With the solid support of grandfather Ormond Ferraris and leading trainer Sean Tarry who is quick to pounce on any young talent, apprentice Luke Ferraris has had it good so far in his short career. But there will be roadblocks, there always are in this sport, but he has plenty of ammunition at Scottsville on Sunday where he has some plum rides for his grandfather.
The regally bred Captain Of Tortuga, only once out of the money in ten starts and a close but comfortable winner of an Assessment Plate last time out, will be in short order for the Blinkers Bar Graduation Plate but he may have to take a back seat to the year older filly Twice As Smart, the highest rated runner in the field.
Wendy Whitehead’s stable has turned the corner in recent weeks and Twice As Smart has earned her rating in some useful company. She was beaten less than a length in the Flamboyant Stakes and in retrospect and more recently, third to last Sunday’s Beyerly Turk winner Tristful.
She has much in her favour and given that form she can give her male rivals a stich.
Captain Of Tortuga is the obvious danger but Andre Nel has seeded his Summerveld satellite yard with some of the better inmates of his Yzerfontein yard, readying up for Champions Season and the lightly raced Vikram will be a threat. He was quietly fancied for the CTS Mile won by the smart One World but his form prior to that suggests that he will be a mighty contender here.
The Ferraris combination can kick off the Pick 6 with Tripple Z who has shown good improvement since again being sent over a bit of ground.
He looks primed for this event but Glen Kotzen has started off his Champions Season raid in good style with Temple Grafin winning the Gr3 Umzimkulu Stakes last Sunday and Spring Fling looks a serious contender after making marked improvement at his last start and Anton Marcus booked for the ride.
But it’s not an easy race and the local contingent of Frankie Two Shoes, At The Opera and Just Prime must also be contenders.
The fourth is an intriguing race with a number of three-year-olds out to prove that they deserve a place in the KRA Guineas come the first day of Champions Season.
Run To Denmark made a smart local debut behind Tristful in a Progress Plate and is sure to come on from the effort but he could be hard-pressed to get the better of Shane Humby’s Mr Fitz. The lightly raced colt caught the eye when a close-up second to The Last Of The Legend on debut and followed up with a bloodless victory next time out. That form has held up well and Mr Fitz looks to have plenty of scope. Off bottom weight will have plenty of supporters. Dyno Man, Marchetto and Mr Greenlight are other contenders in a race that could sort out some wheat from the chaff come live contenders for the classics in Champions Season.
Darryl Moore has a smart gelding in Woodstock Festival and he rates the horse to beat in the sixth although he does face some stiff opposition. Woodstock Festival steps up to 1200m for the first time but given his pedigree and the presence of Anton Marcus in the saddle the extra furlong is unlikely to compromise his chances.
Marcus has jumped ship from Cumulus, on whom he beat Woodstock Festival two runs back, so the inference is obvious. However, Muzi Yeni was aboard when Cumulus fourth behind the speedy Di Mazzio on the Greyville poly last time out. Cumulus also steps up to 1200m but does seem to be a better horse on the turf and could again put one over his rival and be some compensation for Alderman Rob Haswell who was looking forward to a Rolling Stones concert in New Orleans before Mick Jagger pulled up lame. Fleetwood Mac are a second-rate replacement for a seasoned ‘rocker’.
Roy’s Magic is a hard knocker and Kom Naidoo has been in good form of late while surprise package could come in the form of Affranchi. Down in class, weight and trip, Gavin van Zyl’s gelding bears all the hallmarks of a sudden improver and may be worth including in all calculations.
By Andrew Harrison