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Neither Paul Peter nor Sean Tarry will have enjoyed watching the fare from Kenilworth last Saturday. Justin Snaith’s stable won all three graded races and this took him to the top of the national trainers log.

Peter and Tarry have had many head-to-head clashes in recent years and Saturday’s Swallow Stakes at Turffontein is no exception with the former represented by Big Burn and the latter by Under Your Spell.

Big Burn’s record of four wins from seven starts is testimony of the ability of this daughter of Elusive Fort (also the sire of Kommetdieding) and Warren Kennedy will be eager to avenge her defeat at the hands of Tarry-trained Sound Of Warning in the Magnolia Handicap in November.

After Sound Of Warning’s nightmare in the Sceptre Stakes in which she was declared a non-runner after being impeded by a handler at the start, Tarry may feel he is due a change of luck.

Under Your Spell — a daughter of Capetown Noir bred at Summerhill Stud — may well provide it as the filly looks to have only Big Burn to beat to register her sixth win.

Peter has backup in Freed From Desire who has done her connections proud with four wins in her past five starts. She is a daughter of Jackson who now stands at Nigel Riley’s Heversham Park Farm in Gauteng.

Supreme Quest has recouped nearly five times her purchase price and should earn another cheque, but it is Big Burn who gets the nod to take the R93,750 winner’s cheque.

The participation of War Of Athena in the fourth race is a fillip for this mid-January meeting and the four-year-old will be at cramped odds to register the 12th win of her career.

Tarry’s five-year-old Ikigai landed the Xmas Handicap for the Hollywood Syndicate and may chase home Paul Matchett’s star. Sentbydestiny returns from a 15-week break and may need the run, but Mardi Gras has place prospects after a good run in the Grand Heritage Handicap.

It has been reported that War Of Athena may be flown to the Cape for the Met on January 29. She is an 18-1 chance in Lance Michael’s betting on the big race and is sure to shorten if she shows Saturday’s rivals a clean pair of heels.

Two three-year-olds from Mike de Kock’s yard, Ablaan and Cleaver Greene, will shed some light on their future prospects when they contest the fifth and eighth races respectively.

Ablaan, a son of Silvano, has won his two starts in good style and is likely to be well backed to complete a hat-trick. However, it might not be plain sailing against War Of Athena’s stablemate Look Yourself and the year older Zanetto.

Though Zanetto has not run since September, Peter told Winning Form that his Silvano filly (a R500,000 buy as a yearling) is “working well and must be included”.

Rafeef’s progeny look sure to be popular at the CTS Premier Yearling Sale scheduled for February 6 and one of his sons, Cleaver Greene, looks to maintain his 100% record by winning the eighth race.

There was certainly a lot to like about the colt’s debut win and — given a merit-rating of 82 — it will be interesting to see how he fares against more experienced opponents such as Spanish Boy and Grappler.

One runner who could fully extend the De Kock inmate is Ultra Quick with Keagan De Melo booked to ride Johan Janse van Vuuren’s three-year-old for the first time.


1st Race: (1) Miss Otis (7) Dhanteras (2) Elusive Rocket (9) Mon Tresor

2nd Race: (5) William Robertson (1) Majestic Mozart (4) Indlamu (2) Pack Leader

3rd Race: (12) Positive Attitude (11) Montmerency (9) Dawn Mission (2) With Pleasure

4th Race: (3) War Of Athena (6) Ikigai (10) Sentbydestiny (2) MK’s Pride

5th Race: (1) Ablaan (2) Look Yourself (9) Zanetto (5) Emerald Princess

6th Race: (10) Sweet Future (3) Eden Roc (7) Celestial Love (2) Battle Force

7th Race: (2) Big Burn (1) Under Your Spell (3) Freed From Desire (4) Supreme Quest

8th Race: (7) Cleaver Greene (2) Ultra Quick (5) Spanish Boy (3) Grappler

9th Race: (8) Zeus (4) Juan Carlos (7) Zuzan (3) Twin Turbo


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