Alec Laird might have regretted not putting his The United States colt Billy Bowlegs in the Grade 2 WSB Gauteng Guineas after he had seen the result of the latter race.
Billy Bowlegs had given the Gauteng Guineas winner Eyeoftheprophet 3kg and a long-head beating over 1800m at the Vaal Classic track about a month earlier.
On the downside Billy Bowlegs was a three length fifth in the Grade 3 Allied Steelrode Graham Beck Stakes and a 6,50 length eighth in the Jonsson Workwear Dingaans over 1600m.
However, he has subsequently won twice over 1800m and is one of only three horses in Saturday’s Grade 1 WSB SA Classic over 1800m to have won over the trip or beyond.
In his last start he passed the line with plenty still in hand when beating the decent filly None Other by half-a-length, giving her 2,5kg, in the Grade 3 Sea Cottage Stakes over the SA Classic course and distance.
There was one other 1800m race that day and Billy Bowlegs’ time was 1,75 seconds quicker.
However, a big detractor to Billy Bowlegs’ chances is his wide draw of 14.
He is going to need some luck to find cover and not be too far back.
The best PA banker in the race could therefore be Royal Victory.
This Nathan Kotzen-trained gelding has shown his class consistently and only just failed in the Gauteng Guineas from draw nine. He now has a good draw of five and should enjoy the step up in trip. His sire Pathfork has produced a decent stayer before and his Kahal dam won four times including twice over 1800m.
Eye Of The Prophet has always been a nice sort and is proven over the trip, so can be a contender again from draw seven.
Electric Gold is a long-striding scopey sort who would not be a surprise winner over a distance that suits him and on a track with a long straight that is ideal for his style. He is one of the three horses in the race who have won over a trip this far.
East Coast will relish the step up in trip and from pole position will be dangerous.
Shoemaker is full of class but has pulled in his last two starts. If able to settle from a tough draw he will be a big runner.
Jimmy Don has class and a good turn of foot but on pedigree there is a stamina doubt.
Laguna Verde has always been well regarded and he showed why last time when winning the Egoli Mile with topweight. That was his first run in blinkers. He is by Gimmethegreenlight and interestingly his Captain Al dam, who ran three times for two wins and a second in the Starling Stakes over 1400m, is out of the SA Fillies Classic winner Urabamba (Fort Wood). So, it would be no real surprise to see Laguna Verde in the mix.
Money Heist caught the eye staying on well from last in the Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas, but has been plagued by wide draws. He now has a good draw at last but although he runs as if he will stay the trip, his pedigree suggests a stamina doubt. However, he has the maestro Piere Strydom up so is sure to be given every chance.
Rule By Force was staying on for sixth in Gauteng Guineas and gave the impression he would enjoy the trip and he is trained by Joe Soma, who can be ignored at your peril.
Total Protection is talented and will enjoy the trip, but he does have issues at the start and has refused to jump once.
Star Coin won well over 2000m last time, but he does have a tough draw and on 1400m form he is well held by Jimmy Don.
Anfields Rocket was staying on in the Gauteng Guineas for a 4,50 length fifth, but his good record over sprints suggests the trip will stretch him.
Le Morne is by Futura and should be improving, but he does have a lot to do to reverse a, 11,25 length defeat in the Gauteng Guineas where he was drawn in pole.
Argo Alley has an easy win over 1700m to his name, but when finding little cover in the Guateng Guineas he was beaten 21 lengths and from draw ten there is a risk the same will happen.
Captainofthegreen has a tough task at the weights.