Muzi Yeni: As I continued to rack up the voyager miles around the country this past week, I managed to pick up the ride on Golden Ducat, the half-brother to both Rainbow Bridge and Hawwaam, at Kenilworth last Wednesday.
Like Rainbow Bridge, Golden Ducat is under the care of top conditioner Eric Sands.
That debut over 1200m was extremely impressive as he lost ground at the start and suffered interference late in the race.
Despite all of that he still managed to finish third behind Baltimore Jack in Race 1, beaten just 0.95 lengths.
He will benefit from that run and my early prediction is that he has a bright future and like his two talented half-brothers, could be headed for the top divisions.
No features at Turffontein today, where we race on the Standside course. Race 1 is a Workriders Maiden Plate over 1000m and it looks an open contest with some strong-form candidates.
Single Red Rose showed pace when touched off late on her promising debut over this trip on the inside course last month. Clock Stopper was just 0.60 lengths adrift of the top selection when she made her debut in the same event and she progressed smartly to easily beat Madame Patrice (a close second subsequently) when beaten 0.50 lengths next time.
Exultant has had her fair share of chances and though safely held by the latter pairing, is worth considering for Quartets.
Take boxed Swingers/Trifectas with Single Red Rose, Clock Stopper and Madame Patrice.
Race 2 is a MR 72 Handicap over 2000m and my ride, Kurt’s Approval, found plenty to win a similar contest over this trip recently and although runner-up So Long Spring disappointed subsequently, I feel that he could enjoy the run of the race to defy the 2.5kg penalty.
I was very sad to learn yesterday about the passing of trainer Brian Wiid and I would love to win this race in his honour.
Gold Griffin was impressive when he beat a fair field over further on handicap debut recently but he meets stronger and is 3kgs worse off with Tough Choice for a neck defeat. Port Key is an unknown from the Mike de Kock yard, having shown courage to narrowly win his maiden second time out despite returning from a long absence. His pedigree suggests he will enjoy the extra ground and has obvious improvement to come.
Take swingers with Kurt’s Approval and Tough Choice.
Race 3, a Maiden Plate over 1000m, is an interesting contest and all eyes will be on the betting market regarding the newcomers. Ikigai is a chestnut son of Vercingetorix from the powerful Sean Tarry yard while trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren has the Oratorio filly Orchid Express. Also, watch out for Ashley Fortune-trained Captain Of All gelding Captain Hindsight.
The pick of the raced runners are Touch Of Fate and Dancing Flame, with a slight preference for the latter who may have just needed her comeback run. The former is a serial slow starter but tried hard when going down narrowly recently. Ikigai, Dancing Flame and Touch Of Fate should get you through the first leg of the Place Accumulator.
Race 4, another Maiden Plate over 1000m, is another open contest where the first-timers don’t have to be special to grab the honours.
The betting market should be watched with regards to Tigermil, Leopold and Vicar’s Delight. Endangered gets the nod from the raced runners after his improved last run where he easily accounted for Pure Wisdom. His latest formline has worked out. The latter is definitely better over this trip though and merits healthy respect. Endangered and Pure Wisdom should suffice for PA and Pick 6.
Race 5 is a Maiden Plate over 2400m and is a competitive stayers’ maiden. Although I like my horse, In For A Penny, over this ground, I’m wary of Poppycock who caught my eye with an impressive comeback run over this course and distance. He will be fitter.
Maroon Bells dead heated with my ride for second last month and is another worthy inclusion along with Grey Street who represents an in-form yard.
Go with In For A Penny and Poppycock for the PA but add in Maroon Bells and Grey Street into the Pick 6.
Race 6 is a MR 76 Handicap over 2000m. My ride, Jacko Boy, beat subsequent winner Angelic Appeal, now 1.5kg better off, Always Red, 3.5kg to the good, Emerald Bay, 4.5kg better off, and a host of others impressively over this trip a month ago and can defy the resultant 3kg penalty.
Banker Jacko Boy in the PA and even in the Pick 6, but if you are worried about him then the horses to go with as back-up are Always Red, Emerald Bay and Dancewithadragon.
Race 7 is Pinnacle Stakes over 1400m and there are some quality sorts in this event. Judging by the display of Spiritofthegroove in open company in last week’s feature, I’m going to side with the smart lightweight Mawsool. I have healthy respect.
Schippers is best weighted but has achieved that huge rating over sprints. She should handle the extra distance. Anneka is better than her recent form and she meets Vistula on 6kg better terms for a two-length defeat.
My ride Twelve Oaks is up in class but is an honest type who won’t be disgraced.
Go with Schippers and Mawsool for the PA but add Anneka into the Pick 6.
Race 8 is a MR 80 Handicap over 1160m. My mount, Strikeitlikeamatch, showed smart improvement in his second local start which was over 1000 and I expect more from him over the extra. Top-weight Fired Up has quality about him and he races fresh for an in-form combination.
Put Fired Up and Strikeitlikeamatch into PA and add in Baron Rodney into the Pick 6.
Race 9 is a MR 96 Handicap 1160m and my ride, Old Man Tyme, is a solid campaigner who will be cherry ripe. But this is a strong field. Double ‘O’ Eight ran a cracker in a feature last week while Topmast will be fitter and merits inclusion along with the likes of Premier Show, American Hustle, Che Bella and Lord Silverio.
However, do not leave State Trooper out of any bets. Mr Magner has done well with this horse and he often flies under the radar.
Go wide in the PA with Topmast, Old Man Tyme, State Trooper, Premier Show and Double ‘O’ Eight. For Pick 6 add in Lord Silverio, American Hustle and Che Bella.
NO 2 JACKO BOY
NO 6 STATE TROOPER