Gauteng Guineas - Trainer Comments
There will be 12 races run at Turffontein on Saturday including the Gauteng Guineas and the Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas, the first leg of the SA Triple Crown and the Wilgerbosdrift SA Triple Tiara. Phumelela Publishing got hold of some of the available trainers to chat about their runners.
R1-MILLION GAUTENG GUINEAS (GRADE 2)
Paul Peter: I’m not worried about Majestic Mambo’s wide No 11 draw, to be honest. He can come from off the pace and he has proven that he has a good turn of foot. His prep has gone well. I’m scared of all these runners, but not because my horse has no ability. Only because the trip could be short – he is looking to go further, I think he will even stay 2400m. Should he win this leg I’ll be confident he can win the Triple Crown. Alssakhra is drawn wide at No 13, but he is a front runner and I’m hoping he can find a small place.
Robbie Sage: Vacquero is drawn 10, but a draw is a draw. If you have to run, you have to run – there is no use in complaining about it. I’m hoping he is a Triple Crown horse. I’m just under the impression he is a better horse over 1800m and further.
Mathew de Kock (for Mike de Kock): Noble Secret has a lot of potential and he hasn’t been exposed to Majestic Mambo or Surcharge. He has his issues which is why we gelded him. He can get uptight but it doesn’t get in his way when he runs. He could be anything. On form Pietro Mascagni is held by Surcharge but does show us more at home than he has brought to the races so far. As he matures we hope there will be more to come. Puget Sound has come on a lot since his first run as a gelding. I think he has a place chance. He has the draw at least. Royal Crusade has definitely made improvement at home in the blinkers. We just hope he can do it on race day. From draw No 1 he must be a big runner and he will go all three Triple Crown distances.
Sean Tarry: Big Bear has drawn deeply and we will change tactics and come from off them. He is good enough but may just need it. He will improve a lot with the race under his belt, and has had a problematic testicle removed since his last appearance. Wonderwall is fit and well and has the class, but has it all to do from a terrible draw. Silver God has a good draw and a good pedigree. We are taking our chances but on form he’s not good enough at the moment. He may need gelding.
Mike Azzie: Both Greek Fire and Ideal Secret are in a good space right now but Greek Fire is still inexperienced and Ideal Secret has to be ridden in a specific way. Greek Fire will only be having his fourth start in the Guineas. His only defeat was in his second start where he was far from ready. He was not even 50% fit and he gave the winner, Pietro Mascagni, 6kg. He will be better over further. I would say the SA Classic is more of his sort of race. Ideal Secret he has a powerful burst but it is not sustained for long so you have to keep him close and hold him up and let him got as late as possible. That’s why he is better off when he has a good draw. Last time he was drawn wide and he ended up too far back so Craig (Zackey) just nursed him through the race.
Gary Alexander: I fear 1600m could prove too short for Cash Time. He is a better horse over 2000m and further. His main mission is the SA Derby over 2450m on 5 May. Should he finish in the first four, it could be telling of his chances in the next two legs.
WILGERBOSDRIFT GAUTENG FILLIES GUINEAS
Paul Peter: Folk Dance is doing extremely well at home. She is fit and sound. Gavin worked her this week and was happy with her. I give her a massive chance, but she has the wide draw to beat. I’m not sure she’ll stay all three legs, but if she wins we might take a chance and see what happens.
Mathew de Kock: Fish River has had a perfect prep and seems to be an up-and-coming filly. Everything is in her favour. Silver Thursday is a filly who will go all three legs of the Triple Tiara and she’s much better in Joburg than Cape Town. She’s in a good space right now although she’s not fully wound up for this race as we’re planning to go for all three legs. She is a good filly and a good draw is a big plus because she’s a big-striding filly and she would battle to overcome a wide draw. Awfaa goes about her business quietly, she’s not a flashy filly. She’s won two nice races but hasn’t been exposed to this level. She doesn’t blow us away in the morning but she wins her races. Pearl Of Bahrain is a nice filly. She’s working with these fillies and hasn’t been outclassed and her work is good. Even if she wins or places there are limited penalties so her rating won’t go up a lot. Takingthepeace is a very honest filly. She did not have a bad run last time because she carried 2kg more than the others and it was her third run in a close period. She must also must have a chance.
Gary Alexander: I wouldn’t be surprised if Radiant Splendour wins this race but I can’t be confident. Winning the Guineas isn’t easy and we’re throwing her in the deep end. You can never know how good they are until you’ve run them against the best. I do see her running in the first four, plus, on paper, she should stay all three legs.
Ormond Ferraris: Dame Kelly takes on the best fillies and she has not proven herself at that level.
Sean Tarry: You can put a line through Aurelia Cotta’s earlier runs with the tongue tie. On her two Joburg runs with the tongue tie off she is good enough to be competitive. Rockin Russian is way better than what she showed in Cape Town. On her Joburg form she is a definite runner.