Australia beat SA in an early match at the T20 World Cup and it could be a similar story in Saturday’s Allied Steelrode — Onamissionmile at Turffontein. Aussie import Al Muthana ticks all the boxes for the grade 2 event — top trainer (Mike de Kock), talented jockey (S’manga Khumalo), good draw (barrier 2) and low weight (52kg).
Anyone who witnessed the last two wins of Al Muthana will know the gelding has done the trick for the son of Deep Field, whose covering fee in Australia is A$80,000. Quite understandable that he’s a firm second favourite in ante-post betting.
Stablemate Malmoos heads the market and the R4.4m colt deserves that position after his Triple Crown triumph last season. While he has the Summer Cup as his principal target, he could well add the R500,000 first cheque to his stakes tally.
There have been musical chairs among the jockeys on the fancied runners — Muzi Yeni switches from Got The Greenlight, whom he has ridden in six of the horse’s last seven starts, to Puerto Manzano, suggesting there has been a split between Gavin Lerena and the Johan Janse van Vuuren stable.
Lerena will be more than happy to partner Malmoos for the first time, while Bernard Fayd’Herbe is reunited with Got The Greenlight. He won both the Daily News 2000 and SA Classic on trainer Joe Soma’s star performer.
MK’s Pride will have his supporters drawn in pole position, but he is 3.5kg worse off with Bingwa which at first glance suggests Dorrie Sham’s runner can turn the tables. Until one looks at the draw — the four-year-old will jump from nearby Rand Stadium.
Lyle Hewitson would love to bag a big race before his departure to Hong Kong and his mount, Seehaam, rates a solid each-way chance. The mare is 2kg better off with Al Muthana compared to their recent clash.
Hard to know how Puerto Manzano — beaten favourite in the Spring Challenge — is going to fare against some of the best horses in the land, but it’s noticeable bookies have the Argentinian import in single figures for both Saturday’s race and the Summer Cup.
Peter Muscutt sends G G’s Dynasty up from KwaZulu-Natal and it will be some feat if the six-year-old can win from a worse barrier gate than Bingwa’s.
In the final analysis, Al Muthana is the selection to beat Malmoos, Seehaam and MK’s Pride.
There’s an outstanding supporting card at the city track with Desert Miracle a banker bet for punters in the grade 3 Graham Beck Stakes. Smorgasbord and Castletown are the pick of the filly’s rivals.
Big Burn will be all the rage for the grade 3 Starling Stakes and — with the race being sponsored by Princess Charlene — Follow Me, owned by her, may be the way to go.
At Kenilworth, a bigger purse is on offer for the feature race — the R900,000 CTS De Grendel Ready-To-Run Stakes — and with betting of 7-1 the field is an indication of the openness of this 1,400m event.
Despite a shocking draw, this column is rowing in with Dancetildaylight as this superbly bred three-year-old may well continue last weekend’s good form of jockey Aldo Domeyer and trainer Candice Bass-Robinson. This wouldn’t be the first time Domeyer has overcome a wide barrier.
Candice Dawson sends down Slings And Arrows who should pay his travelling expenses (the seventh horse home earns R17,000) and the chance of Alan Greeff’s raider Whatever Next, a four-time winner, has to be respected.
The joint favourites are Whatever Next and the Justin Snaith duo of Homely Girl and Queen Of Shadows in what promises to be a neck and neck finish.
1st Race: (11) Winter Pearl (4) Angel Of War (6) Covert Operator (1) Lazy Guy
2nd Race: (5) Angelsea (7) Cheringoma (10) Maria’s World (4) Amicus Curiae
3rd Race: (3) Sound Of Summer (2) Nebraas (4) Prince Evlanoff (1) Green Haze
4th Race: (1) Big Burn (5) Follow Me (2) Bold Act (4) Shield Of Roses
5th Race: (16) Al Muthana (2) Malmoos (12) Seehaam (3) MK’s Pride
6th Race: (9) Desert Miracle (1) Smorgasbord (3) Castletown (2) Team Gold
7th Race: (4) Miss Elegance (5) Shivers (3) Heart Stwings (6) Bold Fortune
8th Race: (7) Master Archie (6) Sheela (2) Valyrian King (3) Kwite A Trip
9th Race: (4) Marchingontogether (7) Shangani (2) Imperial Ruby (11) The Kop
10th Race: (1) Ra’ed (10) Eagle River (4) Magnum P I (14) Red Saxon
CTS READY-TO-RUN STAKES
1. (13) Dancetildaylight
2. (1) Whatever Next
3. (7) Slings And Arrows
4. (10) Homely Girl