A competitive card faces punters in the inside track at Turffontein today with a number of riddles that they will have to solve.
The first leg of the PA is one such race. Although only six runners are due to line up, it is a useful field of fillies, all six in with chances.
Palace Of Dreams has some smart form but does look a tricky ride and Diego de Gouveia, back from a short stint in Mauritius, takes over from Callan Murray on Mike de Kock’s runner. Earmuffs suggest that Palace Of Dreams is a tricky ride and the fact that Murray has opted for stable companion Virtuosa, a maiden winner last outing, adds to the puzzle. Take into account that neither Murray nor De Gouveia can get anywhere near the 52.5kg required of the third De Kock runner, Mabella, and you have another piece to fit in.
Virtuosa was a very easy maiden winner after a string of good showings in the maidens and jockey bookings suggest that she is the preferred stable runner but Mabella was sent out an odds-on favourite last start but never threatened. Add Geoff Woodruff’s filly Wild Date into the mix, who is way better than her last showing, and you have an equation that even Sheldon Cooper of the Big Bang Theory would have trouble deciphering.
In the opening leg of the Pick 6 Gary Alexander appears to have a smart filly in Mount Laurel, unbeaten in three appearances and has improved with each start. Alexander has stepped her up gradually from 1000m on debut to 1200m and 1450m, winning easier every time. The extra furlong should suit. She could feature as your Pick 6 banker on a tricky card – at least you would know your fate early. Dangers are Youcanthurrylove, who has come good of late and Bohica whose last effort is best ignored. She has won over course and distance and can feature prominently.
From here on the going gets more difficult. There should not be much between Lone Survivor and Sea Air in the fourth but the latter is 1 kg worse off for a half-length beating. But Sea Air has recently been gelded and can come on from that showing and reveres the form. Captain Flynt has only been out of the money once in eight starts and with a light weight and a good draw, is not out of it.
Exion in the fifth can add to Paul Peter’s growing tally and young Luke Ferraris takes over from a suspended Warren Kennedy. Exion has been close up in all three starts, has drawn well and should make a bold bid. Crank It Up goes this trip for the first time which should suit and this is his third run after a break and should strip cherry-ripe. Blue Flute appeals as an upset chance.
The sixth is possibly a ‘field’ race for the exotics but Ikigai has shown up well in his to post maiden runs. He was finishing off nicely at his last start and Strydom should suit. Riverstown, Mawsool and Green Laser at top of a long list of possible winners.
Before the Dawn has yet to finish out of the money for Ashleigh Fortune and the daughter of Oratorio is re-united with apprentice Tajesh Jaglall who piloted her to her last two wins. Gallic Princess, Soul Of Wit and Tigermil are others to consider.
Miss Kalifa can round off the afternoon for Corne Spies. She came from a long way back for second She has been in fair form since her last win but the drop in trip is a concern. Rosalina has found market support at her last two and has a chance in a difficult race while Black Tie met much stronger last run. She had shown some promise before that. Add Cosmic Mist two your list and you have another tricky hurdle to jump.
By Andrew Harrison