Tough picks as fillies return from breaks
Many are making seasonal debuts, including Mawsool, Schippers, Vistula and Anneka
September might just be the most difficult for punters to back winners — many horses are returning to action after being rested following the three-month KwaZulu-Natal season.
The perfect example is Saturday’s seventh race at Turffontein with a purse of R130,000 — four of the seven runners are making their seasonal debuts and might be in need of the run.
The quartet are Mawsool, Schippers, Vistula and Anneka. The best advice is to follow the market closely to see which of these fillies and mares is forward enough to take the winner’s cheque of R81,250.
Mawsool, a daughter of Soft Falling Rain representing the stable of Mike de Kock, is taking on her elders for the first time, but she is set to receive 9kg from Schippers and Vistula.
Jockey S’manga Khumalo has started the new campaign in good form and he rides Mawsool for the first time. Surprisingly, the guy who won the 2013 Vodacom July on Heavy Metal has only three booked rides at the meeting so he will be keen to win the day’s topliner.
Schippers, trained by Geoff Woodruff, has earned over R870,000 in stakes and should hit the million-rand mark this term. Whether the Var mare can come up trumps on Saturday remains to be seen, but it is a worry she has not been seen since contesting the grade 1 SA Fillies Sprint at Scottsville in May.
Vistula also ran in a grade 1 last time out — the Garden Province Stakes on Durban July day — and she is another female who should boost her bankroll this season. With the Paul Peter yard churning out winners at practically every meeting, bookies are likely to have the four-year-old at cramped odds.
Champion trainer Sean Tarry saddles Anneka who finished second behind Vistula at the Vaal in April. The daughter of Gimmethegreenlight — rested since June — will be 6kg better off this time so could turn the tables.
While it is a tough call settling on a selection, Mawsool might get clear with her light weight and is taken to beat home Vistula, Anneka and Schippers.
Whatever the fate of Schippers, Geoff Woodruff has a bright chance of taking the final leg of the jackpot with his four-year-old Baron Rodney. Following his maiden win, the gelding ran third on his handicap debut and should be competitive in Saturday’s eighth race.
Baron Rodney faces three useful rivals in Fired Up, Tokyo Drift and Greasepaint — the latter, now nine years of age, again delighted his enthusiastic owners when successful at Saturday’s track a fortnight ago.
Port Key, a lightly-raced son of Silvano from the De Kock yard, could make a winning handicap debut in the second race. Purchased for R400,000 as a yearling, the four-year-old looks to have more scope for improvement than his chief opponents, Gold Griffin and Kurt’s Approval.
Muzi Yeni, who rides Kurt’s Approval, is likely to fancy his chances of winning the sixth race on Barend Botes’ runner Jacko Boy. He was in the saddle when the daughter of Jackson won over 2,000m at the Vaal in August.
It looks as if Yeni, who won on one of Jacko Boy’s rivals, Angelic Appeal, here in August has chosen to side with the younger horse.
1st Race: (9) Single Red Rose (7) Madame Patrice (6) Clock Stopper (1) Exultant
2nd Race: (3) Port Key (2) Gold Griffin (1) Kurt’s Approval (5) Tough Choice
3rd Race: (3) Touch Of Fate (1) Dancing Flame (10) Ikigai (4) Tokolosh
4th Race: (9) Leopold (11) Tigermil (1) Endangered (2) Pure Wisdom
5th Race: (3) In For A Penny (4) Maroon Bells (1) Poppycock (5) Fierce Fighter
6th Race: (2) Jacko Boy (1) Angelic Appeal (7) Jive Express (6) Always Red
7th Race: (7) Mawsool (2) Vistula (5) Anneka (1) Schippers
8th Race: (4) Baron Rodney (1) Fired Up (2) Tokyo Drift (3) Greasepaint
9th Race: (9) Double O Eight (2) Che Bella (3) Old Man Tyme (6) State Trooper