where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2016-11-30 10:03:02  

Saturday sees the running of the first Grade One race of the new Cape Summer Season. This is the Gr1 World Sports Betting Cape Fillies Guineas, a 1600m classic long established as arguably the most important race for 3yo fillies in South Africa.

With an honour roll which includes such legends as Star Effort (Esplendor), Olympic Duel (Dancing Champ), Petrava (Imposing) and Party Time (Filipepi) and subsequent international Gr1 winners Sun Classique (Fuji Kiseki) and Perfect Promise (Caesour), the Cape Fillies Guineas is usually won by the very best filly of her generation.

Local trainers look to have a battle on their hands this year, with the more fancied runners all hailing from the yards of visitors.

Top rated runner in the field, and current favourite, is the Mike Azzie trained Querari Falcon (Querari). She has done nothing wrong in her brief career, and, well drawn in 3, last season’s Gr1 Thekwini Stakes winner looks a big runner under the handling of Anthony Delpech. The latter will be looking for his third win in the past five years in the Cape Fillies Guineas, and the pair look strong contenders here.

Next best in the betting is impressive recent winner and Gr2 Choice Carriers Fillies Championship runner up Sail (Philanthropist). She looked unlucky not to win the Choice Carriers but does have a tricky draw of 13 to contend with. Trainer Dennis Drier, however, has already made an impact in the Cape with his runners this season, and this filly looks a big runner –if she can overcome the draw.

She’s A Giver (another by the very exciting sire Philanthropist) is another talented visitor with a poor draw (15) to overcome. She impressed when romping to victory in the Gr3 HSH Princess Charlene Of Monaco Starling Stakes last time out and is from a yard who has been enjoying plenty of success in South Africa’s top races of late. Another with a big chance –if she can get luck in running.

Australian breds have fared well in the Cape Fillies Guineas, and the undefeated Quick Brown Fox (Foxwedge) looks to try and continue their good fortune. From the red-hot Brett Crawford yard, the Australian filly looks out at the ratings, but she could well be better than her merit rating suggests. A daughter of a Gr1 winning sprinter, Quick Brown Fox is trying the 1600m trip for the first time.

Her stable mate, Lady Of The House (Dynasty), is bred to be anything (she is out of former Equus Champion Overarching) but ratings suggest she needs to improve further to threaten the top fancies.

Another trainer whose yard has been in cracking form of late is Glen Kotzen, who saddles last season’s Gr2 Gold Circle Golden Slipper winner Final Judgement (Judpot) here. The well bred filly, who gets the services of top jockey Piere Strydom, has beaten Sail previously and ran on really smartly to finish a close third in the Choice Carriers Fillies Championship (beaten 0.5l by Sail). A definite runner here.

The classy Maleficent (one of two in the race for top sire Judpot) defeated Guineas favourite Querari Falcon when the pair met in a Listed race as 2yos, but she was well held by She’s A Giver last time out and looks held by that filly on that run –even if Maleficent does have a much better draw opposed to her former rival.

Champion trainer Sean Tarry has two in the race, with the pick appearing recent Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes heroine Safe Harbour (Elusive Fort). The latter beat some really smart colts last time out (including the luckless Equus Champion Always In Charge), and will once again get the services of Lanzerac RTR Stakes winning jockey Weichong Marwing. Jumping from a nice draw of 2, Safe Harbour is yet another with a chance in what looks an open and competitive looking contest.

Her stable mate, Visuality (Visionaire) has a poor draw of 14, and looks held by her stable mate on their runs in the Ready To Run Stakes.

Yet another visiting trainer with a runner in this year’s Fillies Guineas is KZN’s Duncan Howells. He saddles Dawn Calling (Trippi), who was second in both the Gr1 Thekwini Stakes and Gr2 Gold Circle Slipper last season. However she has been beaten in weaker company at her last two outings and needs to recapture earlier form (which included a neck second to Sail).

Trainer Joey Ramsden sends out two, with the pick appearing to be Just Sensual (Dynasty). Out of former champion 2yo filly Consensual, this blue blooded filly has impressed with facile wins in her last two outings and could be better than rated. However, she has a poor draw of 12 to overcome which won’t make things easy.

Her stablemate Captain Gambler (Captain Al) looked very smart last year as a 2yo, when she landed the Listed Irridescence Stakes. However she has been beaten on all three appearances at three and faces a very tough task here.

Highly rated Smokey Affair (Elusive Fort) ran on smartly for fourth in the Fillies Championship and should relish the 200m extra of Saturday’s trip. However she does meet some top class fillies and needs to improve- strictly on ratings.

Whose That Girl (Gitano Hernando) looks held here on her run in the Fillies Championship, as does Red Light Girl (Captain Al).


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