THE Turffontein Standside meeting today features the Listed Swallow Stakes over 1160m and two up and coming sorts could dish it out to some more experienced rivals.
The Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained What A Winter filly Celestial Love returned from a layoff to obliterate a maiden field by 6,25 lengths over this course and distance in early December and her time was a full second quicker than the first race over that distance on the same day, despite winning easing up. So, she could be the one to beat off a nice galloping weight of 55kg. She is officially 8kg under sufferance with the best weighted horse, Anna Capri, but she is still unexposed and should rise above her current merit rating.
Bequest is unbeaten in three starts and is a big strong filly who could also be anything, so the fact that carrying 59kg puts her 8.5kg under sufferance with Anna Capri should not be too much to be concerned about as she is also still unexposed and on the up.
Ecstatic Green has proven class having been a narrow runner up in the Grade 1 Allan Robertson over 1200m last season and she won the Grade 2 Debutante over 1200m easily. This season she was narrowly defeated by the top class War Of Athena at level weights over 1200m and then finished fourth in a Grade 3 over 1400m, a trip which stretched her. In her last start in the Grade 3 Magnolia Handicap over 1160m she was all the rage carrying just 52kg, but horses drawn high that day were not going through with their runs and she was one of them. She can bounce back on Sunday and should be a big runner.
Sweet Sensation has substance and although officially 6.5kg under sufferance with Anna Capri she beat the latter by a head in her penultimate start over 1000m when receiving just 2kg.
Anna Capri would likely prefer 1000m as she is capable of blitzing a field and she might attempt the same here over this quick 1160m, but she is going to be vulnerable late.
Zimbaba made a fine debut when beaten just three-quarters of a length by the talented War Room over 1000m, who was exported as an unbeaten winner of three starts. Zimbaba returned after a eight month layoff to win a maiden over 1200m and there have been six winners out of that race. However, she needs to bounce back from a lacklustre effort over 1100m in November when beaten 11,50 lengths in a handicap over 1100m off an 89 rating.
Rapid Fire was precocious, winning impressively first time out, but she did not progress and her next win came off an 84 rating in an uninspiring field. However, she did win easily so it heralded a form return and she is not completely out of it.
They are selected in the order mentioned.
www.goldcircle.co.za – David Thiselton