Saturday, 30 March 2019


Lots of bankers in the PA

Striker hoping to win SA Oaks on Sean Tarry-trained Return Flight.

Piere Strydom

Today we have the SA Derby meeting at Turffontein, and as usual there is a lot of excitement around and we are all desperate to do well.

We have two Grade 1 races on the card, the SA Derby over 2450m and the HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m

The Derby is for three-year-olds and the majority of the horses have not been over the distance. As a result, you could have an upset, but if they run according to form there is only one horsein it, and that is Hawwaam.

He’s got this field held by almost double-digits lengths on paperand it should be a cakewalk. The negatives are he has not been over the distance and he has a tendency to over-race, but he still should be a banker in all bets. If you are doubting his staying ability then Zillzaal could be back-up.

I ride Samurai Warrior who on merit rating should find it tough to beat the fancied runners but at least he has gone the distance,and we know he stays, so I hope to finish in the places.

We also have the Horse Chestnut Stakes and as this is not a handicap you have to lean towards the top merit-rated horses and they are Soqrat and Legal Eagle. For the Place Accumulator you could probably banker Soqrat but you could include Legal Eagle as back-up. You should double up.

For the Pick 6 the only other possibility is Cascapedia.

I ride Tilbury Fort who I hope runs a place as he is carrying level weights with top horses. Had this been a handicap he would been receiving 5kg from Legal Eagle, for example, and that would give him a winning chance.

We start the meeting with a Maiden Plate over 1400m and the horse with the best form and a good draw is Crucreek. She should be the horse to beat but as none of these maidens has shown good form, first-timer Just My Luck could prevail.

I ride Sparkling Gold who does seem held on form but could place.

Race 2 is another Maiden Plate over 1400m and my first selection is Silver Spectrum. The horses to chase him home are Duke Of Swing and Stockbridge.

Race 3 is the Pretty Polly Stakes for two-year-olds and Gin Fizz must be a PA banker as she comes with a big reputation and ran well in a feature last time. Fly Away, however, had a very good first run so Gin Fizz might not be a winning bet proposition at a short price as Paul Peter’s charge is a massive danger.

Race 4 is the Protea Stakes for juveniles, and a couple of runners have performed well in feature races. But my first choice is a filly, Cavivar. There are a lot of horses with close form but I like the look of Cavivar as she is an impressive looking filly and will come on with every run. She is my banker in the PA.

For the Pick 6 you need to include all of those who finished close to her, Look To The Sky, Frosted Gold and Twilight Moon.

Race 5 is the Man O’ War Sprint which is run at set weights so the best two handicapped runners are Chimichuri Run and Mighty High. For the PA you could include both or choose to banker one or the other.

For the Pick 6 add in Basilius who could beat Mighty High but he is drawn on the inside of the track which is not great.

I ride Old Man Tyme who is held by Basilius but as he is a lightly raced three-year-old he could still improve.

Race 7 is the Grade 2 Wilgerbosdrift SA Oaks over 2450m but none of the fillies has run over the distance so an out-and-out stayer could come out and upset. The two with the highest ratings are Return Flight and Blossom. I ride Return Flight who did finish in front of Blossom in her last start but Blossom was drawn wide and had to be dropped out. Return Flight led all the way and held on to beat Blossom by one length.

The manner in which Blossom made up the ground indicates she should enjoy the extra ground and looks good enough to be a banker in all bets.

But for the Pick 6 you have to include Return Flight if you want to have a smaller outlay, but if you’re not sure about their chances of seeing out the trip add in Second Request, Chitengoand Seville Orange.

Race 9 is the Caradoc Gold Cup which is over the marathon trip of 2850m This is not a handicap and at the weights Noble Secret looks like a possible banker. Banker him in the PA, and possibly in the Pick 6.

I sometimes get a bit worried about these staying races as pace can affect the form so maybe if you want some back-up add in Sunshine Silk whose form improved with the removal of the blinkers.

Race 10 is the Jacaranda Handicap where High Seas Beauty comes out on form as the horse to beat. But she does not have a good draw and this is her first start over the extra distance. Her dangers are Tamarina and Being Fabulous.

Race 11 is a handicap where Pietro Mascagni has to be a hard horse to beat. The danger could be D’ Arrivee but he has been running in weaker company so you can banker Pietro Mascagni

Race 12 is a handicap over 1400m where most runners have chances. I ride Norland who is drawn No 1 which has to be in his favour. March To Glory finished just behind Norland last time and is better off at the weights so they are close.

But the selection is Eurostorm who ran 5.70 lengths behind Mighty High and if the latter had to run in his field it would be one-way traffic.

Best Bet



Value Bet




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