The final leg of the work rider series is always accompanied by much excitement so there is sure to be some intriguing battles in the eight race meeting at Turffontein tomorrow.
Former champion work rider Chamu Mabaya looks to have a fair book of rides and Joe Gwingwizha and Charles Ndlovu should also have good days.
In the first race over 1000m Kindavar, ridden by Mabaya, has a lot of zip and could get a tow from the speedy Desert Kitten before pouncing and attempting to win at the 22nd attempt. However, she could be upstaged by Miss Samurai, who showed pace in her penultimate start over this trip and finished a 5,75 length second to subsequent Grade 3 Strelitzia Stakes winner Singforafa. Miss Samurai will be ridden by inexperienced workrider Kelly Fisher. Two-year-old Winter Haze has shown ability in two starts and displayed good pace last time. She was overtaken by a promising sort and pipped by another fair horse but being by What A Winter should be improving. She is now up against older horses which will make it tough despite the field being uninspiring.
Former champion Sam Mosia could win the next over 1000m on Bold Matador who looked the winner last time over this trip before being caught by a flying Hartleyfour. Charles Ndlovu has a good ride here on Country Squire, who hit the front in the aforementioned race before fading and he was reported to have made a respiratory noise. He can do better and should be improving being by Duke Of Marmalade. Gwingwizha rides Pidgeon Rock, who showed promises second time out but hasn’t run since last July.
In the third over 1160m Ndlovu rides The Russian Sailor who went close over 1200m last time despite losing two lengths. Written In Stone caught the eye in the preliminaries and in the race on Tuesday when second from a wide draw over 1200m at the Vaal Classic track and he is sure to be involved. Maldives should be running on well.
In the fourth over 1600m Mabaya can earn his riding fee by taking Kayla’s Eagle to the front and settling her. If he does accomplish those two tasks she can beat this uninspiring field. Caftan under Ndlovu beat Kaylá’s Eagle last time down the straight over this trip, but the latter raced too strongly behind horses. First-timer Ligogo by Golden Sword out of Listed Banayana winner Sapphire Ring makes some appeal under reigning champion work rider Goodman Dadamasi.
In the fifth over 1600m Ndlovu could win on Category Four, who proved suited to this trip when finishing third over 1700m on Wednesday. Flapjack under Mabaya and Royal Pursuit under Mosia are the dangers.
In the sixth over 2000m Gwingwizha could win on Slay The Dragon who has a tricky draw but has fair form, is unexposed and stays the trip. Byron Bay under Dadamasi ran well in his previous start over this trip and should be right there and Three Dog Night showed improvement with gelding last time so can also be a threat under Mosia.
Mabaya can win the seventh over 2000m on the hard-knocking Irish Flame filly Shezahotti, who can run on after being dropped out from a tricky draw. Merengue and Laconia are both improving and are the dangers.
The last over 1160m could go to Themba Muchansa on the promising Varquera who has not had much luck to date but has caught the eye. Brittania Queen and Destiny’s Game look the dangers.
By David Thiselton