Double O’ Eight has no excuses

PUBLISHED: 21 February 2020

Mardi Gras (Candiese Lenferna)

Turffontein Standside’s nine race meeting tomorrow includes a Pinnacle Stakes event and two Graduation Plates which have attracted class horses. The Pinnacle Stakes event over 1 100m is very difficult to read as many of the horses will not be at their peaks and, furthermore, the ones who make most appeal have landed disadvantageous low draws. 

Double O’ Eight is in fine form and has not only landed a good draw of eight but has 4kg claimer Philasande Mxoli aboard. Rebel’s Champ has landed the unwanted number one draw. However, he has won here from a similar draw before. As a younger horse he did not enjoy racing among other horses but preferred to be on his own.

Mardi Gras (Candiese Lenferna)
Mardi Gras (Candiese Lenferna)

He can thus take the shortest way home tomorrow and should not be concerned about racing in isolation. His class could do the rest.

Mardi Gras is a top class sprinter who has always struck as one who would get better and better with age. He duly won with ease in November over 1160m here despite returning from a six month layoff.

He did have a high draw that day so could afford to take a sit and run on. Tomorrow it will be tricky from draw two and apprentice Luke Ferraris is going to have his work cut out. Mighty High is the best weighted horse and would have benefited from her last outing, which was her first of the season.

She has a reasonable draw of six. Basadi Faith won her first four starts as a juvenile including the SA Fillies Nursery and would have needed her recent comeback from a suspension for the epistaxis she suffered in the Grade 1 Allan Robertson last May. She jumps from draw five and has 2,5kg claimer Jeffrey Syster aboard.

Mombela can’t be ignored as he proved last time he enjoys a bit of cut in the ground when finishing second to the top sprinter Mr Flood in the Grade 3 Tommy Hotspur.  His low draw might not be that much of a disadvantageous as he hung in badly in that race.

In the first of the Graduation Plates, for fillies and mares over 1400m, Gaian Glory has a tough draw of eight out of eight but this Visionaire filly relaxes well in the running and has a fine turn of foot. Piere Strydom will be aware that in the Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Cup over this course and distance she made up a lot of ground far too quickly and consequently hit the front too soon.

He will be able to afford to sit on her for a while in the long straight.

Kay Tee Perry beat the promising Cornish Pomodoro cosily second time out over 1160m after showing good cruising speed and a fine turn of foot. This Argentinian-bred is by Orpen, who was top class over six furlongs as a two-year-old and later became a useful miler. Kay Tee Perry thus should enjoy the step up in trip and from draw two is the dark horse. Stage Dance has good form, is drawn in pole over a suitable trip and wears a first time tongue tie.

Gallic Princess charged late to win last time over 1160m with first time blinkers on. Considering she settled well with the headgear on and stays this trip she can be dropped out from draw six of eight and then run on. Frosted Steel is officially the best weighted horse. She still has to prove she enjoys this trip and now gets blinkers on from a tricky draw of five. In the second Graduation Plate over 1800m Heart Stwings has caught the eye from day one and this distance suited horse is now coming into her own.

Secret Dream lands a good draw over a suitable trip and as she is 3,5kg better off with Wild Date for a half-a-length beating over 1600m, so she should reverse the form on paper.

However, the concern is she has choked up a couple of times in her races, including once with her now regular tongue tie on.

By David Thiselton

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