With the Cape Town Met behind us, the attention switches from the coast to the highveld this weekend where Turffontein stages the Fillies Guineas and the Gauteng Guineas.
Both races have attracted small but quality fields, with 5 of the 7 fillies having Merit Ratings over 100 and 8 of the 9 in the boys race having MRs over 100. In the fillies’ event, both Anything Goes and War Of Athena have the same MR (120) and the former is 1kg better off with her rival for a 1.75 length beating on their last start.
The two fillies are building quite a rivalry, with Anything Goes holding a 2-1 advantage in their three races against one another. They’re both quality and Pick 6 punters shouldn’t need to look beyond them for the winner, but who will win? Anything Goes clearly needed her last run and her saddle also slipped, so there are valid excuses.
Her counterpart beat Queen Supreme two runs ago to highlight her undoubted class but was receiving 9kg on that occasion.
The betting has War Of Athena as favourite, but I’ll go for Anything Goes.
The colts and geldings Guineas has also been mooted as a two-horse race between the Mike de Kock pair, Mount Pleasant and Malmoos. Both have only tasted defeat once in their careers and will be looking to make amends. Don’t read anything into the jockey bookings as Callan Murray has partnered Mount Pleasant in all 4 starts and Luke Ferraris has been aboard Malmoos in all 5 of his.
The betting can’t separate the pair either, with both at 2-1. I’m going for Mount Pleasant though. De Kock’s words from last October when he said he believes the handicapper has the merit ratings right and that the horse is a 127 and will probably be at his best over a mile still ring in my head.
Thoughts for the card:
Race 1: Wide open with scratching of Al Sakeet. Ace Of Spades?
Race 2: Lee Express, useful debut when backed, has a stronger rider up here now. Can win
Race 3: Smuts has the highest MR in this maiden field and looks ready to win
Race 4: Valyrian King ran on Thursday, this run comes too soon after that? Anna Capri 2kg better off with Sweet Sensation for a nose defeat over the distance in December
Race 5: Captain Chorus examined after last poor effort but is better than that. Western Fort hasn’t won for over a year but has raced in higher company
Race 6: Anything Goes, War Of Athena, Caralluma
Race 7: Mount Pleasant, Malmoos, Catch Twentytwo
Race 8: Winter Smoke, big runner at good odds off only 52.5kg
Race 9: Sean Tarry, Lyle Hewitson, Drakenstein Stud, Legislate combine for Zimbaba. Might prefer further eventually but looks progressive and the right one
Race 10: Looks open. By all means go Expressfromtheus but don’t ignore Lady Of Steel and Tierra Del Fuego at good odds.
Best bets: Lee Express, Smuts, Anything Goes, Zimbaba