The Turffontein Standside meeting tomorrow is low key but there is a good class Pinnacles Stakes race over 1400m where Vistula looks hard to beat for the Paul Peter-Warren Kennedy combination.
This four-year-old filly should come into her own this season being by Ideal World, whose progeny continually improve. She ended last season with three easy wins when stepped up from sprints to 1400m and 1600m and she then ran a creditable fifth in the Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes over 1600m at Hollywoodbets Greyville where she was quietly fancied. She is drawn in pole tomorrow. Schippers is 1,5kg well in with Vistula, being merit rated two points higher than her and being a five-year-old. However, this is the first time she is going beyond sprints and she has a tricky draw of five in the seven horse field. She is by Var out of a Grade 3-winning sprinter by Count Dubois called Fair Rosalind, so there is a stamina question mark too, although Fair Rosalind has produced a horse by Argonaut who won up to 1800m. Afrostar is the stable companion to Vistula and also has some class. She has been crying out for the step back up to this trip, over which she is unbeaten in two starts. She has a good draw of two.
In the first leg of the Bipot Port Key looks promising and will relish the step up in trip to 2000m, although he has his second run after a long layoff and his first start out of the maidens. He can fight it out with the in form pair Gold Griffin and Kurt’s Approval.
In the first leg of the PA over 1000m Touch Of Fate is the one to beat from a nice high draw as he is coming to hand. Dancing Flame is a danger and Oratorio filly Orchid Express makes most appeal of the unraced horses.
In the first leg of the Pick 6 the first-timer Tigermil is by Where’s That Tiger out of a half-sister to Jet Master and wouldn’t have to be star to win it. The raced runners Live By Night and Pure Wisdom should finish on top of each other if there last run is anything to go by. Endangered and Bridge Of Spies should also be considered.
In the next leg over 2400m Maroon Bells, a long-striding sort who enjoys this galloping track, goes over a staying trip after staying on strongly last time over 2000m. He is drawn in pole and will take some beating. Poppycock relished the step up to this trip last time and just failed, despite it being only his third career start, so he must also be considered.
In the sixth race over 2000m Jacko Boy won easily last time over this trip and this progressive sort can handle an effective six point raise. Anagram won well in the maidens over 1600m last time and being by Byword out of SA Oaks winner Cyber Cento she should relish the step up in trip. Angelic Appeal, Ex’s ‘N Ohs and Emerald Bay can also be considered for the Jackpot and Pick 6.
In the eighth race over 1160m Fired Up has dropped to a competitive mark. His first run over 1400m suggested he would need further, but this does not appear to be the case and he could run on strongly here and be in the firing line. However, its wide open and Baron Rodney, Strikeitlikeamatch, Greasepaint, Tokyo Drift and Master Boulder can also be considered.
In the last race over 1160m State Trooper makes appeal from a high draw as a big, long-strider who is capable of running on strongly. He is unbeaten in one start over course and distance, although it is another wide open race where a few must be considered.
By David Thiselton