The Turffontein Inside track nine race meeting tomorrow should attract plenty of interest as there are some good horses turning out.
The three-times Grade 1-winning miler Soqrat makes his seasonal reappearance in the seventh, a Pinnacle Stakes event over 1600m. He is comfortably the best weighted horse according to official merit ratings but does have a welter 62kg to carry and is drawn wide in eleven. However, he is an easy ride, being one who can be switched on and off, and doesn’t look like one who will need a lot of work to reach his peak, so his class, coupled with his good turn of foot, should pull him through.
Barahin never got going in the July when quietly fancied and the blinkers are now on. He is well drawn and has the class to go close. Unagi is enigmatic but this is by far his favourite course and distance, bringing him four wins, two seconds and a third in eight starts. He finished three lengths behind Soqrat in the weight for age Horse Chestnut Stakes over this distance and now faces him on 3,5kg better terms than weight for age so on that form he has a shout from pole position.
Lake Kinnaret keeps on improving and is capable of a strong finish so could place here despite officially being 4kg under sufferance with Soqrat and having a tricky draw. Roy Had Enough would prefer further but is versatile and possesses a good turn of foot, so with Strydom up he can earn.
The meeting starts with an interesting maiden over 1450m. Exion should come on from his debut when handy behind a strong pace and finding no extra. However, he could be vulnerable to any useful first-timers and the one who makes appeal is Arminus, a Vercingetorix half-brother to Grade 2-winning Kangaroo Jack. If his turn of foot is half as good as Kangaroo Jack’s he should be able to mow this field down after being dropped out from a wide draw.
In the second race over 1450m Illusion won well on debut considering he was green. He has a speedy pedigree being by Var out of a Grade 2-winning sprinter but has substance and class and from a plum draw with a 4kg claimer up this class could pull him through. Category Four is knocking on the door and although he strikes as one who would prefer further he is capable of running on well. He has a tough draw but the 1,5kg claim of Jason gates will help.
In the third over 1200m Solar Flare was caught wide on her seasonal debut and now has a plum draw so should improve on that showing and should enjoy the step up in trip.
Impressive Duchess wasn’t disgraced in the Grade 2 Debutante and should have improved since then being by Duke Of Marmalade, although this is her return from a layoff. Eskimo Kisses has ability and Ponchielli and League Of Her Own are also worth considering in this tricky race.
In the fourth over 1200 Cockney Pride has class and is the best in at the weights and is well drawn so she can beat the equally classy Eden Roc.
In the fifth over 1200m Hartleyfour has always been well regarded and from a good draw can continue to progress over his best trip. What A Joker and Bridge Of Spies look to be the dangers. Snow In Seattle and Baahir also have to be included in the Pick 6 and Jackpot.
In the sixth over 1600m Virginia is starting to fulfill her potential and from a good draw is marginally preferred to the classy Queen Supreme, who has a tricky draw. Saints Alive should also be in the shake up from pole position.
In the eighth over 1600m Summer Pudding will appreciate the step up in trip and although this is her return from a layoff she could outclass them. Charmz Luck is drawn in pole and looks to be the other one to consider in a generally uninspiring field.
The last over 1600m is an uninspiring maiden and Zodiac Princess should have too many guns for them from a good draw. If she fluffs her lines Starting Line and Midnight Top are the one who could pick up the pieces.
By David Thiselton