Picture: JEFF GRIFFITH/UNSPLASH
Picture: JEFF GRIFFITH/UNSPLASH

There is a surprise name among the 10-strong field for the topliner at Turffontein on Saturday — Matterhorn, last seen out in the Vodacom Durban July, represents the KwaZulu-Natal stable of Alyson Wright.

A five-year-old son of Marchfield, Matterhorn has won four of his 11 races but it is a watching brief for the gelding this weekend as it is a prep run for the Summer Cup and the distance of 1,600m will be too short.

Wright, who saddled 38 winners last season from 331 runners, said that Matterhorn has been on the highveld for two months in the care of another woman trainer, Candice Dawson.

“The altitude when going that far [in the Summer Cup] is always an issue so the decision was taken to send Matterhorn to Candice and she’s happy with his progress,” said Wright.

Regarding the gelding’s unplaced run behind Kommetdieding in the July, Wright commented: “On reflection — with his shocking draw — we should rather have gone for the Consolation race but I think the Turffontein track will suit him.”

The horse to be with in Saturday’s fifth race at the city track is Sean Tarry’s four-year-old Indlamu. This Riverton Stud-bred son of Pomodoro was last seen in action in the 1,600m Darley Arabian on Gold Cup day at Greyville.

Bidding for the fourth win of his career, the Chris van Niekerk-owned colt finished a close-up fourth (beaten by less than a length) by Glen Kotzen’s runner Cat Daddy.

Muzi Yeni was in the saddle on Cat Daddy and his mount on Saturday — Dawson’s four-year-old Stone Cold — rates an each-way chance with his low weight of 52kg. Yeni knows him well as this is the seventh time he has partnered the son of Soft Falling Rain.

On Saturday, Paul Peter runs his useful performer Dr Doolittle but Warren Kennedy’s mount has 62kg on his back and may battle to give 5kg to Indlamu.

With 118 winners from just 667 mounts, Gavin Lerena had an excellent strike-rate last season and he should be among the winners for trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren.

Presuming that he has the choice of the stable runners, Lerena has made interesting choices in the third and fourth races.

In the first leg of the place accumulator, he prefers Ultra Quick to stablemate Tuscan Winter and it could not have been an easy call as both are speedy sorts. A son of Querari, Ultra Quick has raced just four times for a win and three placings and — being a year younger than Tuscan Winter — probably has more scope for improvement.

In the fourth race Lerena will partner Run April Run rather than William Longsword’s daughter Remember When, who has looked a smart individual in her two outings.

Is Lerena on the wrong filly here? Merit-ratings suggest so as Remember When has a 12-point higher rating than Run April Run and also gets 1.5kg from her stablemate.

Alec Laird’s three-year-old Eagle Strike looked like a horse with a future when winning his second start and the son of Rafeef makes his handicap debut in the eighth race. S’manga Khumalo rides the colt for the first time.

An interested party in this race will be Vaal trainer Phillip Labuschagne, who bought Eagle Strike’s half-sister (by Mambo In Seattle) for R60,000 from Clifton Stud at last month’s August Two-Year-Old Sale.

SELECTIONS

Turffontein, Thursday

1st Race: No selection

2nd Race: (6) Sonnenstrahl (1) Maraca Ginger (7) French Joy (5) Outofthedarkness

3rd Race: (9) Miss US (3) Serena Slam (2) Pick A Lily (1) Caruso

4th Race: (4) About To Storm (5) Magnum P I (3) Flashy Apache (9) Golden Aspen

5th Race: (1) Two Fools Collide (4) Lady Fair (2) Bold Decision (3) Oceans Pride

6th Race: (6) Scottadito (1) Bureau Des Legende (2) Stay The Course (4) Lyntys Legacy

7th Race: (7 (Masaaken (2) Travelling Wilbury (5) Princess Kesh (3) Rock You

8th Race: (5) Dark Travel (2) Fasinada 4) Crusade To Royalty (7) Lilliana

9th Race: (4) Princess Sabrina (7) Princess Queen (9) Miss Costa Rica (8) Country Mile

Turffontein (Saturday)

1st Race: (4) Fort Snow (1) Lion Of The Desert (2) Alabaster (6) Count Pablo

2nd Race: (7) Verolina (3) Amicus Curiac (2) Lydia's Prosper (5) Star Aglow

3rd Race: (5) Ultra Quick (1) Tuscan Winter (3) Team Gold (2) Purple Panther

4th Race: (3) Run April Run (6) Remember When (1) Freed From Desire (7) Warship

5th Race: (5) Indlamu (10) Stone Cold (1) Dr Doolittlle (3) Matterhorn

6th Race: (1) City By The Sea (7) Florida Key (3) Let's Talk (6) Master Of Law

7th Race: (6) Super Excited (8) Prince Of Fire (4) Grappler (2) Bowie

8th Race: (4) Eagle Strike (7) Successful Ruler (1) Super Agra (2) Quantum King

9th Race: (8) Life Goes On (1) Love Lies (4) Voltron (6) Corvette Captain

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