ALL AT ONCE
Jack Milner: All At Once and Mighty High will clash again in the Listed Swallow Stakes over 1160m at Turffontein on Saturday and, as they meet on the same weight differential, one is not expecting too much to change.
They last squared up on 15 December in an Assessment Plate for three-year-old fillies over this course and distance and it was All At Once who came out on tops by 0.75 lengths.
There was 6kg separating them then and there will be 6kg them separating again. That does appear to give Lucky Houdalakis-trained All At Once the edge again as there were no obvious excuses from Mighty High. However, it could get a lot closer this time.
What could be in Mighty High’s favour is that in her last start Johan Janse van Vuuren’s charge was coming back from a short break and might just have needed the outing. Having said that, she had previously come back from even a longer layoff and won – but there might not have been as a good a performer as All At Once in that field.
Mighty High is a Grade 1 winner, having claimed the title in the Allan Robertson Championship at Scottsville in May last year.
There is a change of jockey on both, but that is unlikely to make any major difference. Gavin Lerena takes over from equally gifted Weichong Marwing while All At Once will have Craig Zackey up rather than Karl Zechner. Zackey has ridden All At Once before, in her penultimate run in which she finished second behind Mardi Gras.
They should fight it out as Sean Tarry-trained Cordillera is talented but appears to need further, while Three Stars, from the same yard ,appears better over 1000m at this stage of her career.
However, it is worth noting that Lyle Hewitson, who is no longer be an apprentice, is aboard Three Stars and the champion jockey may well be on the stable’s elect.
The one runner whose form did receive a boost after racing at the Vaal on Tuesday was Vida Es Bella. On debut, Lady Lexington finished 4.35 lengths behind Vida Es Bella, who is also trained by Tarry. At the Vaal, Lady Lexington came out and thrashed her field by four lengths.
Apprentice Dennis Schwarz will put up 0.5kg overweight but she will still carry just 52.5kg.
She could certainly live up to her name – translated from the Spanish to mean “life is beautiful” – if she goes off at a big price and wins this event.