BUFFALO BILL CODY
Jack Milner: The Highveld Summer Season gets into full throttle on Saturday and one can expect some massive pools at Turffontein, especially the Pick 6, which kicks off with a carryover of R2 million with the pool likely to reach R8 million.
There are two Grade 2 races over 1450m on the Inside track – the Joburg Spring Challenge and the Joburg Spring Fillies and Mares Challenge – and Mike de Kock has brought out one of his best runners to contest the open event – Buffalo Bill Cody.
The former champion trainer rates this Irish-bred son of Redoute’s Choice highly, and while his charge has bigger catches to land, could still be in need of the run and has a wide draw, he should still be too good for this field.
Buffalo Bill Cody finished a 2.90-length fifth behind Sun Met winner Rainbow Bridge in the Grade 1 Champions Cup over 1800m at Greyville in Durban at the end of July. He was not at his best on that day and De Kock felt he would have loved to have one more run with him prior to that Grade 1 race.
A few weeks earlier Buffalo Bill Cody came back from a long layoff to score a very easy 3.25-length over Cirillo but in Durban, Sean Tarry’s charge reversed the form and finished third, 0.75 lengths ahead of De Kock’s charge.
With Gavin Lerena still out of action while he recovers from injury, Callan Murray has stepped in to take the ride. He will face a lot of obstacles but Buffalo Bill Cody is the best-handicapped horse and is at least 1.5kg better weighted than his opposition.
His main threat is likely to come from Infamous Fox, Chimichuri Run and Zouaves who are the next-best handicapped runners and have run well on this track.
The race for fillies and mares looks a lot more open. Cascapedia is back to defend her title and she would be a strong candidate to give the De Kock yard a feature double had it not been for her No 15 draw.
In her favour is that she likes to come from the off them and that will give Murray the opportunity to drop her out and let her run at them.
Preference is for Vistula from the Paul Peter yard who is improving with every run. Her last run, in which she beat Mawsool by 2.25 lengths over 1400m on the Standside track was most impressive, because trainer Paul Peter admitted his charge had not even been on the grass before her comeback run and he was convinced she would need it badly.
Warren Kennedy is back on board and they will have to dealwith No 11 draw.
An interesting runner is three-year-old Sidonie who has only run once, winning by 9.25 lengths over this course and distance. She showed tremendous pace and never looked like being caught and while up in class is drawn No 1 and only has 50kg on her back.
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