Two horses who have thrived since moving up to the Highveld from the coast are Marchingontogether and Majestic Mozart, and they look set to fight out the finish of Race 5 at Turffontein on Sunday, a Pinnacle Stakes over 2000m on the Standside track.
Majestic Mozart was trained in the Western Cape by Candice Bass-Robinson and although the Bass family still retain an interest in the six-year-old son of Dynasty, he was moved to Ashley Fortune’s yard at the Vaal. One of the strategies was presumably to give him a run in the Grade 1 Summer Cup where he put up an excellent challenge to run a 0.25-length second behind Flying Carpet.
But he has performed well on the Highveld and has recorded two wins among his four starts since his move. He has been carded to carry 60kg but with apprentice Kaidan Brewer aboard, it will take 4kg off his back and that should make him a massive runner.
Marchingontogether was trained in KwaZulu-Natal but moved to trainer St John Gray last September when he got involved in the ownership.
The six-year-old gelding has thrived under his tutelage and in six starts has won three times and placed on the other three occasions. The most impressive of those victories came on 4 December when he literally sailed home by 11.25 lengths over the same course and distance as Sunday’s race.
He followed that up with a very decent 3.85-length third behind Sparkling Water in a Pinnacle Stakes over 2400m at this course, giving the Mike de Kock-trained filly 3.5kg. Considering she is now favourite to win the Grade 2 Cape Stayers over 2800m at Kenilworth on Saturday, that was a decent effort from the Pathfork gelding.
He also comes into this race as the best weighted runner, just 0.5kg ahead of Majestic Mozart.
Gavin Lerena has ridden him twice since Marchingontogether arrived in Joburg, for a win and a one-length third behind Shangani and has been engaged to ride him again.
On the Summer Cup form horses like Golden Pheasant and Johnny Hero should be right on their tails so it should be a thrilling contest.
Race 7 is the Listed Wolf Power 1600 and Mike de Kock-trained Al Muthana can finally pick up his first feature-race victory. He come off runs in the Grade 1 Summer Cup and the Grade 2 OnamissionMile and this time he takes a drop in class and looks the runner to beat.
Muzi Yeni has picked up the ride for the first time.
Chijmes ran a much-improved race last time and is 3kg better off with Al Muthana or a 2.75-length beating. So should finish a lot closer on this occasion.
Jack Milner’s selections
Race 1: 3 United Prince, 2 Twin Strike, 4 Vartacus, 7Without Equal
Race 2: 1 Tracy’s Princess, 10 Time Is Ticking, 6 Flying Vixen, 9 Saint Anastasia
Race 3: 1 JP Two Thousand, 2 Coming In Hot, 9 Red Aura, 10 Rio’s Kiss
Race 4: 3 Maria’s World, 1 Pashasha, 5 Rattle Bag, 2 Azucar
Race 5: 2 Majestic Mozart, 4 Marchingontogether, 1 Johnny Hero, 3 Golden Pheasant
Race 6: 2 Smoking Hot, 8 Un Deux Trois, 1 Heart Stwings, 12 Keepingthepeace
Race 7: 2 Al Muthana, 4 Chijmes, 5 Willow Express, 1 Expressfromtheus
Race 8: 4 Pewter Sky, 3 Leeson, 9 Nichathan, 10 Rosso Corsa
Race 3 No 1 JP Two Thousand
Race 6 No 2 Smoking Hot
Race 4 1×3