Brett Crawford’s SA Champions Season string of 12 arrived at Summerveld on Saturday and there will be one or two horses travelling later.
The 12 horses are Pretty Young Thing, Kelpie, Dynasty’s Blossom, Count Jack, Hudoo Magic, Golden Tractor, Remus, Bwana, Traces, Indi Anna, Principessa and Betathantherest.
Missing from the list is Front And Centre, who will arrive later, Run Fox Run, who might come for one race, and Undercover Agent, who has been gelded and sold to Mauritius.
Crawford said four-year-old Dynasty filly Front And Centre’s chief targets would be the Grade 2 Tibouchina Stakes over 1400m at Hollywoodbets Greyville on June 13 and the Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes over 1600m at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Vodacom Durban July day.
Last year her Champions Season campaign was blighted by wide draws. She finished a fast finishing second from a wide draw in the Grade 2 KRA Fillies Guineas and then cost herself the Grade 1 Woolavington 2000 by hanging inward badly when running on strongly from the back and looking to have the race won. The Cape Fillies Guineas-winner ended her KZN campaign in the Garden Province where she had to overcome yet another wide draw. After going handy she did not find her usual strong finish and faded to a 4,55 length seventh. She started off her Cape Summer campaign well, winning the Grade 3 Diana Stakes over 1400m at Durbanville and a Pinnacle event over 1400m at Kenilworth. She had clearly overcome the hanging antic she had developed in KZN. However, she then ran a disappointing fifth in the Grade 1 Cartier Paddock Stakes over 1800m and was only eleventh in the Grade 1 Bidvest Majorca Stakes over 1600m. However, she bounced back to finish second in the Grade 3 Vasco Da Gama Prix du Cap over 1400m, although she was beaten 3,50 lengths by her stablemate Pretty Young Thing.
Crawford said if the crack four-year-old sprinter Run Fox Run did travel it would only be for one race. The options appear to be the Grade 1 City Of Pietermaritzburg (SA Fillies) Sprint or the Grade 1 Mercury Sprint. This Australian-bred by Foxwedge has only had six career starts, winning her first five before finishing a 1,20 length fourth in the Grade 1 Cape Flying Championship.
Both Pretty Young Thing and Kelpie will have the Grade 2 Daisy Fillies Guineas as their chief targets.
Pretty Young Thing, who is by Jackson out of a twice-winning Australian-bred sprinter by Commands, still has to prove she stays a mile.
In the Cape Fillies Guineas she had to overcome the widest draw of all and was taken to the front. She quickened well at the top of the straight but the effort told and she tired late to finish a 4,60 length seventh. In the Prix du Cap. she quickened from second at the top of the straight and had soon put the race to bed.
Kelpie, a Dynasty half-sister to Grade 1 SA Classic winner Divine Jury, started 2/1 favourite for the Cape Fillies Guineas but could only stay on from a position just backward of midfield for a 4,10 length sixth.
She was then beaten 0,55 lengths by her four-year-old stablemate Principessa in the Listed Jamaica Handicap over 2000m before running a fine running-on 1,60 length fourth in the Majorca.
The former Joey Ramsden-trained Dynasty’s Blossom’s chief target will be the defence of her Gold Cup crown.
Count Jack, who won the R5 million CTS 1600, has won four of his six starts to date. This Jackson colt’s initial target will be the Grade 2 Daisy Guineas.
Four-year-old Hudoo Magic is a 106 merit rated Australian-bred four-year-old by Choisir whose three wins have been from 1400m to 1600m.
Three-year-old Captain Of All colt Golden Tractor is a 106 merit rated three-time winning sprinter.
Two-year-old Var colt Remus won his recent debut over 1250m at Durbanville.
Five-year-old Trippi gelding Bwana is a 100 merit rated six time-winning sprinter.
Four-year-old Australian-bred gelding Traces, who is blind in one eye and has had a wind operation in the past, has not lived up to expectation after finishing third in the Grade 1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion as a two-year-old. However, he does go well on the poly and he finished fifth in the Grade 2 Merchants in Cape Town this season.
Indi Anna is a 97 merit rated four-year-old Master Of My Fate filly who has won four times from 1400m to 1600m.
Principessa is a 95 merit rated four-year-old Querari filly who will likely be targeting minor middle distance features.
Betathantherest is an unraced two-year-old Pomodoro colt out of Seventh Rock mare Seventh Virtue, who won twice from 1000m to 1200m.
By David Thiselton