David Nieuwenhuizen has three feature runners at the rescheduled Gauteng Guineas meeting, which is now to be run at Turffontein Standside tomorrow evening.
Nieuwenhuizen’s Querari filly Mill Queen has not had an ideal preparation but he is still upbeat about her chances.
He said, “We couldn’t get Gavin Lerena for the Three Troikas and she was drawn wide so we decided it would be an unnecessarily hard race and pulled her out. But she is very well, although it is a bit unsettling to have a postponement as it is not easy to keep a horse in the right place for the extra few days. This is the biggest race of her career to date and I think we have The Paul Peter filly Summer Pudding to beat. Paul Peter is quite confident but we hope we can do it. Mill Queen might go for the second leg too over 1800m, and a sprint-miler type like her might get it depending on how the race is run. But we are not thinking of that right now.”
Mill Queen ended her campaign as a two-year-old with a 0,80 length second in the Grade 1 Thekwini Stakes to the subsequently named Equus Champion two-year-old Gabor. However, she had to come from a wide draw that day and did not know the track, which was unlike the winner on both counts.
In her only start this term she won the Grade 3 HSH Princess Charlene Starling Stakes over 1400m on November 2, despite not having enjoyed a smooth preparation into the race.
Nieuwenhuizen said after that win, “Thank goodness Gavin (Lerena) has a good feel for a horse. He rode her with a bit in reserve and it looked like she did need it. She still has to mature mentally and physically, she is a late maturer who is still furnishing, so hopefully she will get a lot better. She is doing extremely well despite being backwards and that is just down to her ability, so we have to look after her. She is a filly who gives her all, so we also have to be careful with her in work.”
Lerena will be back aboard tomorrow evening.
Nieuwenhuizen is bullish about the chances of Factor Fifty and Flichity By Farr in the Non-Black Type Allez France Stakes over 2400m. Lerena was unable to stay aboard Flichity By Farr, as he is contracted to ride for the owners of Chitengo, and he is replaced by high-flying Craig Zackey.
Nieuwenhuizen said, “They are both very well and I expect two big runs. Factor Fifty is an up and coming filly and is the stronger of the two so takes more work, but Flichity has proven class. They are very close and I hope we can have a win with either of them.”
By David Thiselton