MIKE DE KOCK
Jack Milner: Mike de Kock has thrown filly Tallinn into the deep-end on Saturday when she lines up in a MR 91 Handicap for three-year-olds over 1450m on the Turffontein Inside track.
He could have gone an easier route and let her run in Race 2, which is a MR 99 Handicap for three-year-old fillies over the same trip but he has allowed her to take on the boys instead.
This daughter of Vercingetorix has not put a foot wrong. She has run twice and won both her starts and has the advantage of the two wins coming at this Turffontein course.
The concern is that in both cases she did not take on the strongest of fields.
In her maiden victory she beat Orchid Street by 1.75 and that runner-up looked like earning the title of a perennial maiden until trainer Weiho Marwing took her to Greyville to end her run of places.
Tallinn’s next start was over this 1450m and she got the better of Kapama, who is the ultimate hard-knocker, by a length. The fact she has a merit rating of only 86, indicates the handicappers were not over-impressed either but then again, a horse can do no more than win and she was never in any danger of losing either of those races.
This race will expose how good she really is and as she will be jumping from No 3 draw she is likely to use her good gate speed and sit up with the pace. Callan Murray gets the ride again.
Her main threat could come from Stormy Winter, who won a good race on debut for the Dave Nieuwenhuizen stable. They had quite a nice coup on this Soft Falling Rain gelding who was backed in from 13-2 to go off at around 2-1.
He raced greenly but still got up to beat Cairon by 0.50 lengths. A winner has come from that form line to back it up and he has the advantage of jumping from No 2 draw. S’manga Khumalo takes the ride.
Sean Tarry has some very decent stock and Ballon D’Or must come into contention. He won his only start and there must be more room for improvement, especially as the runner-up, Bouncing Tigger, came out and franked the form last Saturday.
He was drawn No 10 on this course when he won last time so there is no reason why he can’t repeat the performance from the same draw on this occasion. Raymond Danielson takes the ride.
Illusion won on debut as well and was supported to repeat the feat last Saturday. Unfortunately, he lost ground at the start, hit the front in the straight and was run out of it late, finishing a 0.80-length third behind Hertog. This time Warren Kennedy replaces 4kg claimer Cole Dicken so while he might not get the allowance, there will be experience in the irons.
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