Jack Milner: A group of very decent three-year-olds were in action at Turffontein on Saturday but it was the fillies who caught the eye.
Two of them, in particular, stamped themselves near the top of the pile and we are in for some interesting racing later in the season when it comes to the Classic races.
Race 2 was a MR 99 Handicap for three-year-old fillies and it was Gary Alexander-trained Mount Laurel who kept her unbeaten record intact and notched up her third victory with ease.
Readers of Muzi Yeni’s column in Saturday morning’s Form Focus would have seen he made this the bet of the day, insisting she was still way ahead of the handicapper.
She delivered the goods with ease, beating Seven Seas by 2.75 lengths with Flying High another 1.25 lengths back in third. “She is a very nice filly,” Alexander admitted, however, the concern was that the race was run at a crawl.
That certainly did not suit favourite Risk Taker who was pulling like crazy early on and it was no doubt a disappointing showing from the Mike de Kock-trained daughter of Frankel who went off favourite at 2-1.
A horse can do no more than win though and Mount Laurel did so emphatically.
This daughter of Vercingetorix was well supported to go off at 17-10 and in this race, a MR 91 Handicap for three-year-olds, she took on the boys. Carrying 57.5kg, 4kg more than Mount Laurel, De Kock’s charge won in 83.52sec and did so by 3.25 lengths.
Unfortunately, the form behind her might not turn out to be all that accurate as the horse who officially finished second, Stop For Nothing, took his name literally and hung out on to Steak And Ale, that started a chain reaction which saw every horse barring last-placed Mr Hugo, suffering various degrees of interference.
The stipendiary stewards lodged an objection and it did not take them long to change the result, moving Steak And Ale up to second place and relegating Stop For Nothing to third.
Considering Tallinn did not beat much in her first two wins, she certainly stamped her authority on this race in no uncertain terms.
“She’s very good, we were very confident she would win today,” said jockey Callan Murray.
One would imagine that a shot at the Grade 1 Cape Fillies Guineas could very well be on her agenda.