Ken Nicol: The weight-for-age Jonsson Workwear Garden Province over 1600m gives the fillies their own Grade 1 contest on Vodacom July day.
It’s always a highlight of the day for the racing purist and as usual the potential winner should come from among the highest rated fillies.
Candice Bass-Robinson’s Santa Clara would be a marginal first selection.
She was ultra-impressive when winning the Grade 2 KZN Fillies Guineas over course and distance and it can now be accepted that she doesn’t get 2000m after her Woolavington flop.
She is drawn wide again, but possesses the early toe to assume a handy position and if she kicks at the top of the straight like she did in the Guineas, she will take a lot of catching.
Fellow three-year-old Front And Centre is a major danger. She has finished strongly from well off the pace in both Greyville outings and will likely have to do so again from an outside gate.
She will be closing late, but may have well be left too much to do again and Greyville seems unlikely to ever be her favourite track.
Equus Horse-Of-The-Year Oh Susanna is rated to win and is likely to get a soft lead from an inside draw.
That should add up to a winning package, but she earned her rating over further and interestingly has been defeated in all three previous runs over this trip.
She won the Grade 2 Tibouchina over 1400m here last time, but that was against far weaker and she may well be found out late by her gifted younger compatriots this time around.
Snowdance hasn’t quite fulfilled her early potential and jumps from the widest draw. She has the gate speed to negate that, but hasn’t been finding a finish in recent runs over the 1600m. She seems destined for a minor place at best.
Celtic Sea was a fluent winner of the Grade 1 SA Fillies Sprint, beating Snowdance, but has never really fired over this trip, which deflates any real enthusiasm.
The rest have a lot of improving to do.
Selection: 1 Santa Clara 2 Front And Centre 3 Oh Susanna 4 Snowdance
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