Trainer Justin Snaith sends four warrioresses into battle in Saturday’s grade 2 Fillies Championship at Kenilworth and Kailene stands in the way of another feature race victory for the stable.
Maria Querol and Gimme Dat both have outstanding chances and the intriguing question is whether Richard Fourie’s choice of the first-named is the right one.
At first glance, this columnist was going to side with Gimme Dat for the simple reason that the daughter of Gimmethegreenlight beat Maria Querol when they met in February. But the pendulum swung back in favour of Fourie’s mount after Snaith told Winning Form that the Querari filly had done “great galloping coming into this race. Respect.”
Owner Bjorn Nielsen will be disappointed with Stradivarius’s defeat at Ascot last weekend when his talented stayer found trouble in running, but the R450,000 he paid Lammerskraal for Gimme Dat looks money well spent.
While Maria Querol has cracked pole position, jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe will have to overcome a wide berth, yet it is something the veteran rider will have encountered many times in the past.
Kailene is the early 3-1 favourite for this 1,400m event and one man hoping the Glen Kotzen inmate takes top honours is breeder and legal eagle Nigel Riley. He stands the filly’s sire, Jackson, winner of three grade 1 races, at his Heversham Park Stud in Gauteng. Muzi Yeni rides Kailene for the third time and a reproduction of her KwaZulu-Natal form will ensure the Snaith quartet pull out all the stops.
The supporting feature — the grade 3 Cape Classic — is a wide open affair with Candice Bass-Robinson’s colt Trip Of Fortune bidding to complete a four-timer. Drakenstein’s decision to race the Trippi colt themselves looks a shrewd move as his recent defeat of last season’s Cape Guineas winner Russian Rock is strong form.
Brett Crawford’s Master Of My Fate colt Zapatillas can go well particularly as he cast a shoe on his recent outing and Anton Marcus’s mount Universal could be anything after his nine-lengths maiden romp.
The Snaith team saddle three runners with Fourie on Double Superlative and it will be interesting to see how owner Nic Jonsson’s colt fares in his first real test.
There is a nine-race card at Turffontein on Saturday and Gavin Lerena can notch a double for Mike de Kock on Clafoutis (fourth race) and Kingman’s daughter Good Queen Bess in the seventh.
However, it is strange that Lerena has not been engaged to ride any of the nine horses trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren is taking to the city track.
In the second race, the early favourite Leopold was ridden by Lerena last time out but he now switches to Silver Tycoon.
In the third race, Veneta, twice placed under Lerena, will be partnered by Raymond Danielson with the older jockey without a ride.
In the sixth race Ultra Quick, whom Lerena has won on twice, will be ridden by Danielson with Roy Magner putting the 35-year-old up on Barney’s Pride.
In the seventh race, Janse van Vuuren’s talented filly Remember When, twice ridden by Lerena, now gets the services of Danielson with Lerena continuing his association with Good Queen Bess. Presuming she has gone the right way in recent months, the British-bred filly might be a banker bet.
De Kock saddles another choicely bred import in Zoffany’s Girl in the third race with Keagan De Melo making the trip to partner the French-bred filly. She has raced twice in the UK over 2,000m so the market will indicate if she is going to find 1,200m too short.
Sadly, stallion Zoffany, who won five of his 13 races for Aidan O’Brien and the Coolmore partners, had to be euthanised in January this year due to liver failure.
WC FILLIES CHAMPIONSHIP
1. (2) Maria Querol
2. (4) Gimme Dat
3. (1) Kailene
4. (5) Amanzimtoti
1. (2) Trip Of Fortune
2. (3) Zapatillas
3. (5) Universal
4. (9) Double Superlative
Race 1: (1) Wildeye (3) Charge Down (5) Eagle River (7) Supreme Warrior
Race 2: (1) Leopold (3) Silver Tycoon (4) My Master (2) Wester Fort
Race 3: (5) Veneta (4) Zoffany's Girl (1) Caruso (9) Stepintospring
Race 4: (3) Clafoutis (5) Mike's Chick (1) Querari Ferrari (4) Perfect Witness
Race 5: (7) Wisteria Avenue (6) Call Me Master (4) Time Spirit (8) Raiseahallelujah
Race 6: (3) Ultra Quick (2) Bowie (6) Barney's Pride (8) Twice The Act
Race 7: (5) Good Queen Bess (3) Remember When (4) Freed From Desire (7) Toto
Race 8: (3) Alula’s Star (6) End Of Rock (2) Stolen Kiss (1) Singfosusie
Race 9: (9) Sicilian Tiger (10) Outofthedarkness (2) Midnight Caller (5) Raisetheredlantern
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