Nicci Garner: Some really promising three-year-old fillies will be out to earn black type and enhance their paddock value in the R150,000 Swallow Stakes (Listed) over 1160m at the Turffontein Standside track on Saturday.
Quite a few of the 16 runners seem to have the ability to win a race in which weights are based on number of wins.
Best weighted according to merit ratings – by a whopping 10 points (2.50 lengths) – is Stanley Ferreira-trained Winter’s Forge. A do-or-die maiden winner on debut, she then showed masses of class in the Fillies Nursery in May, finishing second to Green Plains. With two subsequent winners and a number of places from horses who finished behind her, that’s top form. She cannot be left out of anything. However, she has not been seen out since and quite a few other horses have shown talent since that date.
One of them is the Sean Tarry-trained London Secret, who beat No More Words and Takingthepeace on debut but then ran a disappointing race behind the third-placed runner next time. She was then sent to Durban for the Golden Slipper over 1400m, a distance perhaps too far at that stage, and finished 2.15 lengths behind stablemate Desert Rhythm. She, too, returns from a rest, but if anywhere near best will give a good account of herself.
Takingthepeace, who hails from the in-form Mike de Kock stable, is 5kg worse off with London Secret but has an edge in that she has already had two runs this season, beating Varsity Princess over 1000m before a third behind Big Bear in the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Stakes on Charity Mile Day. She has never finished unplaced and will make life difficult for the top two.
De Kock has two other runners in the race, Onamission and Jazaalah, with preference for the latter, whose record is not far off flawless with a win and three seconds from as many starts. She races beyond 1000m for the first time.
Alec Laird-trained Tamarina has only had one run to date and the form of her 1200m win over Kitty Coo has worked out. It’s early days but ignore her at your peril.