Danie Toerien: With a perfect record of two wins from two runs over course and distance, and being in top form at the moment, Mr Flood is the runner to beat in Saturday’s Grade 1 ComputaForm Sprint over 1000m at Turffontein.
Around three weeks ago, this four-year-old Pathfork gelding was up against five of the runners he will be facing on Saturday. In that dress rehearsal, a Pinnacle Stakes at the Vaal, he showed the field a clear pair of heels to win by 2.50 lengths.
There’s no reason to believe he can’t repeat that performance to play the lead role again.
This time round, though, Chimichuri Run, with a merit rating of 126, is the best weighted runner in the field as the Computaform Sprint is a weight-for-age race.
He will be 2kg better off and that could well compensate for the 6-lengths between him and Mr Flood 19 days ago.
Russet Air, trained by Candice Bass-Robinson, will be making his Turffontein debut and it will not surprise if he attracts a lot of attention and money.
Winner of the Grade 1 Cape Flying Championship in February, this What A Winter gelding is fresh off a very decent warm-up run. He was scheduled to arrive on the Highveld on Friday.
“It’s always difficult to go to Joburg from Cape Town,” said Bass-Robinson, “but I expect Turffontein will probably suit him, and he should run well.
“He’s in good shape and he’s got good form.”
Piere Strydom will be aboard the visitor from Cape Town as his regular jockey, Aldo Domeyer, is unable to travel up from Cape Town.
“These lockdown rules are quite ridiculous,” said Bass-Robinson.
“I don’t understand it at all. We are open for business travel. But I suppose it is what it is.”
With that said, the trainer is not at all unhappy having secured the services of “Striker”.
“I think Piere will suit Russet Air, because he likes to come from way off the pace,” she said.
“That horse has a great turn of foot, and he also likes to sit off the pace. You can’t be too handy on him. I think Piere will suit him well.”