Gin Fizz is well named. The daughter of Soft Falling Rain has not been the easiest to get to the racetrack but when she is in the mood, she has stamped herself as one of the better sophomore fillies to have stepped out on the Highveld this season.
The Cape Summer Season and Cape Fillies Guineas may be high on her agenda but given her temperament, Mike de Kock, who is blessed with a plethora of smart horses this season, may keep her under wraps for the Highveld Autumn season where she does not have to travel.
That’s all speculation of course, but just how she fares in The Citizen Fillies Mile (Gr3) at Turffontein tomorrow could give an indication as to where she is headed for the balance of the season.
Gin Fizz has been competing at the highest level and has not been out of the money in seven outings, her last three over the Turffontein Inside track where she finally cracked a win in a Graduation Plate after two runner-up berths.
Given that at her previous outing she had finished a close-up second to the smart older filly Vistula in the Jo’Burg Spring Challenge, that win was hardly unexpected.
She takes on her own age group tomorrow but there could be a few IED surprises in store.
Marco van Rensburg has a good mouth on him and after two indifferent rides on Spiritofthegroove, Sean ‘two strikes and you’re out’ Tarry was ready to give him the bullet.
Van Rensburg’s mouth kept him aboard and it was third time lucky, as he rode a cracker in the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Stakes, weaving his way through from a difficult draw to land the lucrative first prize.
The opposition is a lot stronger tomorrow, but Van Rensburg should now know what is required and Spiritofthegroove, fourth behind Vistula and Gin Fizz in the Spring Challenge, could prove more of a threat this time around.
The De Kock-trained Mill Queen is garnering a reputation as one of the better fillies around. She got home from an almost hopeless position to win the Starling Stakes but rank outsider Kayla’s Champ was only a length off her at the line with the Van Rensburg-ridden Wisteria Walk beaten a neck in second.
One can pick holes in Mill Queen’s form but the fact stands that she has not finished out of the first two in five starts, including a close-up second to Gabor in the Gr1 Thekwini Stakes, which puts some perspective on Kayla’s Champ’s performance.
Of the balance, Summer Pudding is unbeaten in two outings and the last run of the De Kock-trained Tallinn is best ignored and cannot be discounted lightly.
By Andrew Harrison