Horse racing at Turfontein. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Horse racing at Turfontein. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Several jockeys will travel to Turffontein on Saturday for the Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile with one question on their minds — how are we going to overcome the shocking draws in the R1m race?

Of the fancied runners, all of Finchatton (Callun Murray), Bella Sonata (Keagan De Melo), Tilbury Fort (Craig Zackey) and Hermoso Mundo (Weichong Marwing) are drawn close to the nearby Rand Stadium. Preference in this quartet is for Bella Sonata as Gavin Van Zyl’s mare boasts some decent form behind top performers Bela-Bela and Nother Russia. Unfortunately she has drawn barrier 15.

Finchatton hinted that a fifth success was close at hand when second behind the useful Wonderwall. If that horse wins the fifth race — the Ready-To-Run Cup — it will be a boost for the six-year-old who will again be partnered by Callan Murray. He has barrier 16 to negotiate.

While the trip is on the short side for Hermoso Mundo, another Sean Tarry runner Tilbury Fort could get involved in the finish. The colt has not been seen in action since finishing among the backmarkers in the Vodacom July and has to jump from barrier 17.

The favourite New Predator is favourably drawn and he should make a bold bid to follow up his victory in this grade2 race 12 months ago.

Trainer Dorrie Sham’s decision to raid the highveld from Port Elizabeth with Classify has already paid dividends with a second placing behind Forest Fox in the Grand Heritage at the Vaal. The gelding could finish in the money once again. Forest Fox represents Paul Peter’s stable and the six-year-old, ridden by Ryan Munger, has 4.5kg less to carry than when winning the big race at the Vaal. Classify will be 3kg better off this time.

The best days of both French Navy and Bezanova may be behind them and the pick of the remainder could be the well-drawn Social Order who will be partnered by Lyle Hewitson.

Despite her bad draw Belle Sonata is selected to get home ahead of Finchatton, New Predator and Classify.

The CTS Emperors Palace Ready-To-Run Cup promises to be a cracking contest and Tarry holds a strong hand with four runners including recent winners Big Bear and Wonderwall.

If he was better drawn, the latter would have got the vote but the Querari colt is drawn wide whereas Big Bear has the ideal barrier position.

Brave Mary — the winner of a grade1 at Scottsville in May — takes on the colts and is trying 1,400m for the first time. Her dam won six races up to 1,160m so the daughter of Brave Tin Soldier is no certainty.

Stuart Pettigrew has done a fine job with Surcharge, but he will have cursed on learning his colt had to jump from barrier 17. Still, Piere Strydom has overcome wide draws many times in his illustrious career.

Even worse off in the draw is Boatswain, yet if Muzi Yeni can overcome this disadvantage, there is a chance of this R800,000 son of Poet’s Voice finishing in the first four.

Bi-Pot — still amazingly available at odds of 50-1 for the Sansui Summer Cup — has her last outing before the big race on November 25 when she takes on 13 rivals in the first leg of the Pick 6.

Geoff Woodruff’s filly may battle to concede 3kg to S’Manga Khumalo’s mount Tambalang and Bi-Pot’s stablemate Guns And Roses goes to post having won five of her six starts.

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