Jack Milner: Crown Guardian has been a horse who has promised much but delivered little. Clearly, he had ability but something was holding him back.
Two things have changed for this three-year-old son of Gimmethegreenlight. Firstly, he was gelded at the end of January and secondly, a move up to the Highveld. Last month he made his debut for trainer Barend Botes in an Assessment Plate over 1200m at the Vaal and, backed in to 17-10, romped to a 3.25-length victory over Oravar.
What makes the form line even more pertinent is that the runner-up came out to beat Talktothestars by 1.75 lengths in a MR 95 Handicap over 1000m at the Vaal in his next start.
Crown Guardian is back in action in another Assessment Plate over 1450m on the Inside track at Turffontein on Saturday, and although he carries 4.5kg more, the average merit rating if lower.
The extra distance should be right up his street and Muzi Yeni will be delighted that he has landed No 1 draw, so vital over this course and distance.
However, it will not be a “gimme” as there are a number of decent runners to oppose him in this line-up. There was a lot to like about Arabian Air’s first Highveld run when he was caught in the dying strides by Lake Kinneret in a MR 84 Handicap over this course and distance. Joey Ramsden’s charge went down a short head but that run should have brought him on nicely and with 57kg on his back and S’manga Khumalo up, this Silvano gelding needs to be included in all bets.
The same can be said of Flash Burn, who led all the way over 1600m at the Vaal to beat Apache Too by 0.60 lengths. The runner-up came out and won at Turffontein on Saturday to frank the form.
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