Back Tarry tops Classic boards
Al Sahem, so narrowly beaten in the Betting World Gauteng Guineas over 1600m at Turffontein on March 4, has been priced up 12-10 favourite for the R2-million SA Classic (Grade 1) over 1800m at Turffontein on Saturday.
The Sean Tarry-trained Silvano colt still showed signs of inexperience in the Gauteng Guineas in only his third career start. He ran in snatches down the straight before getting the message in the final 100m and closed fast on start-to-finish winner Janoobi to get beaten by a long head.
Al Sahem had not enjoyed an ideal preparation going into that race and will also relish this longer distance.
Heavenly Blue , who finished third in the Gauteng Guineas, is second favourite at 2-1, with assistant trainer Mathew de Kock believing he can easily turn around the 1.50 lengths with stable companion Janoobi over the 1800m.
The SA Fillies Classic betting is dominated by Tarry-trained Smiling Blue Eyes , winner of the Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas and an even-money shot for the second leg of the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara.
She raced wide from a poor draw in the Fillies Guineas and still managed to win impressively with many experts still firmly believing she has the potential to become the third filly after Cherry On The Top and Igugu to win the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara.
The Triple Tiara comprises the Cape Fillies Guineas/Gauteng Fillies Guineas, the SA Fillies Classic and the SA Oaks next month, with a R1-million bonus to a horse who wins all three legs. The SA Classic is the second leg of the SA Triple Crown, which comprises the Cape Guineas/Gauteng Guineas, the SA Classic and the SA Derby with a R2-million bonus for wins in three legs.
Huge tote pools are expected at Turffontein on Saturday including a carryover Pick 6 pool that is estimated to top R5million.
SA Classic betting: 12-10 Al Sahem; 2-1 Heavenly Blue; 7-1 Janoobi; 10-1 Tilbury Fort; 12-1 Furiosa; 16-1 Alaadel; 20-1 Unagi, Kampala Campari; 33-1 Crowd Pleaser.
SA Fillies Classic betting: 1-1 Smiling Blue Eyes; 5-1 Orchid Island; 11-2 Safe Harbour; 7-1 Al Hawraa; 10-1 Captain Gambler; 16-1 Maleficent, Babbling Brooke, Bi Pot; 25-1 Belle Rose; 40-1 Being Fabulous, Oriental Oak; 50-1 My Friend Lee, Philae.
Cape Town trainer Joey Ramsden has been making KwaZulu-Natal plans for some of his stable stars for the 2017 South African Champions Season and Cape Fillies Guineas winner Just Sensual looks set to drop in trip.
Lily Theresa is a big price at 5-1 for the opening R80,000, Maiden Juvenile Fillies (1000m) at Kenilworth on Wednesday considering the way Joey Ramsden has been dominating the Cape Town two-year-old races.