The Grade 1 Woolavington 2000 to be run on Saturday at Greyville will see a fascinating clash between top class fillies from top yards.
Return Flight from the high flying Sean Tarry yard won both the Grade 1 SA Fillies Classic over 1800m and Grade 2 SA Oaks over 2450m and followed up with a win in the Grade 2 Gerald Rosenberg over 2000m. That would seem like a tiring program but Tarry pointed out she was not hard pressed in two of those wins. She has drawn in pole on Saturday, so will likely try and take up her customary front-running position under Lyle Hewitson, who replaces Anton Marcus as the latter is retained by the connections of Front And Centre. Return Flight as a galloping type would seem unsuited to the tight Greyville track but she did win the Grade 1 Thekwini here as a two-year-old.
Front And Centre won the Cape Fillies Guineas and was second in both the Grade 1 Majorca and Grade 2 KRA Fillies Guineas. This is the first time she tries further than a mile. She is a half-sister to Poatala Palace, whose best win was over a mile, but her sire Dynasty should help her stay and she was staying on well last time in the KRAFG. She has a tough draw of ten.
Santa Clara won the KRA Fillies Guineas in fine style and showed a fine turn of foot. She is by Duke Of Marmalade out of a full-sister to Silvano so should be improving all the time and should relish this trip. However, she has a tough draw of eleven.
One of the most interesting runners is Blossom, who has her first run for Mike De Kock having previously been with recently retired legend Ormond Ferraris. Her mother Cherry On The Top won the Triple Tiara and was a warm order in this race but failed. Blossom could well do the opposite as she won none of the Triple Tiara races but she did place third in the Grade 1 Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic over 1800m and second in the Grade 2 SA Oaks over 2450m and strikes as one who will continue to improve. She is drawn eight and should be staying on strongly if able to find a good position from a tricky draw of eight.
Bize has always struck as a talented sort who would improve continuously and this trip should be ideal. She was a four length fourth to Return Flight in the SA Oaks but has drawn well here over a probably ideal trip. She looks to be the dark horse.
Seville Orange has some class and as a daughter of Duke Of Marmalade should be starting to come into her own. She finished third in the SA Oaks and was only 1,9 lengths behind Bize in the Oaks Trial over this trip when giving her 8kg, so she could also earn from a fair draw of six Chitengo is also a progressive sort and wasn’t far back in any of the Gauteng Fillies Guineas, the SA Fillies Classic and the SA Oaks. However, Gavin Lerena has opted for Blossom and Raymond Danielson has opted for Bize. Chitengo has the widest draw to overcome too.
Silvano’s Pride tends to take a keen hold, which is why she often leads. Justin Snaith had plans in mind to help her relax and settle better in the running and if they haven’t worked this trip will stretch her. However, she does have courage and some class and being by Silvano will be improving all the time. Furthermore, a similar type in Viva Maria won this race from the front in 2012.
Richard Fourie is aboard Silvano’s Pride from draw seven and the stable companion Madonna will be ridden by Luke Ferraris from draw nine. This horse has plenty of scope and is better than her 82 merit rating suggests. She comes off a good win in the LIsted East Coast Oaks over this trip.
Snapscan was a head second to Madonna in the East Cape Oaks and then franked the form by running on strongly for a cracking fourth in the Listed East Coast Cup over this trip at Greyville. She faced some good older horses in that race and showed she was better than her 81 merit rating suggests.
Princess Irene will relish this step up in trip having stayed on from behind in the KRAFG. She had previously won the Listed Jamaica Handicap over this trip and is another daughter of Duke Of Marmalade who will be improving all the time.
Count Dubucks stayed on resolutely to win when stepped up to 1750m last time at Scottsville but she will need a lot of further improvement to feature here.
By David Thiselton