Redberry Wood can add gleam to Lerena's tally
When the "best quotes of 2018" are published in December there will be plenty to choose from - notably President Donald Trump and politician Boris Johnson.
In sporting circles, they can nominate trainer John Gosden's quote after his star filly, Enable, won her second Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Sunday. He said: "It's like a manager with a top player who always gives you 100 percent. You can build your team around her."
Despite being sidelined for the majority of the year with knee issues, Enable responded to the urgings of 47 year-old jockey, Frankie Dettori, to beat home another talented female, Sea of Class and the French-trained longshot, Cloth Of Stars.
It was pointed out in Business Day on Friday that Cloth Of Stars looked "hugely overpriced at 40-1" and she paid over R5 for a place on the tote.
Dettori, who was winning this prestigious race for the sixth time, admitted he was "the most nervous I've ever been" before an Arc. "There was pressure on all of us. The world was behind me - everybody wanted her to win."
Well, not everyone, especially trainers William Haggas and Andre Fabre who would have loved to have lifted the coveted trophy - not to mention the 2,5 million pounds purse which goes to Enable's owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah.
"We'll see if Prince Abdullah fancies trying and coming back next year to win it (the Arc) for a third time," said Gosden. He added that the Breeders Cup Turf race in America also remained a possible target.
Meanwhile, on the local racing front, jockey Gavin Lerena is quickly making up for lost time this year because of injury by booting home winners on the Highveld. He landed a treble at Turffontein on Saturday including the Joburg Fillies & Mares Challenge on Irish-bred, Cascapedia.
Lerena is back at the city track today where he has six booked rides on the eight-race programme. The pick of his mounts could be Redberry Wood who does duty for Geoff Woodruff's stable in the fourth race.
Owned and bred by Lammerskraal Stud, Redberry Wood probably needed the outing when finishing third behind Shelly last month. It was the Fort Wood filly's first run since May.
Ossetra, drawn in pole position in this 1800m contest, could prove the main threat to Woodruff's runner. The daughter of Greys Inn is overdue another win after running several places this year.
Angelic, a creditable third on her latest appearance, and Dorrie Sham's filly, Exclusivity, are both likely to have their supporters.
Lerena will partner a choicely-bred newcomer in the second race in the form of Ormond Ferraris' three year-old filly, Blossom. While the market will be the best guide to her chance, she's certainly bred in the purple being by Silvano out of the outstanding racemare, Cherry On The Top.
Champion jockey, Lyle Hewitson, has seven mounts at the meeting and it would be no surprise to see him go close on Memphis Belle in the fifth race. Lucky Houdalakis' mare has the advantage of a good draw which can help her against two in-form rivals in Opera and Illegal.
Candice Dawson has her team in hot form so it would be no surprise if she captured the last leg of the jackpot with four year-old, D'Arrivee. However, Hewitson could also go close here on the Var colt, Whitehaven. He ran well in his four outings as a juvenile and could pay to follow this term.
With Rivonia Boulevard returning from a long rest, Gary Alexander's New Zealand-bred gelding, Liberado, can finally open his account in the third race. Young Denis Schwarz is entrusted with the ride this afternoon and he has a favourable draw in this 1450m race.
There are a number of interesting first-timers including Greatest Wish from the powerful Mike De Kock yard, Blanco, March To Glory and Alec Laird's Judpot gelding, Senor's Guest.
1st Race: No Selection
2nd Race: (7) Blossom (2) Memory Bliss (3) Dream On (4) Shezahotti
3rd Race: (2) Liberado (1) Left Hook (13) Senor's Guest (9) Greatest Wish
4th Race: (1) Redberry Wood (8) Ossetra (9) Angelic (6) Exclusivity
5th Race: (4) Memphis Belle (2) Illegal (5) Opera (8) Arikel
6th Race: (8) Shufoog (1) William The Silent (5) Topmast (2) Royal Cavalier
7th Race: (5) Whitehaven (3) D'Arrivee (7) Make Your Move (6) Norland
8th Race: (2) Sleepinseattle (1) Gunston (5) Torio Lake (3) Bronx Bomber