Ikigai in fine form

PUBLISHED: 06 March 2020

Summer Pudding (JC Photographics)

The Classic meeting tomorrow sees Summer Pudding attempting to remain unbeaten and take one step closer to the Wilgerbosdrift SA Triple Tiara but the second leg of the SA Triple Crown is not nearly as clear cut.

Ikigai won the first leg of the SA Triple Crown, the Gauteng Guineas, and is tipped here to win this leg too but only due to the lack of depth in the field as he has a stamina doubt. The athletic chestnut is full of class and has a fine turn of foot so in expected fast conditions and from a good draw he could be ridden cold and with enough extra down the long straight.

Summer Pudding (JC Photographics)
Summer Pudding (JC Photographics)

His stablemate Shango would look a good bet here in normal circumstances but has had an interrupted preparation. He can be dropped out from a wide draw as he can come from off the pace, like he did in the Dingaans, but if proving to need it he will have a tough task making up the ground. Green Laser is proven over this trip and was staying on strongly for third in the Gauteng Guineas so he will be a big runner from draw two as he looks to be a progressive sort too. Frosted Gold has finished second to Shango and Ikigai in the Dingaans and Gauteng Guineas respectively but has a stamina doubt. However, he is full of courage and is well drawn, so he could still be in the shake up. Master Supreme is the dark horse despite an official merit rating of a paltry 85 as he is a rangy sort who is improving as he strengthens and he won easily over 2000m last time.

Got The Greenlight can’t be ignored as he won the Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Stakes over 1600m as a two-year-old with a strong late run, which suggested he should enjoy this trip. However, he has only had two runs this season and the last of those was in the CTS 1600 in Cape Town, so the journey might have taken something out of him. Before that he was well beaten by Ikigai in the Tony Ruffel over 1400m, although he was entitled to need that run. Marshall is another one who can’t be left out. He shows exceptional homework but has not quite brought it to the course yet. He has shown glimpses of class though and this good looking horse should stay the trip. Of the rest Western Fort has won well over 2000m and is tough to leave out, although he does have a wide draw to overcome. His stablemate Astrix just failed to hold on for third in the Guineas but might be stretched by this trip. Leopold was a four length fifth in the Guineas and should enjoy the step up in trip so could earn. It is wide open and others like Rock The Globe and Imperial Ruby could also make their presence felt.

In the Grade 1 Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic Summer Pudding will relish the step up in trip from the Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas, which was on the sharp side of her stamina range. This her fifth career start so she will be starting to know what to do and she has relaxed well in the running before anyway so a tricky draw of eleven shouldn’t be too much bother. She is by Silvano, so will be improving, and is out of a half-sister to the Triple Tiara heroine Cherry On The Top, so she has everything in her favour. Rio’s Winter ran on strongly for second in the Gauteng Fillies Guiness but had no answer to Summer Pudding’s late rally. She looks a type who will also enjoy this trip, although her mother Winter Ade also finished second in the Gauteng Fillies Guineas and then failed in this race. Her pole position draw will help he cause. Gaian Glory could be the dark horse as she has a fine turn of foot and made her run way too soon in the Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Cup. If ridden patiently here she could produce a late surge. She is a half-sister to Chijmes, who stays this trip. Kayla’s Champ looks likely to relish the course and distance and could surprise. Virtuosa hot the front too soon in the Gauteng Fillies Guineas and could earn if ridden patiently. Magic School has the blinkers off and could earn as she made up the ground from a long way back too quickly in the Gauteng Fillies Guineas.  Mill Queen has the class but the trip might stretch her. The KZN raider Dancing Feather will enjoy the course and distance and could earn.

In the Grade 2 Hawaii Stakes Mike de Kock’s Buffalo Bill Cody has plenty of class but comes back from a rest and takes on the distance specialist Tierra Del Fuego, who is race fit bit not quite as classy. Barahin, Cirillo and Matador man should make their presence felt too.

The two-year-old features will be interesting and in the first of them, the Listed Ruffian Stakes, Ecstatic Green might represent good value as he caught the eye running on strongly on debut over this trip after a slow start and the form has since been franked.

In the Listed Storm Bird Stakes War Room looks full of class and can remain unbeaten.

In the Acacia Saragon is coming into her own but will have her work cut out keeping the unbeaten and lightweighted Lady of Steel at bay.

The Listed Drum Star could be fought out by Hero’s Honour and Divine Odyssey, although D’Arrivee, Green Haze and Silver God warrant inclusion. 

By David Thiselton