Front And Centre could prove a banker

PUBLISHED: 08 January 2020

Front And Centre (Liesl King)

The Grade 1 Cartier Paddock Stakes over 1800m at the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate meeting on Saturday could produce a banker in Front And Centre.

This classy daughter of Dynasty cost herself in the Grade 1 Woolavington 2000 last season by hanging badly inward. However, she has apparently been cured of that antic and from draw two with Anton Marcus up she looks tough to oppose as she is improving all the time.

Front And Centre (Liesl King)
Front And Centre (Liesl King)

The Northern Hemisphere-bred Queen Supreme, who has not yet actually turned four, receives a 1kg hemisphere allowance. She ran an outstanding 1,6 length fourth in the Gauteng Summer Cup and would have strengthened and improved a lot since, so from draw eight will be the chief threat.

Snapscan has also strengthened and improved, which is not surprising being by Oratorio, and she comes off an easy win over this trip in the Grade 3 Victress Stakes in which she went from last to first.

She was well beaten in last year’s Woolavington 2000 but did have the winner of that race, Silvano’s Pride, well beaten in the Victress. She was receiving 3kg from the latter in the Victress and beat her by 3,55 lengths but she was likely more forward as it was her third run of the season. Therefore she will still have something to prove in the Paddock Stakes running against fillies who will be at their peaks, but she is beginning to look the part despite not being imposing.

Santa Clara produced an electric performance in last season’s Grade 2 KRA Fillies Guineas and being by Duke Of Marmalade she will also be coming into her own. However, she has disappointed since that run, first in the Woolavington, then the Garden Province and she has been beaten cosily by Silvano’s Pride and Front And Centre in two respective 1400m outings this season. However, she had tough draws in the former two events and likely needed the latter two. Furthermore, she has never before run over 1800m and that should be her ideal trip, so she could surprise like she did in the KRA Fillies Guineas.

Silvano’s Pride will be cherry ripe having her third run after a rest. The rest will be wary of her trying to gallop them into the ground like she did in the Woolavington, which was also her third run after a layoff. She does have the widest draw of all so might have to do some work to get to the front and that could be her undoing. 

Miyabi Gold beat Snapscan over 1800m in her seasonal reappearance but the form was reversed in the Victress where she was beaten 3,25 lengths. However, she is now 2,5kg better off and being by Silvano will still be as good as ever as a five-year-old and can place.

Driving Miss Daisy is a big three-year-old who is unknown over this trip, but as she was running on well for second in the Cape Fillies Guineas she could be a dark horse here.

Platinum Class looked promising last season but has run two disappointing races this term and has to bounce back.

Drama Queen ran fifth in the Cape Fillies Guineas and could improve over this trip but she would be a surprise winner.   

Water Spirit and Castellano are way out at the weights here and look held.

By David Thiselton