The floods that plagued midweek racing on the Highveld have receded and although much of that water was not welcomed by most, track managers will have been delighted. One can irrigate as much as you like, nothing beats water from above and Turffontein has had four days of sun and wind and should strip in prime condition for tomorrow’s meeting.
Return Flight was one of the stand-out sophomore fillies last season and few who witness the SA Oaks will forget her dogged determination to hold off the attentions of Blossom in the 2450m event.
Her Champions Season campaign did not amount to much, ending on a rather disappointing note in the Vodacom Durban July.
Sean Tarry then put her away for four months before making her seasonal debut in a seven-furlong dash at the Vaal where she faded late behind top class stable companion Celtic Sea.
That run should have brought her on lengths and over a more suitable trip tomorrow, many will be relying on her as a possible exotic bet banker in the Interbet.co.za Pinnacle Stakes.
The biggest threat could come in the form of Pretty Border. She is in receipt of 12kg from Return Flight which is a lot of pudding
Basadi Faith has not had much luck with the weather, her intended return to the track falling foul of the rain gods. She was then fancied to beat Chimchuri Run on Thursday but both were scratched on stipes permission, a soft track possibly the reason and given further sunshine the Turffontein track should be in pristine condition with the going a little firmer. Tomorrow’s field is a lot weaker than what she would have taken on last Thursday but of some concern is that she was suspended after finishing down the field when favourite for the Gr1 Allan Robertson for bleeding. However, Paul Matchett is sure to have got on top of that problem after a six-month break from the track.
Given the recent weather, stable companion Donderweer would be an appropriate winner. He is back over what looks to be a more suitable trip at this stage of his career, leading for most of the way in the Dingaans before being swamped late. Of the balance, Fly Away is super quick and was an easy winner of her last two while Big Bay is a PE raider with smart form who cannot be ignored.
Alramz and Mythical Bolt look the principal contenders in the eighth. The former needed his last run and wasn’t disgraced when involved in a rough finish last time out. Mythical Bolt blew the start when among the fancied runners last time out and never recovered. He can do better here in spite of top weight.
By Andrew Harrison