The Turffontein meeting on Saturday is headed by the Syringa Handicap, a listed event over 1600 metres for fillies and mares, and there are plenty of other interesting races on the nine race card.
S'manga Khumalo, picture Nkosi Hlophe
In the Syringa, the beautifully-bred Sean Tarry-trained Simply Royal led from start to finish over 1500m last time to win by 3.5 lengths and make it two wins and one unlucky loss from three career starts. However, the handicapper believes she still has a bit to prove as she was given a seven point raise as opposed to the maximum eight. She looks classy and has a good draw.
She might face a threat from the Mike de Kock trained Al Hawraa, who had no luck in her last start. When it did pan out well for her in the Gr 2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas she ran on strongly for a 2.6 length second and was a touch unlucky as she became cramped for room halfway down the straight. She has to give Simply Royal 4kg tomorrow and has a tough draw, but she does strike as one with scope for further improvement.
Banking April has proved consistent over 1800m, but as a handy type who stays on resolutely her plum draw of two coupled with the nature of the Inside Track will play into hands even over this shorter trip as she will not be easy to overtake in the dash for home from the elbow. Last year’s Gauteng Fillies Guineas winner Heaps Of Fun has landed a good draw of three and has dropped to an attractive merit rating, but Tarry’s first call rider S’Manga Khumalo will be aboard Simply Royal.
Shatoosh has always struck as one with some class and is 3.5kg better off with Simply Royal for a 4.6 length beating. Span Die Seile won well last time over this trip and has snuck into the handicap with the minimum weight. She looks to have scope for further improvement and has a fair draw.
The best bet of the day comes in the last race, a MR 71 handicap for fillies and mares over 1200m. The Louis Goosen-trained Shwanky has good pace and a good turn of foot and strikes as one who is yet to show her best. Off a reasonable merit rating and from a good draw she could prove hard to beat.
The value bet of the day comes in race eight, a MR 90 handicap for fillies and mares over 1200 metres. She’s A Dragon drops from a sustained feature race campaign into an ordinary handicap off a merit rating which has dropped eleven points since the beginning of the season. Over an ideal trip and from a good draw she could mow them down late.
Santiburi is also an interesting runner in this race as she has often over raced in 1400m and 1600m races and her stride seems to shorten in the closing stages. She could well be looking for this drop to a sprint distance. She has a tricky draw but has shown class before and her 84 merit rating is quite attractive.
Purple Diamond will likely be all the rage in the first leg of the PA but is not a certainty to enjoy the step up in trip, so the robust Skiminac could be worth including in exotics as he will relish the step up in trip, is drawn in pole and looks to have plenty of scope.
In the first leg of the Pick 6 Suprise Move has shown signs of class but was given a break after swishing her tail continuously in her second start over 1400m in January. She returns with blinkers on over a step up in trip she will relish on pedigree. Miss Bulsara, a full sister to the Graded winner Bulsara, will be improving being by Silvano and after running on well over 1400m last time will relish this step up in trip.
In the first leg of the Jackpot over 2600m Silken is yet another progressive four-year-old by Silvano. She is a proven stayer and is best in at the weights, so will be hard to beat if producing her best.
The sixth is a Pinnacle Stakes event over 1600 metres and the classy miler Romany Prince is presented with a good opportunity. He is the best weighted male runner here and this is an ideal course and distance. The filly Witchcraft is the best weighted contestant but has not raced for nearly a year and prefers further. The Elmo effect could be an interesting runner as he was a revelation when stepped down from staying trips to 1800m and he is now drawn well over a further step down in trip.
Form for the meeting at Turffontein on Saturday.
The nine race broadcast commences at 8.27pm AEST on Sky Racing2 and from 11.45pm AEST on Sky Racing1.
Form includes Racing And Sports complete form service, neurals, worksheet and customised form guide.
Click on the Racingandsports.com.au logo and select race.