The Turffontein Standside nine race meeting tomorrow is headed by two MR84 handicaps.
In the first of them, for fillies and mares over 1000m, Nawaasi had become a disappointing sort but has found a new lease of life lately, winning her last two starts by three lengths over this minimum trip. If she did have an issue it must have be sorted out. She could be running off a capped merit rating here as she won going away with ease last time and could only be given a maximum eight point raise. Ocean City has a shout as she was beaten five lengths by Nawaasi in her penultimate start and is now 8kg better off. She went too fast in front that day and if more is held in reserve this time, as it was when second in her last start, she should do better and will be a threat. Elbi is a consistent sort who is 6kg better off with Nawaasi for a six length beating, which makes it tough for her on paper, but she burst through the stalls that day and that is known to affect a horse’s chances, especially a sprinter who needs every drop of reserve fuel for the final stages.
In the second of the MR 84 races, for fillies and mares over 1600m, Virginia makes plenty of appeal. She took the bull by the horns last time and set a blistering gallop from a wide draw. She never let up and crossed the line two lengths clear. She has always looked to have some class and allowing her to stride out in front looks the way to go. She will not have the 2,5kg claim of apprentice Juglall to help her this time and she is also an effective eight points higher in the merit ratings. However, she has a plum draw of two and S’Manga Khumalo is aboard so she can afford to take it a little easier in front this time. Destiny’s Game is progressive and looks likely to enjoy the step down in trip. She won her maiden easily over this trip and later won over 1800m but she was run out of it over 2000m last time, so this trip might be what she is looking for. Only To Win had become disappointing but she bounced back last time when held up off the pace over the trip. That might be the key to her so she must be included.
The meetings starts with a maiden over 1160m and Succession could be the one to side with. He made a fair debut over 1200m and was thought highly enough of to take his place in the SA Nursery. He was well beaten there but should have benefited from the layoff since then and does not face an inspiring field here. Bold Ransom can improve from his fair debut when showing good pace and then finding no extra. He should have come on from the run and will have benefited from the experience too. House Master beat Bold Ransom by a quarter of a length when staying on well and should be in the shake up.
The second race over 1160m, the first leg of the Bipot, should be fought out by Black Ferrari and Winterwind. The former made a good debut over 1000m in June from the widest draw of all on the Turffontein Inside track, failing by just 1,25 lengths after finding some support. He now has a favourable high draw down this straight course. Winterwind made a pleasing debut in the Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes over 1000m on Sun Met day and wasn’t at all disgraced, finishing 6,70 lengths back. However, she hasn’t been seen out since.
In the first leg of the PA over 1600m Matloob made a belated debut over this trip and was not disgraced finishing a two length fourth at odds of 10-1. He is by Silvano so should be improving all the time and has a fair draw here. Jungle Book finished a good 1,75 length second last time out over 1200m considering he was coming back from a seven month layoff and lost a length at the start. He should have benefited from the run and has a fair draw. Marmara Sea found a lot of support last time over this trip and had excuses when finishing a three length fourth. He should make his presence felt although he has a tricky draw to overcome.
In the first leg of the Pick 6 over 1800m Prince Of Promise was caught wide last time in the running over 1600m but still managed to stay on quite well. He should be competitive from pole position over a step up in trip he can handle. What A Joker stayed on strongly over 1400m last time and if dropped out and finding cover from a tricky draw he is an interesting candidate over this step up in trip. See Me Run just failed with first time blinkers on over 1600m last time and has proven he stays this trip so is also an interesting runner from a reasonable draw of seven. Serendipity disappointed last time but could feature over a suitable step up in trip from a good draw. So Long Spring goes well for 1,5kg Kabelo Matsunyane and has to be a runner here despite being raised four points for his good run last time. In The Game is capable of popping up so has to be considered trying this trip for the first time.
In the third leg of the Pick 6 Queen Of War has plenty of pace and thus it is not surprising she has a good record over this fast course and distance. She is off a competitive merit rating and has the advantage of a good 2,5kg claimer aboard. She also has quite a high draw, which is usually favourable down this straight. She could fight it out with Moggie Brown who is another one with good pace and she is better than her last run.
In the eighth race over 1600m Shuckra is the choice. He has been facing much stronger fields and although never a threat in those races he has dropped to a competitive merit rating and is drawn in pole over a suitable trip. He should start coming into his own this season. Lemon Drop Shot won his maiden easily over 1800m and the form was franked when the runner up Dry Your Eyes won his next two starts on the trot. He found 2000m too far last time and this 1600m trip from a good draw is likely to be ideal. Dry Your Eyes has a tough task with Lemon Drop Shot on their last meeting but is coming into his own and is drawn well.
The last race looks likely to be fought out by Mike De Kock’s pair Hawthorn and first-timer Deebaa. Hawthorn is by Flower Alley filly out of an unraced Tiger Ridge mare, who is out of Grade 1 Cape Fillies Guineas winner Emerald Beauty, and she will relish the step up in trip. Deebaa is a R550,000 Dynasty filly out of an unraced Peintre Celebre mare who has produced two winners including Deebaa’s full sister Tehuano who has won twice from 1700m to 2000m. Tobefair can also be included in the Pick 6 having made a fair debut.
By David Thiselton