Senor Santa Stakes wide open at Turffontein
Turffontein Standside hosts a classy nine race meeting on Saturday, which includes three stakes event features.
In the Gr 2 Senor Santa Stakes over 1160m, Bull Valley is right up with Trip To Heaven on paper and the latter has proved himself the best sprinter in the country. However, Bull Valley’s number one draw might be unfavourable. Dollar Dazzler can never be ignored over this course and distance. The lightly raced Graduation Day is full of ability. Gr 1 runner up African Ruler is in good form. The lightning fast fillies Wrecking Ball and Queen Laurie will likely attempt to steal it, but would prefer 1000m.
The Gr 2 Colorado Stakes over 2000m is a nightmare to assess and punters might be best advised to include the top six in all of their exotics. The race is likely being used by most runners as a preparation for the Gr 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge. Furthermore, all of them bar Deo Juvente will incur a 1kg Gr 2 penalty if they win. Deo Juvente’s Gr 2 win was less than 18 months ago, so he has already incurred it.
Twice Gr 1 winner French Navy has not won a race for 497 days. He was similarly well weighted in last year’s race and only managed third place. He beat Brazuca by a head in the Premier’s Champions Challenge last year and, if the standard weight for age scale is taken into account, is now 2kg better off. He is 6,5kg better off with Deo Juvente for a 0,4 length beating in the 2015 Summer Cup.
Deo Juvente likely needed his last run when going close over 1800m and on paper holds Samurai Blade from that outing, as he beat him by 1,25 lengths and is now 1kg better off. On the other hand Samurai Blade only has 0,75 lengths to find on Brazuca from their meeting in last year’s Gr 1 SA Classic over 1800m. Brazuca should have benefitted from his recent win over 1600m and although held by French Navy on Sun Met form, there is a reversal in draw fortunes here.
Kings Archer is officially 9kg under sufferance with French Navy, but can’t be ignored in this muddling type of race as he is by stamina influence A P Arrow and tries the trip for the first time. He is out of sprinter by Fasileyev, but has been seen to run on resolutely over 1600m before. Front runner Stonehenge finished second in this race last year, but has been off form recently.
In the Gr 3 Sycamore Sprint over 1160m, She’s A Dragon was unlucky in the Bauhinia Sprint over 1000m, will appreciate the step up in trip and is taken to upset Joan Ranger.
The Listed Derby Trial has attracted a below par field and the class of Alaadel is sided with, although the up and coming Whosethebossnow will be a big threat and the promising Last Outlaw is an interesting blinkers strike.
The Listed Oaks Trial could also fall to a top weight, Belle Rose, at the expense of Balalaika, End Game, Emily Jay, Street Gaze and Trellis.
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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.