The Turffontein Inside track stages an eight race meeting tomorrow where there look to be one or two opportunities for punters.
The best bet could be Therecanbeonlyone in the third race, a MR 70 Handicap over 2600m, although there are some negatives to her chances. On official merit ratings she is 2,5kg under sufferance which is reduced to 1,5kg by having claiming apprentice Kabelo Matsunyane aboard. The latter has a 1,5kg claim but rides at 0,5kg overweight. The Twice Over filly would also prefer a more galloping track as she does take a while to get going. On the plus side she has plenty of scope, being a filly of some substance, and she looks to be an out and out stayer. She also has a featherweight of 51kg to carry. Perfect Light could be a threat as she is a year older and looks likely to relish the step up in trip being by Jam Alley out of Sadler’s Wells mare Painter’s Dream, who won over this course and distance.
The meeting starts off with a MR 68 Handicap over 1000m and Snow In Seattle is selected to follow up on his last win. He is drawn widest of all but it is a small eight horse field so he can be dropped out and make up the ground. Last time he finished powerfully over 1160m to win and although he is three points higher in the merit ratings he doesn’t face an inspiring field. Hot August is drawn well in two and is 1,5kg better off with Snow In Seattle for a 0,75 length beating so has a fine chance with Chase Maujean staying aboard. Lithuanian’s Dream is capable of blitzing a field so will be dangerous if bouncing out and getting to the front on this tight track.
In the first leg of the PA over 1600m two fillies who have improved with blinkers, Seneca Falls and Full Force, face each other and there shouldn’t be much in it. Seneca Falls has more handicap experience and a better draw so gets the vote. Full Force had caught the eye as one with scope for improvement early on in her career. She went to the front over this trip last time with the first time blinkers on and has a similarly wide draw here. She won easily that day so has a shout of following up if able to get to the front again.
In the first leg of the Jackpot over 2600m Snorting Bull has always struck as a useful stayer in the making. Last time he produced his usual strong finish but it came a touch too late and he just failed, although the winner Indy Ice was finishing just as strongly and was a deserved winner. He does have a good turn of foot so this track might be ideal because in long straights he can hit the front too soon. He usually loses ground at the start but in this small field will not have a lot of ground to make up in the straight. Before Noon has plenty of resolve and will be a tough nut to crack. He goes for a hattrick and is drawn in pole over a trip he should relish. However, he has been racing in KZN so there is the change in altitude to consider and Johannesburg racing is also a touch stronger. Fact looks to be a useful stayer and comes from the Weiho Marwing yard, who are particularly good with stayers. He is drawn well in two and has scope for further improvement, especially considering he is out of a Silvano mare.
In the second leg of the Jackpot over 1450m the Mike de Kock-trained Vercingetorix filly Tallinn could be well handicapped off an 83 considering the recent across the board ten point raise for all horses. Under the old figures she would have been running off a 73, which would have been a particularly low mark for an August debut-winning three-year-old to have. She won well on debut over 1200m and should relish the step up in trip. Kapama just failed last time from a wide draw over 1400m and now has a plum draw of three. She was 0,50 lengths behind No More Words in that race and is now half-a-kilogram better off. No More Words has another wide draw to overcome, but was flying at the finish in that last race. Similar hold up tactics will see her going close, although on the Inside track it is going to be tougher to make up the leeway.
In the sixth race over 1450m, Western Oasis could follow up on his easy maiden win over 1400m as he does not face an inspiring field. However, he does have a tricky draw so it won’t be easy. Armstrong could be a big threat if able to overcome his wide draw of eleven. He will be ridden by Chase Maujean who is particularly good when hold up tactics are employed, as they should be here. This horse moved up well over 1400m last time from a similarly wide draw. Of the well drawn horses, Melchizedek is starting to show some of the potential he always looked to have and this distances looks ideal.
The last leg of the Jackpot is an uninspiring race and the seemingly moderate Wijdaan could be good enough to win it from a fair draw over a suitable trip. Midnight Lights has useful 1000m form in the context of this race but as she is by Gimmethegreenlight out of a Captain Al sprinter the wide draw over a step up in trip to 1450m is a concern. Notquitethereyet had her best run over this course and distance and has a plum draw of two so has a chance too.
In the last race the hard-knocking Segontium gets a good opportunity over an ideal trip although it will depend on whether he can overcome his wide draw. He will likely go to the front, which he has proven capable of doing before. The biggest threat looks to be The Riddler, who was a touch unlucky over 1600m last time, and is now well drawn over an equally suitable trip.
By David Thiselton