Aug 11 2017

Turffontein Standside stages a nine race meeting on Saturday and there will be some good quality horses appearing in three of the events.

The third race is a Conditions Plate for fillies and mares over 1160m. The best in at the weights here is Queen Laurie. She hasn’t run since April but being a sprinter could get away with it. She is very speedy and would prefer 1000m. However, the Turffontein 1160m is a fast course-and-distance and the going conditions on the Highveld are fast at present. Carrying just 53,5kg she might be able to run them off their feet.

The topweight Secret Star has earned her 100 merit rating. She has a tough task on paper with Queen Laurie, whom she has to give 6.5kg instead of what would be just 2,5kg in a handicap. However, she has excellent cruising speed and a telling kick, so it would be no surprise to see her catching Queen Laurie close to home. Biblical Susan is officially 6kg under sufferance with Queen Laurie, but has always struck as a decent type. In the maidens she beat Secret Star over 1200m in October last year and is now 8kg better off with her from that run. Her last start suggests she is starting to come into her own and she should make her presence felt.

Myfunnyvalentine is returning from a six month layoff after disappointing in Cape Town. She finished a close fourth in the Grade 1 Allan Robertson over 1200m as a two-year-old. The form of that race has been muddled, but she did win quite a strong Non-Black type event over 1200m subsequently which proved she might be up to her current merit rating. She is second best in at the weights and is only 0,5kg under sufferance with Queen Laurie so has to be respected. Spring Wonder beat Biblical Susan by 1,1 lengths last time, but is now 3,5kg worse off, so there is not much in it.

The fourth is a MR 104 Handicap over 1160m. Pure Blonde showed good cruising speed over 1200m on the Inside track last time out when leading from start to finish and winning comfortably. He has come into his own and could follow up here despite being given an eight point raise. Will Pays has some class and bounced back to form last time when winning over 1400m. He is equally effective over this trip and is capable of carrying topweight to victory. However, Captain Aldo can reverse the form at the weights, especially considering he went close to the classy Rivarine the last time he tried the course and distance. Unagi has class and some speed, so is interesting dropped in trip. Finchatton should be finishing strongly.

The sixth is a MR 92 Handicap over 2000m. Top Shot is six-year-old now but has decent form if his last run at Greyville is ignored. He enjoys the Standside track and the last time he ran here he jumped from pole position over 1600m and led all the way to beat the decent Irish Pride. He is equally effective over this trip and is the one to beat if bouncing back after that failed Durban raid. He could get a good lead from the front-running Stonehenge.

However, the latter looks to be enjoying the current fast conditions and might keep them all at bay. Amsterdam is ideally distance suited and proved last time over 1800m he is up to his current merit rating. He is 1,5kg better off with Happy Pills for a half-a-length beating over 1800m. The latter is in good form and being by Trippi can continue to progress. He should stay the trip. Lee’s Pick is 1kg under sufferance but there is not much between him and Amsterdam over this trip. Wild Horizon has run in staying trips in his last three but before that won easily over 1800m, so also has a shout from a good draw at a course he enjoys.

David Thiselton

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