Many of the top horses from around the country are among the 68 entries for the three feature races on Independent On Saturday Raceday that officially opens South Africa’s Champions Season at Greyville in Durban on Sunday, May 7.
Stars like Vodacom Durban July winner The Conglomerate and the exciting winner of the Investec Cape Derby, Edict Of Nantes, are among the high quality entries for the three Grade 2 events giving notice that a very exciting and competitive feast of racing is in store for racegoers in KwaZulu-Natal over the next three months.
The meeting features the R600 000 Daisy Guineas, the R500 000 Daisy Fillies Guineas, both over the classic 1 600m trip and each drawing 19 entries, and the R500 000 Independent On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes over 1 400m which has attracted 30 entries.
Edict Of Nantes and runner-up in the Investec Cape Derby, Zodiac Ruler, are nominated for the Daisy Guineas along with Gauteng Guineas winner Janoobi and the winner of the East Cape Guineas, Gimme The Stars. Other entries include Politician Stakes winner Horizon and the smart Australian-bred Table Bay that finished third in both the Selangor Cup and the Cape Guineas.
The entries for the Daisy Fillies Guineas include the first two past the post in the Cape Fillies Guineas Smiling Blue Eyes and Al Hawraa as well as Ektifaa that beat the boys home in the Tony Ruffel Stakes.
The Gauteng Guineas winner Janoobi is also among the entries for the Independent On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes where he could meet the likes of The Gonglomerate and Marinaresco. Also among the opposition could be the Hawaii Stakes winner Rafeef and the top-rated horse among the Vodacom Durban July entries, Captain America, that ran second to Legal Eagle in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and third to Whisky Baron in the Sun Met.
This race is traditionally used by some stables to “stretch the legs” of runners that are opening their season programme and are likely to contest the bigger races in the next three months making for an exciting and competitive clash.
More than 60% of the entries for these three features are from stables in Gauteng, the Western Cape and Port Elizabeth.