Hat Putano makes SA debut
THE highest rated race on Turffontein Inside track’s nine race meeting tomorrow is a Pinnacle Stakes event over 1 450m in which the imported Hat Putano makes his long awaited South African debut.
This Argentinian-bred is weighted to win the race and is inbeaten in three starts on turf, including a 16 length maiden win over 1 400m and two Grade 1 wins over a mile.
However, he has not run for over a year.
Amazing Strike is thus chosen to win the race as the third best weighted horse who has had a recent run and is fairly well drawn here over a suitable trip.
The second best in at the weights is Irish Pride.
He is classy and might well appreciate the step down to 1400m, although his two below par runs over 1600m at Greyville are a concern.
Count Tassilo is ideally distance suited and has proved in his last couple of runs he can come from off the pace, so his wide draw is not a major concern.
Shukamisa has been in good form and is another who could be staying on strongly, although he likes to be handy so his number ten draw is tricky.
Tandava won a good race over 1400m on the Standside during the week and has to carry 1,5kg more than carded here, but he has twice upset the applecart since arriving from Zimbabwe.
Romany Prince and Cashin from the Ormond Ferraris yard are both capable of going close here, but this looks likely to be a pipe opener for the season.
Donny G has a lot of pace, so the wide draw is not ideal, but he has won over this trip before and the current fast ground will suit him.
Toro Rosso has his third run after a year long layoff and is drawn in pole over a suitable trip, but he has made breathing noises in both of his moderate comeback efforts.
The selection is Amazing Strike to beat Count Tassilo with Hat Puntano, Shukamisa and Tandava next best. The first race sees the reappearance of a potential classic contender in Captain My Captain, who caught the eye on Sun Met day running with long strides from an impossible draw over 1 200m.
The form of that race has turned out to be very strong and he should enjoy this trip as his second dam is a half-sister to a Kentucky Oaks winner.
The hard knocking Serendipity should get it right in the second race with not a lot to beat and Piere Strydom significantly keeping the ride.
The next two races are staying events which are often tricky affairs.
Graf Spree and Save The Rhino are the obvious picks but it might pay to go as wide as possible.
In the fifth Tundra Taita is well regarded and Lucky Houdalakis horses often come on slowly but surely, so she can follow up on her maiden win.
Anthony Delpech has significantly kept the ride.
In the sixth race Silver Thursday is likely to be all the rage, but it has been seen time and time again that young three-year-olds, no matter how good they are destined to become, battle to win handicaps in the early season off high merit ratings and hers is up at 89.
The preferences for the bipot are My Friend Lee and Pool Party who are both distance suited and decent types.
The eighth is one of the trickiest races on the card, but presents a good opportunity for King And Empire, who has won twice over the 1450m course and distance and is well drawn off a competitive merit rating.
However, Ali Bon Dubai has his first run out of the maidens in the last race, but although he took nine races to win his maiden he has struck as a fair sort and can follow up off a mere 63 merit rating.