The reigning Equus Horse Of The Year Oh Susanna has been priced up at 12/10 by Track and Ball for the Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes over 1600m to be run on Vodacom Durban July day having drawn well in three.
Her stablemate Snowdance was not as lucky and is drawn widest of all in barrier 14.
Trainer Justin Snaith said about them last week, “They are flying, Snowdance has just gone to another level. She needed the run in the SA Fillies Sprint. She was meant to be in a barrier trail before that but they cancelled it, so she never got to have her proper prep. She’s come on lengths from that race. Oh Susanna has come on for her Tibouchina win. She’s not a 1400m filly, she’s better over a mile. So I think the Garden Province is going to be very interesting.”
Oh Susanna was allowed to go to the front in the Tibouchina which favoured her as she is hard to catch once she winds up into her huge stride. This time the jockeys might not allow her to have her own way and the danger is she will begin racing too strongly if she does not reach the front. This will blunt her excellent turn of foot and punters might have to exercise caution.
Snowdance might have no option other than to go to the front from her wide draw. This might suit her as her best performances have been when allowed to stride freely behind a strong pace. In this race last year she started pulling in a handy position behind a slow pace and after showing her usual superb kick those over-racing antics then told as she was caught late after looking the winner. She showed she can settle well enough in front when leading in the KRA Fillies Last year. She was caught late in that race too but might well have needed it as it was her first run since winning the Majorca more than three months earlier.
Santa Clara showed a blistering turn of foot when winning the Grade 2 KRA Fillies Guineas at the first meeting of the SA Champions on May 3. She also showed fine gatespeed that night and was able to find the rail in front from a wide draw of ten and ended up in the box seat. If Oh Susanna does indeed go to the front Bernard Fayd’Herbe could get her into the box seat again with the same tactics.
The Grade 1 SA Fillies Sprint winner Celtic Sea was unplaced in the KRA Fillies Guineas, but a line can be drawn through that race as it did not pan out at all well for her. She was caught one wide near the front without cover and did not settle. She was drawn seven of 13 in that race and now has a better draw of six out of 14. If she does find a nice position she is capable of turning it on. She finished third in the Grade 2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas on the tough Turffontein Standside track so should get the easier Greyville 1600m.
The classy Front And Centre finished strongly in the KRA Fillies Guineas for second but has the problem of a wide draw. It is particularly problematic due to her tendency to hang inward, which might have cost her the Daily News 2000. This time she might have to be dropped right out and make a run down the inside.
Vistula is an up and coming three-year-old who possesses a superb turn of foot. She is the dark horse and represents good each way value at 40/1 with Track and Ball, although her draw of nine is tricky.
Al Danza has her second start for the Dennis Drier yard, who are no strangers to winning this race. If able to recapture the form which saw her finish close seconds in both the Grade 1 Empress Club Stakes and Grade 2 Ipi Tombe Stakes she will be a runner, although she will have to overcome a wide draw, which as a handy sort will not be in her favour.
Temple Grafin stayed on well for third in the KRA Fillies Guineas from a handy position, but now has a wider draw. However, she came home strongly when dropped in from a wide draw in the Umzimkhulu Stakes over 1400m so is a contender if it pans out as well again.
Stablemate Elusive Heart ran a fine race in this event last year, coming from near the back to run third and she will be looking to repeat this feat from a similar draw of eleven.
Rose In Bloom is a talented horse with a good turn of foot and finished third to Snowdance in the Majorca last year, but the mile does probably stretch her.
Roy’s Riviera has a fine turn of foot and showed in the King’s Cup when just behind Dark Moon Rising and Matador Man that she enjoys a mile, although she has had a busy campaign.
The enigmatic Desert Rhythm won the Golden Slipper over 1400m here as a two-year-old two years ago and looks to be better over shorter than a mile.
Being Fabulous struck as a classy sort from day one but after becoming disappointing she flew home to win the Syringa Handicap over this trip in her penultimate start. However, on weight for age terms here she has a tough task.
Twice As Smart will appreciate the step up to 1600m and although outgunned at the weights on paper she does have close up form behind the like of Lady In Black and Camphoratus, so can’t be ignored.
By David Thiselton