It has been quite a while since there has been a real buzz about a race meeting at Turffontein but there is undoubtedly a thrill around Saturday’s encounter, headed up by the R800,000 Allied Steelrode – OnamissionMile.

While the race might only have Grade 2 status, the final field could grace any Grade 1 event.

In addition, there are five other features, three Grade 3 events and two Listed races.

Bettors will also be able to snare a share of two R1-million carryovers. The first is the Pick 6, which kicks off in Race 4, and that is expected to climb to R5 million.

The second is the Quartet pool for the main feature, which comes up in Race 5, and that is expected to reach R2 million. With a full field of 16 runners competing in a handicap, that bet could produce an enticing payout.  

Topping the field for race is five-time Grade 1 winner Got The Greenlight. With a merit rating of 126, he is among the best horses in the country.

However, this is a handicap and the five-year-old son of Gimmethegreenlight does have a few hurdles to climb. He has been allotted top weight of 62kg and perhaps toughest of all, he will have to jump from No 14 draw.

On the positive side, Got The Greenlight will be reunited with jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe, who rode him to victory in the SA Classic and Daily News 2000.

Then we have Malmoos, winner of the SA Triple Crown last season. This Captain Al four-year-old makes his seasonal appearance, his first race in 182 days.

There is no doubting his class. He loves the course, has a lovely No 6 draw and will be starting a new liaison with jockey Gavin Lerena. However, he does have 61kg to carry.

Like Got The Greenlight, he is a horse with bigger fish to fry later in the season, both on the Highveld and in the Cape, but he is full of class and cannot be left out of anybody’s calculations, especially with the Mike de Kock yard in such good form.

But De Kock also has Al Muthana in the field, and this could be the horse they all have to beat.

This Australian-bred four-year-old started his career in style with an emphatic victory, which turned into a strong form line. The only problem is it was Al Muthana who lost the plot.

He was then gelded and finally he has regained his form. He returned from a seven-month layoff in September looking a real racehorse and he has gone on to notch up two very impressive victories.

He does take a jump in class and in theory, he is 3kg under sufferance. But consider that as his last two wins were Plate races, the handicappers are limited by the penalty they can dish out and Al Muthana is probably a lot better than his current rating.

He will carry just 52kg, jumps from No 2 draw and will be ably assisted by S’manga Khumalo who knows how to make full use of a light weight.

MK’s Pride is ultra-consistent and is trained by Paul Peter, another stable that has been churning out the winners.

He has won well up to 1450m but has yet to prove he will stay 1600m. He has the benefit of jumping from No 1 draw and Warren Kennedy knows exactly how to ride him.

He has to be a big runner if he sees out the distance.

Argentinian-bred Puerto Manzano is lightly raced and appears to have tons of talent. He was well supported to win a sprint over 1200m after a layoff but could only manage fourth place.

He will undoubtedly be better for the run and will improve over the extra distance.

It is interesting to see that blinkers, used for the sprint, have been retained.

Jack Milner’s selections

Race 1: 11 Winter Pearl, 1 Lazy Guy, 4 Angel Of War, 6 Covert Operator

Race 2: 7 Cheringoma, 1 Tuuletar, 5 Angelsea, 10 Maria’s World

Race 3: 3 Sound Of Summer, 4 Prince Evlanoff, 1 Green Haze, 2 Nebraas

Race 4: 1 Big Burn, 2 Bold Act, 4 Shield Of Roses, 5 Follow Me

Race 5: 16 Al Muthana, 2 Malmoos, 1 Got The Greenlight, 3 MK’s Pride

Race 6: 9 Desert Miracle, 1 Smorgasbord, 3 Castletown, 5 Pyromaniac

Race 7: 1 Victoria Paige, 5 Shivers, 3 Heart Stwings, 4 Miss Elegance

Race 8: 7 Master Archie, 6 Sheela, 2 Valyrian King, 3 Kwite A Trip

Race 9: 7 Shangani, 8 Captain Chorus, 1 Out Of Your League, 4 Marchingontogether

Race 10: 3 Wave Warrior, 4 Magnum P I, 10 Eagle River, 14 Red Saxon

BEST BET

Race 6 No 9 Desert Miracle

VALUE BET

Race 10 No 3 Wave Warrior

BEST SWINGER

Race 4 1×2

tabonline.co.za-Jack Milner

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