Weekend Post (South Africa)
Massive Pick 6 on Guineas Day
DO not miss today’s bumper 12-event meeting at Turffontein where the highlight is the running of the R1-million Betting World Gauteng Guineas (Grade 2) as well as the R500 000 Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas (Grade 2) and the R400 000 Hawaii Stakes (Grade 2).
There are also two other feature races on the card. And added to the mix is a Pick 6 Carryover of R800 000 which is expected to reach R3,7 million, as well as a Jackpot Carryover of R74 497 which is expected to reach R750 000. Pick 6 betting closes at the start of Race 4 (1340) and Jackpot betting closes at the start of Race 5 (1415).
The Guineas sees nine three-year-olds vying for top honours in Leg 1 of the SA Triple Crown and the one who makes most appeal in the 1 600m contest is Sean Tarry-trained Al Sahem with top-flight Anthony Delpech aboard.
The Silvano colt is unbeaten in two starts, both over 1 600m at this course. Backed on debut with top apprentice Lyle Hewitson up, the colt quickened readily and scored by an increasing 4,5 lengths. Heavily backed next time and ridden by S’manga Khumalo on yielding ground, the colt again put in his best work late and won convincingly by 2,75 lengths. The classy colt looks on target for a course and distance hat-trick.
Al Sahem has most to fear in his stablemate Matador Man (Hewitson) who has not been out of the money in his five outings in spite of losing considerable ground at the start on each occasion. The gelding was an easy maiden winner three runs back at the Vaal with Khumalo up and partnered by Hewitson next time the combination scored with similar ease at Turffontein in the 1 400m Secretariat Stakes. Khumalo had the ride in the gelding’s subsequent outing when coming from last to finish a 0,6-length second in the 1 450m Tony Ruffel Stakes (Grade 3) at Turffontein. A bad start again is likely to cost him victory.
Expect a challenge from Mike de Kock-trained threetime winner Janoobi (Piere Strydom). The combination struck three runs back with a clear-cut win in a 1 600m MR 91 Handicap at Turffontein. Strydom was aboard again in the colt’s subsequent two outings when fifth in the 1 600m Investec Dingaans (Grade 2) at Turffontein, and then fourth in the 1 600m CTS Mile at Kenilworth. The free-striding colt could be in the final call again.
Not to be ruled out after one unplaced run in the Grand Parade Cape Guineas (Grade 1) at Kenilworth is De Kock-trained two-time winner Heavenly Blue (Callan Murray). The Australianbred colt’s previous two runs when second in both the Graham Beck Stakes and the Dingaans at Turffontein brings him right into contention.
In with claims for a minor share of the prize-money are Doosra, Furiosa and Unagi.