Guineas meet on track

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Guineas meet on track

DAVID NIEUWENHUIZEN

Jack Milner – The rain-affected Gauteng Guineas meeting will be staged at Turffontein today, Wednesday 12 February, with all the bells and whistles that applied to last Saturday’s event.

All the carryovers still stand, with R1-million going forward to the Pick 6, R100,000 to the BiPot, R500,000 to the Quartet in Race 8, the Gauteng Guineas, and a R100,000 on a Pick 3 for Races 8, 9 and 10.

The only change is that Jackpot 2 has been moved to encompass Races 7, 8, 9, 10 as opposed to the original decision to run from Races 6 to 9.

As far as the R1-million Grade 2 Gauteng Guineas is concerned, Ikigai still looks the horse to beat. This son of Vercingetorix is getting better with every run and his last victory, in the Grade 3 Tony Ruffel Stakes over 1400m at this course, could not have been more impressive. He is drawn well at No 6 and will be ridden by Luke Ferraris, who rode him to victory last time.

Obviously, this is a far stronger field. None of the runners who opposed Sean Tarry’s charge last time are in this field, but in his previous run Ikigai did beat Riverstown by 1.25 lengths. The runner-up went on to win the Grand Heritage (Non-Black Type) against some older opposition.

Youcanthurrylove could be anything and is improving with every run. However, Fabian Habib’s charge will face his sternest test to date.  

The Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas might be more competitive than the betting suggests. Betting World have Summer Pudding at 22-10 and Mill Queen at 5-2 with Spiritofthegroove next best at 15-2. The balance of the field is at 14-1 and better.  

The problem with the two favourites is that they are both coming back from a layoff. Mill Queen has not raced since winning the Grade 3 Starling Stakes on 2 November while Summer Pudding has not been seen since her success in the Grade 3 Fillies Mile on 23 November.

However, trainer Paul Peter told colleague Bonginkosi Nkosi last week that he rated Summer Pudding highly. “She is an impressive looking filly with a beautiful action, and I have always thought highly of her.

“She is well bred – coming from a family who’ve done well – and I believe she is the type of horse who can win the Triple Tiara.”

His concern is the distance. “The mile (1600m) may be a touch too short for her but her class will pull her through. I think we will only see her at her best over 1800m and further. She is unbeaten and has got a good draw (No 1).

“I think she has a winning chance.”

David Nieuwenhuizen, trainer of Mill Queen, told Gold Circle he felt his charge has not had an ideal preparation. “We couldn’t get Gavin Lerena for the Three Troikas and she was drawn wide, so we decided it would be an unnecessarily hard race and pulled her out.

“But she is very well, although it is a bit unsettling to have a postponement as it is not easy to keep a horse in the right place for the extra few days.”

All TAB carryovers to the Turffontein meeting remain as advertised for last Saturday, when the meeting had to be postponed. Details are:

* R1-million Pick 6 carryover (estimated pool R5 million).

* R500,000 Quartet carryover Gauteng Guineas Race 8 (estimated pool R2 million).

* R100,000 Bipot carryover Races 2 to 7.

* R100,000 Pick 3 carryover Races 8 to 10.

Race times:

Race 1: 15:25

Race 2: 15:55

Race 3: 16:30

Race 4: 17:05

Race 5: 17:38

Race 6: 18:13

Race 7: 18:50

Race 8: 19:30

Race 9: 20:05

Race 10: 20:40

The action at Greyville starts at 12:45. There is also a Happy Valley meeting in Hong Kong staring at 13:15.

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