Spies run­ners take cen­tre stage

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - SPORT - Post Rac­ing Edi­tor

THREE Listed sprint races, all over 1 000m, top the card at Turf­fontein to­day and all look ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive.

The Storm Bird Stakes is for two-year-olds while the Ruf­fian Stakes is specif­i­cally for two-year-old fil­lies. Nev­er­the­less, a num­ber of train­ers have opted to run their fil­lies against the colts in the Storm Bird Stakes and that brings them in with an added ad­van­tage of a sex al­lowance.

Trainer Corne Spies al­ways has a good record with ju­ve­niles and he sad­dles five of the 13 run­ners. Most of these horses are lightly raced and any of them could show mas­sive im­prove­ment. The field also con­tains three well-bred un­raced run­ners and any of them could turn out to be de­cent.

How­ever, based on times, the run­ner they may all have to beat is Mazari, a two-time win­ner from four runs. She is one of two fil­lies from the Spies yard and will be rid­den by reg­u­lar jockey Craig Zackey. She also ap­pears to be a 1 000m spe­cial­ist which is also in her favour.

The main threat could come from Wil­liam The Silent who won his only start with ease at odds of 15-1. He is also well bred and looks to have good sprint­ing blood. Rob­bie Sage has some de­cent run­ners in his yard and has again en­gaged Gunter Wro­ge­mann, who won on him last time, for the ride.

The horse he beat that day was Van Halen who is ex­cep­tion­ally speedy and won on de­but by 7,75 lengths over 800m. He is also trained by Spies and showed good pace in his last run but started to hang un­der pres­sure and could not match Wil­liam The Silent in the clos- ing stages. He is 3kg bet­ter off from a 2,80-length beat­ing and should go a lot closer this time, es­pe­cially with An­ton Mar­cus in the irons.

Spies sad­dles three of the nine run­ners in the Ruf­fian Stakes and once again Mar­cus looks to have the best ride. Miss Khal­ifa won on de­but with ease in an ex­cel­lent time and looks likely to fol­low up.

The main threat should come from Frankly, who ran sec­ond on de­but. This daugh­ter of Frankel showed lots of early toe and was only caught late. With the ex­pe­ri­ence un­der her belt she could go one bet­ter this time.

The fi­nal Listed race is the Bauhinia Hand­i­cap for fil­lies and mares and this could go to lightly raced Cov­ered In Snow who is highly rated by her con­nec­tions. She has won three of her four races in­clud­ing the Listed Swal­low Stakes over 1 160m last time.

Pic­ture: JC Pho­to­graph­ics

FAN­CIED . . . Miss Khal­ifa is strongly fan­cied by the sta­ble to win Race 7 at Turf­fontein to­day.

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