Jack Milner: Three Listed sprint races, all over 1000m, top the card at Turffontein on Saturday and all look extremely competitive.
The Storm Bird Stakes is for two-year-olds while the Ruffian Stakes is specifically fo 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 for 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 1000m 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 closing 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