Jack Milner: The scratching of Shango from Saturday’s R1-million Gauteng Guineas over 1600m may have just paved the way for stable companion Ikigai to notch up his first feature victory.
Dingaans winner Shango was withdrawn yesterday afternoon from the Grade 2 race due to an elevated temperature.
Sean Tarry still has two decent runners in Eden Roc and Ikigai.
While Eden Roc has won a Grade 1 race over 1200m at Scottsville and a 1400m Grade 2 event at Greyville, there has to be a question mark over his ability to stay 1600m, especially in top company.
Ikigai is clearly a talented runner but he is untested. He has run five times for three wins and two very close seconds, but he has not yet won over 1600m. On breeding, however, that should not be a problem. A son of Vercingetorix, who won the Grade 1 Daily News over 2000m, Ikigai could still go further, and on that basis could be a contender for the SA Triple Crown.
To claim the R2-million bonus a three-year-old must win the Guineas, the Grade 1 SA Classic over 1800m and the Grade 1 SA Derby over 2450m. Apprentice Luke Ferraris gets the ride.
Another unknown is Youcanthurrylove. This son of Gimmethegreenlight has done little wrong in his seven runs with four wins and two places. His first two wins were over 1600m and his last two over 1800m. There is a possibility he could find this 1600m a touch short at this level and could be better over the longer distances. It would be quite a feat for young trainer Fabian Habib if he could win a race of this nature. S’manga Khumalo rides.
Frosted Gold won the Grade 3 Graham Beck Stakes over 1400m and then ran second behind Shango in the Grade 2 Dingaans, beaten 2.75 lengths. He did have to overcome a wide drawn last time but, on this occasion, Craig Zackey can get him well positioned from No 2 draw – if he can get away on terms!
He tends to lose ground at the start and if he does so again from that draw, Frosted Gold could find himself completely cut off.
Riverstown is improving with each start and last time out won the Grand Heritage over 1475m. However, he is held by Ikigai on their run on 19 November.
If the bookmakers have got it right, the Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas is a two-horse affair between Mill Queen and Summer Pudding. They have priced them both up at 5-2 with Spiritofthegroove next best at 12-1.
Peter-trained Summer Pudding is unbeaten in three starts, including the Grade 3 Fillies Guineas over this course and distance in November. She also has the benefit of No 1 draw.
Mill Queen has three wins and two places from five starts. She placed in the Grade 1 Thekwini Stakes as a two-year-old and then came out to win the Grade 3 Starling Stakes over 1400m at Turffontein.
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