De Kock stable holds all the aces in Turffontein feature races
Trainer has the possibility of a clean sweep in the SA Classic, Fillies Classic and Hawaii Stakes
The De Kock family can place their deckchairs next to the No1 box at Turffontein on Saturday and look forward to welcoming feature race winners.
The legendary trainer might not have his strongest team in Dubai this year, but he holds all the aces on SA Classic day with the real possibility of a clean sweep in the SA Classic, Fillies Classic and Hawaii Stakes.
Cape Guineas winner Soqrat is impossible to oppose in the Hawaii Stakes, Nafaayes is a worthy favourite for the Fillies Classic and the stable has a formidable duo in Hawwaam and Barahin in the R2m SA Classic.
The latter race again brings the spotlight on Port Elizabeth raider National Park who turned in a top-class performance in the Gauteng Guineas and again demonstrated the talent of trainer Yvette Bremner.
However, the draws this time could produce a different outcome. Both Barahin and Hawwaam were drawn in the nearby Rand Stadium in the Guineas, but both have favourable barrier positions on Saturday.
Anton Marcus is back in town to partner Barahin once again, which is a huge plus for his chances, while Rainbow Bridge’s half-brother, Hawwaam, will be bidding to keep the family in the headlines.
The betting suggests the 1,800m grade 1 contest is a three-horse affair, but this might not be necessarily correct as Sean Tarry, this season’s leading trainer, has an interesting runner in Zillzaal.
This well-bred Silvano colt — fourth in the Gauteng Guineas — could be improving at a rapid rate of knots and is certainly one to include in quartet bets.
Geoff Woodruff has told the media he is optimistic of a big run from his Dynasty gelding Owlinthetree, but he looks held on Guineas form and only beat Flapjack by two lengths in December, and that horse is still a maiden.
Bookmakers have pushed out Aussie-bred Nafaayes from 16-10 to 5-2 for the Fillies Classic and might be taking a chance. After her Gauteng Fillies Guineas win, jockey Warren Kennedy said he felt the filly would be “even fitter next time” and his mount has also drawn in pole position.
Although Sean Tarry has two talented females in Second Request and Return Flight, Najaayes has done this column proud this term and she is not being deserted in her bid to land the hat-trick.
De Kock has made the right move in aiming Soqrat for the Hawaii Stakes despite the first place cheque of R250,000 being substantially less (R1m) than the SA Classic.
It is hard to see Soqrat — well drawn in barrier four — failing to win this grade 2 event and the best outsider could be Candice Dawson’s runner, Infamous Fox, who looks overpriced at 18-1. The four-year-old appeals as a swinger bet with the favourite.
The seventh race — the grade 3 Acacia Handicap — looks a trappy affair with Alec Laird’s filly, Tamarina, selected despite a wide draw. The daughter of Judpot is enjoying a good season yet will have to bring her A game to the course to get the better of Being Fabulous and another De Kock inmate, Greener Pastures.
Earlier in the meeting, Anton Marcus has a big chance on Being Fabulous’ stablemate, What A Thrill, in the second race. The main concern here is that the Aussie-bred filly ran second to Miss Sabina who ran a shocker here a week ago.
1st Race: (9) Captain Flynt (5) Lion King (2) The Sands (7) Henry James
2nd Race: (10) What A Thrill (4) The Makwakkers (1) Toastmaster (6) Three Dog Night
3rd Race: (7) Verdier (8) Throng (9) Powered Beauty (3) American Indian
4th Race: (8) Greek Fire (6) Cash Time (1) Dawn Assault (2) Puget Sound
5th Race: (2) Dromedaris (4) Odd Rob (8) Tirzan (1) Walter Smoothie
6th Race: (11) Soqrat (6) Infamous Fox (12) Cascapedia (2) Captain Aldo
7th Race: (6) Tamarina (10) Greener Pastures (4) Being Fabulous (8) Insignis
8th Race: (1) Nafaayes (4) Return Flight (3) Second Request (5) Running Brave
9th Race: (4) Barahin (1) National Park (2) Hawwaam (5) Zillzaal
10th Race: (9) Miss Pinkerton (7) Ulla (13) Jailhouse Jazz (3) Casual Wear
11th Race: (2) William Henley (3) French Leave (1) Adolfo (4) Born Rich
12th Race: (1) Rings And Things (12) Wrap It Up (2) Florida Quays (3) Sand Princess