then come down to 1400m and back to 1600m, so she starts in a 1000m sprint.”
Bass-Robinson does still have a runner in the KRA Fillies Guineas, the well-bred Santa Clara, who is by Duke Of Marmalade out of a full-sister to champion stallion Silvano. The progeny of both Duke Of Marmalade and Silvano tend to improve all the time and she should follow suit. Bass-Robinson said, “She is a nice little filly, although not as good as Clouds Unfold, and unfortunately she is drawn in the bush on Friday night.””
Santa Clara started off her KZN campaign with a fine 0,40 length second in the Grade 3 Umzimkhulu Stakes over 1400m at Greyville on April 7. She was drawn two there as opposed to eleven on Friday night and will also be 1,5kg worse off with the Umzimkhulu winner Temple Grafin. However, she will relish the step up in trip, as she was seen to stay on resolutely in the GBETS Cape Derby over 2000m, where she finished a 3,45 length sixth. Bernard Fayd’Herbe replaces the sidelined Aldo Domeyer on Friday night.
Bass-Robinson’s SA Champions Season prospects are a bit thin this season.
Her two-year-old fillies Vandah’s Spirit and Miss Honey are being targeted at the Grade 1 Allan Robertson Championship and she believes they are up to that class. They start out in the Grade 3 Strelitzia Stakes over 1000m at Greyville on Friday night. The race was originally due to be held at Scottsville on April 28 but had to be switched to Greyville due to the heavy recent rains. So it is not an ideal preparation for the Scottsville Grade 1. Bass-Robinson said she could not separate them. Miss Honey has won two of three starts and last time out won the Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes over 1000m on Sun Met day.
However, she has to jump from draw eight of eight on Friday night. Vandah’s Spirit has also won two of three starts. She was all the rage for the Summer Juvenile Stakes but ran a disappointing 3,80 length sixth. However, she bounced back to win a Juvenile Plate race over 1200m at Kenilworth by four lengths on February 23. Vandah’s Spirit is by Trippi out of the speedy Sean Tarry-trained Captain Al mare Mana Mou, who won a Grade 3 over 1100m. She is a full-sister to Flying Myth who won the Listed Storm Bird Stakes over 1000m. Miss Honey is by Pathfork and is the first foal of Fort Wood mare Honey Bun, who won one race over 1400m.
Freedom Charter runs on Friday night in the Poinsettia on her way to the Grade 1 SA Fillies Sprint. She finished third in both the Grade 2 Southern Cross Stakes over 1000m and the Grade 2 Cartier Sceptre Stakes over 1200m, so is just off the best and will be a Champions Season dark horse.
Bass-Robinson’s stayer Ballad Of The Sea, who has placed in the top three in four staying stakes races in Cape Town, arrived at Summerveld last week.
Her other useful stayer Pacific Chestnut, who won the Listed Kenilworth Cup over 3200m, will be arriving next week.
Both of these stayers will be running in the big SA Champions Season staying races.
By David Thiselton