If bookies have their sums right, Saturday’s Lady’s Stakes at Turffontein is a two-horse contest between Full Velocity and Big Burn. It might not be that straightforward as  like a piece of Swiss cheese one can find holes in their chances.

A win by a long shot is a distinct possibility and Candice Dawson’s 12-1 chance Herstel appeals as a candidate who could cause an upset.

Full Velocity has hardly put a hoof wrong since stepping on the racetrack and goes to post for the 1,200m sprint boasting four wins and three places from seven starts.

That record suggests the Sean Tarry inmate is entitled to her position as favourite, but a study of the form indicates the four-year-old is not certain to beat another 12-1 chance, Laetitia’s Angel. Ashley Fortune’s filly ran two lengths behind Full Velocity last time out and is now 2.5kg better off.

Big Burn — a R300,000 daughter of Elusive Fort bred at Narrow Creek Stud — has already repaid her purchase price with three excellent performances. The latest came in August’s Bloodstock SA Cup at the city track.

Yes, Big Burn has the highest merit-rating of 105 but she is also the only three-year-old in the race and taking on her elders for the first time. We shall see if she is up to the task.

Herstel, a daughter of Captain of All bred by the Klawervlei Grooms Trust, has been selected to win in this column in her past three starts and has rewarded punters with two wins and a third.

The mare has three factors in her favour — a bullish trainer, pole position draw and a light weight of just 52kg. Commenting on Herstel’s chance in Winning Form, Dawson said: “Doing well at home, hoping for a good run back.”

Luke Ferraris, who makes his Hong Kong debut on Sunday — his father will surely have lined up a winner — rode Herstel in her past three starts and young Nathan Klink is entrusted with it for the first time.

May Queen has proved a fine advert for Bosworth Farm’s stallion Skitt Skizzle and Heather Adamson’s mare has a serious each-way shout. She is better off at the weights this time with All Of Me, but a glance back to April shows she finished six lengths behind Herstel in a 1,000m race at the Vaal and is 2.5kg worse off.

Thumbs Up returns from a 19-week break and the market will be the best guide to the chance of Gavin Lerena’s mount. The four-year-old faces a tough task in conceding 5.5kg to Full Velocity.

In the supporting feature — the Spring Spree Stakes — Visiway can go well in the hands of S’manga Khumalo, who is booting home the winners both on the highveld and KwaZulu-Natal.

Trained by Mike and Adam Azzie, Visiway is a four-time winner and there was plenty to like about her latest success in a merit-rated 96 Handicap at the end of July. The four-year-old finished alongside Vaseem in a race won by Garden Party at the Vaal in March and is now 4kg better off.

Though Willow Express has proved a shrewd buy at R90,000, the question about Tarry’s grey gelding is whether he will find the 1,200m trip too short.

The same remark applies to Puerto Manzini but the Argentinian-bred gelding warrants inclusion in exotic bets as he won over Saturday’s course and distance in September 2020. The Winning Form comment from the stable is, “No Comment”.

Mr Flood makes his second appearance after a long break and cannot be fancied for top honours with 64.5kg on his back. He has to concede 9.5kg to Visiway.

Puerto Manzini’s stablemate Second Base faces a fascinating clash with Paul Peter’s up-and-coming four-year-old Sound Of Summer in the final leg of the jackpot.

With his second in the Champions Challenge and fifth behind Linebacker (shunned for any award) in the Daily News 2000, many will consider the Gimmethegreenlight gelding a banker bet. This could prove dangerous as Sound Of Summer is set to receive 8kg and has had a more recent race.

Both Green Haze and Golden Pheasant are better off at the weights this time with Sound Of Summer, yet they have each contested 30 races while Peter’s charge is improving all the time and this is only his sixth start.

Khumalo is proving something of a “last race expert” at recent meetings and the trend may continue when he rides Life Goes On for Clinton Binda in the ninth race. The stable is in form and the former Pat Lunn inmate was not beaten far on his first start on the highveld.


1st Race: (6) Buck’s Fizz (3) Portrayal (1) Lazy Guy (9) San Quintin

2nd Race: (4) Sentbydestiny (2) Silver Tycoon (6) Safe Passage (1) Wolffs World

3rd Race: (3) Coral Dawn (2) Eastern Belle (4) Beltway (7) Amicus Curiae

4th Race: (2) Understated (6) Zaviah (1) Lyntys Legacy (3) Royal Tiger

5th Race: (4) Cap Estel (7) Zazu (3) Intercity (1) Arizona Lady

6th Race: (8) Herstel (3) Full Velocity (5) Big Burn (7) Laetitia’s Angel

7th Race: (7) Visiway (6) Vaseem (2) Puerto Manzini (4) Willow Express

8th Race: (5) Sound Of Summer (1) Second Base (2) Golden Pheasant (3) Green Haze

9th Race: (9) Life Goes On (3) Roxara (1) Aurora Light (2) Love Lies


Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.