Jack Milner: Based on the manner in which Illegal is programmed to run, this filly must have her problems but she has also been imbued with a wealth of talent.
For the first time in many months, Candice Dawson’s charge will be having two consecutive runs without a break in between when she lines up in a MR 84 Handicap for fillies and mares on the Vaal Classic track on Thursday.
Dawson clearly had belief in her ability as last year she took this daughter of Sail From Seattle to Durban to contest the Grade 1 Thekwini Stakes for two-year-old fillies over 1600m at Greyville. She finished one from last behind Lady In Black but bled during the race and received the usual three-month suspension.
She has raced three times since, firstly finishing unplaced in December behind Covered In Snow who went on to win a feature race, then a 0.40-length second behind Kissable over 1000m in February, and finally on 29 July where she ran in a strongly contested Pinnacle Stakes where she ran 6.20 lengths behind Clever Guy.
The fact Dawson has entered her for this race indicates everything went well in her last race and hopefully she can get back to her role of winning races again.
That last run may look a bit iffy but that was a decent field where she took on the boys and was clearly in need of the run. She is top weight against fillies in this event and the fact Dawson has engaged Raymond Danielson to take the ride might indicate she is expecting a better performance from the four-year-old.
Celestina has come back from her rest in top form and there was a lot to like about the manner in which Sean Tarry’s charge won her last start over 1160m at Turffontein. She showed a lot of pace in that event so there is no reason to worry that she could find this a bit sharp.
An interesting feature is that she also ran in the same race as Illegal behind Kissable and Celestina was beaten 2.60 lengths. They meet at the same weight differential so on paper Illegal has the edge.
However, whether that form line is still meaningful considering the way the two fillies have come on since then, only the race will tell. S’manga Khumalo takes the ride.
Lady Of The World is very speedy and she comes off two consecutive wins. The tracks are very fast at the moment and that could well work in her favour. Regular jockey Marco van Rensburg is back in the irons after Sherman Brown was aboard last time.
VALUE. Illegal has been priced up at 7-1 but she had loads of talent and could be the filly to beat in Race 6 on the Vaal Classic track over 1000m tomorrow.