Danie Toerien: If the betting is anything to go by, the Sean Tarry-trained Caralluma could be that elusive exotic banker on July day.
This Pomodoro-filly will be jumping from gate 1 in Race 5, the Grade 2 Zulu Kingdom Explorer Golden Slipper over 1400m.
The trainer himself said she could possibly be his best runner on the day, and considering that he will saddle a total of 14 horses, that says a lot.
“I think she’s the horse who probably has the most going for her on the day,” said Tarry.
She is unbeaten after two runs, her second victory coming over Saturday’s course and distance when she showed a clean pair of heels to the rest of the field in the Listed Devon Air Stakes, winning by four lengths.
That win came after she shed her Maiden tag on debut at Turffontein on the Inside track over 1450m – not the easiest of runs in the country. On that occasion she won by 4.25 lengths.
With an unofficial merit rating of 103, she seems the pick of the crop, followed by Dean Kannemeyer-trained Delta Queen (98) and Afternoon Tea (97), trained by Ashley Fortune.
Fortune has secured the services of Aldo Domeyer for her charge and after the pair’s success with Invidia in the R5-million CTS 1200, must be respected.
One other interesting contender, though, is Vihaan’s Pie. Rated at 91, this Futura filly, trained by Kumaran Naidoo, will make her Greyville Turf debut from gate 12.
She broke her maiden over 1400m on the Polytrack with ease, putting more then five lengths between her and the rest of the field 24 days ago.
“She’s an above average filly,” said Naidoo. “She did nothing wrong on both her starts and we are expecting a decent run from her.
“She is looking for a bit further than the 1400, but we are expecting big things from her.”
Naidoo added that the draw is a little bit of a concern, saying it’s not ideal.
“She is in a very good space at the moment and I will be surprised if she’s not in the money.”
Beaten one length by Trickster on debut over 1200m, Naidoo is convinced that she can reverse the form on Saturday.
“That first start was a bit short for her, she was green, and she only got beat a length or so.
“Over 1400 in a feature we will reverse the form, for sure.”
The unofficial ratings released by the handicappers for the two-year-old races on July Day, Race 5, the Golden Slipper and Race 6 the Golden Horseshoe, could guide punters.
However the ratings are unofficial because two-year-old horses can improve dramatically from one race to the next.
Unofficial ratings for Race 5, Grade 2 the Golden Slipper: