No easy task solving the mystery of Gauteng Guineas
Mike de Kock-trained pair top the betting boards for Turffontein race
Agatha Christie’s famous detective Hercule Poirot could have trouble unravelling Saturday’s WSB Gauteng Guineas at Turffontein. Six of the nine runners could take top honours.
With two of his three-year-olds at the top of the betting boards, Mike de Kock holds a strong hand so help is needed from the former champion trainer.
De Kock is always accommodating when it comes to news on his big-race runners and this is his view on the 1,600m contest.
Mount Pleasant: “Last time he failed it was very wet which is a concern. Alternatively, as he is very quick, he could be a sprinter.”
Malmoos: “Very well after freshening up post Cape Town. The further he goes the better.”
If the rain continues, one wonders whether De Kock might take Mount Pleasant out of the race. It is a move often made by UK trainers if they consider the ground unsuitable.
Then there is the quandary about the big gap in merit ratings of Mount Pleasant and Malmoos. The former’s rating is 13 points higher than Luke Ferraris’s mount.
So let us look at the remaining four runners who could take the winner’s cheque.
CatchTwentyTwo: Interestingly, he was beaten six lengths by Mount Pleasant on debut and two lengths by Malmoos in the Graham Beck Stakes last October. But the Paul Peter inmate has got better with every run and boasts wins in the Dingaans and Tony Ruffel Stakes. He beat Copper Mountain by two lengths in the latter race.
He beat stablemate MK’s Pride in the Tony Ruffel so Paul Peter will go into the race with confidence with his regular pilot Gavin Lerena doing the steering.
Copper Mountain: Could be the pick of Johan Janse van Vuuren’s duo — he beat Second Base by five lengths in September. Held by CatchTwentyTwo on Tony Ruffel form but does have a good barrier.
Second Base: He has done his connections proud with five wins from six starts and deserves his chance in grade 2 company. However, this is a different kettle of fish from taking on the likes of Nartjie and Tyron’s Express and the son of Gimmethegreenlight may have to settle for a minor place.
Eliud: This column’s idea of the possible surprise package in the race. Finished fourth in the Tony Ruffel (backed down to 5-1) but that race was over 1,400m and the lightly raced son of Futura had previously cruised home by five lengths over 1,600m in the hands of the champion jockey. Now reverts to 1,600m, in-form S’manga Khumalo rides for the first time and may be overpriced at 16-1.
Bingwa, Kingsley’s Heart and Namib Desert are outsiders in the betting and look unlikely to be involved for the winner’s purse.
If you forgive his flop behind Russian Rock in the Cape Guineas, Malmoos has to go close from pole position if he is back to the form he showed in the Graham Beck Stakes.
Still, it is a race to tread warily from a betting point of view and the recommendation is a quartet double floating Malmoos and Eliud with CatchTwenty-Two, Mount Pleasant, Copper Mountain and Second Base.
There is another round of War Of Athena vs Anything Goes in the Wilgerbosdrift Fillies Guineas, the third time they have clashed this term.
Anything Goes had the misfortune to suffer a slipped saddle in her defeat in the Three Troikas and — with a rejuvenated Randall Simons riding the filly for the first time — it could be a close affair with Paul Matchett’s five-time winner.
It is hard to see any other runner getting a look in though Piere Strydom’s mount Miss Elegance might not be far away from a favourable draw.
Muzi Yeni rides War Of Athena and he could have a good meeting as Master Supreme makes plenty of appeal in the first leg of the jackpot. Candice Dawson’s four-year-old is overdue a third win.
In the final race on the card, promising apprentice Joshwin Solomons should go close on Sean Tarry’s runner Putontheredlight. The gelding, who beat Riverstown here in July, is well drawn and will carry only 49.5kg.
1st Race: No Selection
2nd Race: (10) Lee Express (5) Differentiate (2) Zodiac Princess (4) Cosmic Ray
3rd Race: (1) Smuts (2) Major Winter (9) Dance Partner (3) Light Without
4th Race: (4) Anna Capri (2) Rapid Fire (1) Valyrian King (5) Sweet Sensation
5th Race: (7) Master Supreme (3) Nimcha (9) Apollo Robbins (5) Barak
6th Race: (2) War Of Athena (1) Anything Goes (4) Miss Elegance (5) Caralluma
7th Race: (3) Malmoos (2) Catch TwentyTwo (1) Mount Pleasant (7) Eliud
8th Race: (9) Winter Smoke (5) Winter Stories (3) Bold Ransom (2) True To Life
9th Race: (1) Zimbaba (2) Celestial Love (3) Toto (4) Bella Black
10th Race: (12) Putontheredlight (3) ExpressfromtheUS (2) Chijmes (6) Whorly Whorly
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