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Picture: Tuscan Winter wins easily on Saturday at Turffontein Insidse over 1200m.

 
The Turffontein Inside meeting on Saturday heralded a few talking points.
 
The Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained Tuscan Winter (What A Winter) is one of those rare horses who is able to come from the clouds to win races and these types are a joy to watch even if they often need things to go there way. He came from  a seemingly hopelessly tailed off position to win going away by 1,50 lengths over 1160m in March at Turffontein Standside, beating Homely Girl (Querari), who went on to win the Grade 2 Tibouchina. Tuscan Winter then ran in a race won by a runaway leader and that did not suit him. Gavin Lerena, who is in fine form, was aware that a five horse field over 1200m was unlikely to suit him on Saturday either, so had him in fourth position travelling at a comfortable gallop. From there he was able to produce his  devastating finish. He won by an easy 2,80 lengths. It was a Graduation Plate in which he was second best in at the weights and he remains on an 86 merit rating.
 
The first race saw an easy win for two-year-old Ashley Fortune-trained Total Protection (Ideal World) in a Maiden over 1600m under Ryan Munger. The win franked the form of the Grade 1 Premiers Champion Stakes entries Billy Bowlegs (The United States) and Eyjafjallajokull (Erupt), whom he split in a three-way finish last time out.
 
Mike and Adam Azzie then won a 1600m maiden for fillies and mares with Tabby Kat, who was ridden by S’Manga Khumalo, and she gave Canford Cliffs his 14th two-year-old winner of the season.
 
The next race over 2600m featured two Marshalls World Of Sport Gold Cup entries, Flying First Class (Silvano) and Lamborghreeni (Gimmethegreenlight), although they are both rated in the 70s and will likely need the latter field to cut up a bit to make it in. Lamborghreeni, who was an expensive purchase, was going for four staying race wins in succession but the David Nieuwenhuizen-trained Flying First Class was weighted to reverse for with him on their last meeting in this Middle Stakes event and duly did so. She swept past the front-running type and went on to beat him by 1,50 lengths. 
 
The progressive Candice Dawson-trained Raiseahallelujah (Querari) won the next over 2000m with a strong finish under Keagen de Melo and he earned himself a two point raise to 88. 
 
The classy Ashley Fortune-trained Sovereign Spirit rolled back the months by winning his first race as a six-year-old in the next over 1600m under Munger, beating the useful Sound Of Summer despite giving him 2kg.
 
Fortune and Munger made it a treble together when Laetitia’s Angel won the 8th.
 
Lerena went on to score a treble when winning with Silly Fella in the last, a result which gave Fanie Bronkhorst a double.
 
Those were the chief talking points on the day but showed that even in the depths of winter there is a good class of racing on the Highveld.