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Picture: Celestial City seen at auction (BSA).

Celestial City is quoted at 5-2 to win on his belated debut
 
David Mollett (Business Day)
 
All eyes will be on record buy Celestial City when the R7m purchase makes his belated debut at Turffontein on Tuesday. Bookmakers quote the son of Silvano at 5-2 to win on his first racecourse appearance.
 
It’s no surprise that Celestial City was all the rage at the 2020 National Yearling Sales as he is a half-brother to champion Rainbow Bridge and full-brother to 10-time winner, Hawwaam.
 
The four-year-old is in the care of trainer Sean Tarry, who told Winning Form that the colt “may need the experience and should run well”.
 
The opposition in the third race at the city track includes some well-bred sorts including Top Sail, Stepping Out and Trois Trois Quatre.
 
Mike de Kock’s three-year-old Trois Trois Quatre — a R400,000 son of Rafeef — made a pleasing debut last month and will have learnt from that experience.
 
Paul Matchett saddled a couple of winners last month and the former Zimbabwe champion trainer will be expecting a big run from Top Sail. It’s a plus factor that leading jockey Keagan De Melo retains the ride.
 
Stepping Out failed to justify favouritism in a recent Work Riders race, but the son of Var is reunited with Gavin Lerena and rates a good each-way chance.
 
Tarry and Lerena team up with Platinum Sky in the fifth race and the four-year-old is back in calmer waters after contesting the Victory Moon Stakes. This 1,600m contest can provide the Hollywood Syndicate with another winner.
 
With just 51.5kg on his back, Simple Simple rates the main danger to Platinum Sky as this De Kock inmate has also been taking on stronger company.
 
The trickiest race for punters is the sixth in which the whole field of 10 runners have chances of taking top honours. De Melo will be looking to follow up a recent win on Fast Love, while Castle Corner, Indus Knight and Cabinet Shuffle are very much in the mix.
 
Young Kaidan Brewer rides Castle Corner for the first time and — though not well drawn — Stuart Pettgrew’s five-year-old looks likely to take a hand in the finish.
 
Candice Dawson sends five runners and saddles the Flower Alley gelding, Indus Knight, which was bought at Paul Peter’s dispersal sale. The two-time winner has the advantage of a favourable draw.
 
Earlier in the meeting, Keagan De Melo should add to his seasonal tally when he partners Wind Water for trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren in the first race.
 
Wind Water — a R200,000 buy from Normandy Stud — made an encouraging debut when third behind Mychical Dream in a maiden race in September. The stable has back-up in the form of four-year-old Covert Operator.
 
SELECTIONS
 
1st Race: (10) Wind Water (1) Covert Operator (4) Last Survivor (3) Fort Apache
 
2nd Race: (8) Silver Mensa (2) Regina Bellissima (4) Heart And Mind (7) Let’s Cruise
 
3rd Race: (2) Celestial City (7) Trois Trois Quatre (4) Top Sail (3) Stepping Out
 
4th Race: (1) Brazilian Storm (2) Rosslyne (6) Casino Gail (9) United Council
 
5th Race: (1) Platinum Sky (7) Simple Simple (4) Cool Winter (3) Total Protection
 
6th Race: (5) Castle Corner (2) Fast Love (4) Indus Knight (10) Sylvan Theater
 
7th Race: (6) Rosenwind (7) Golden Aspen (2) Midnight Gem (9) Princess Philippa
 

8th Race: (3) Bonnaroo (6) Tulip Tree (7) Just Be Nice (4) Asiye Phambili