Lucy English has been tipped by Dave Mollett to win the Grade 3 Sycamore Sprint over 1160m at Turffontein Standside tomorrow (JC Photos).
Sycamore Sprint A Nightmare For Tipsters With So Many Vying For Victory
Each of the 14 runners has a winning chance
From time to time, tipsters are faced with a Bechers Brook race — the stiffest fence in the Grand National, which will enjoy its 175th renewal on April 15.
The Bechers Brook race this weekend is Saturday’s R200,000 Sycamore Sprint at Turffontein in which each of the 14 runners has a winning chance.
The early market leader is Kiss Me Captain with Mike and Adam Azzie’s filly boasting an impressive win in the Swallow Stakes in January. The daughter of Captain Of All is bidding for her fifth win in seven career starts.
This column likes to find an outsider in the Grand National and the one who appeals in the Sycamore is Lucky Houdalakis’s runner, Lucy English. She ran a bit flat in her latest outing but that was only her second start since July 2022.
The worry for both Houdalakis and the Azzies is that their runners have a low draw — those drawn high usually have an advantage in sprints at the city track.
Dancetildaylight — also drawn on the inside — started her career with Candice Bass-Robinson and won two races. Now in the care of trainer Johan van Vuuren, the filly made a pleasing highveld debut when second to Texas Red in February.
It’s a plus that Dancetildaylight will have Keagan De Melo in the saddle as this season’s leading rider closes in on 200 winners for the current campaign.
Tony Peter’s filly Cold Fact has a high draw and the four-year-old should go well with Craig Zackey partnering the daughter of What A Winter for the second time. However, his mount is 3kg worse off with Stuart Pettigrew’s runner, Alula’s Star.
Richard Fourie is getting plenty of rides for Sean Tarry and he has been booked for the top weight, Marigold Hotel. The four-year-old faces no easy task with 60kg on her back.
Miss Cool drops back to sprinting after contesting the Gauteng Fillies Guineas and is in the mix with British-bred Good Queen Bess, who has performed well on her last two outings.
Though it’s tough to be confident about any selection, 11-1 chance Lucy English is the choice to beat home Kiss Me Captain, Alula’s Star and Cold Fact.
The supporting feature — the 1,800m Jacaranda Handicap — doesn’t look much easier but Fourie can go close on Clafoutis, who got home in a rough finish to the recent Acacia Handicap.
Whether he can beat Queen Of Shadows remains to be seen as Alec Laird’s daughter of Vercingetorix is 2.5kg better off with Mike de Kock’s filly.
Gilded Butterfly — unbeaten over the distance — is a kilo better off with Clafoutis and should go well in the hands of Gavin Lerena. Another who must be included in exotic perms is the lightly-raced Tipsy Tarragon.
1st Race: (1) Iron Sky (2) Fulliautomatix (8) Flying Broomstick (5) Viva De Janeiro
2nd Race: (2) Free Movement (1) American Biscuit (11) Mambo Come Tesio (3) Celtic Rush
3rd Race: (8) Robert Burns (2) Trident King (9) Sequoia (7) Admiralty Arch
4th Race: (6) Wokonda (9) Strange Magic (8) Paton’s Tears (1) Captain Peg
5th Race: (6) Bee In My Bonnet (2) Winter Muse (11) Lunar Ballade (1) National Star
6th Race: (10) Queen Of Shadows (3) Clafoutis (1) Gilded Butterfly (5) Tipsy Tarragon
7th Race: (12) Lucy English (7) Dancetildaylight (4) Kiss Me Captain (2) Alula’s Star
8th Race: (7) Fostinovo (4) Vegas Hi Rise (3) Chyavana (9) Mini Coop
9th Race: (2) Cian The Conqueror (6) South Boy (7) Siberian Steel (1) Blue Waters
My press pass allowed me to get a little too close to the 2009 Champion Hurdle runners.
Ups And Downs Of Punting Illustrated By My Cheltenham Visits
A sleepless night ensued on what might have been and that is not to mention the psychological ramifications such a happening has on one’s subsequent betting strategy.
Imperial Commander was walked down to the Hollow Bottom pub by trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies after winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2010 (Picture: alamy).
Hollywood Colours Fourth In The Triumph Hurdle
Lossiemouth has won the JCB Triumph Hurdle in the opening race of the final day of the Cheltenham Festival.
Willie Mullins had seven horses in the race and was trainer of the first four home.
The Hollywood Syndicate colours were carried by Gust Of Wind, who was in strong contention approaching the climb to the finish as he was sitting behind the leaders still under a hold.
However, he could not match his stable companions up the hill and had to settle for fourth, which was still some feat considering he started at odds of 22/1.
Justifying Paul Townend’s decision to select the filly, Lossiemouth produced an assured run to win by a couple of lengths from Gala Marceau in second and Zenta in third.
Despite a delayed start owing to some of the horses becoming uncomfortable at the start, Lossiemouth kept her cool amid an often packed and unsettled field.
Merit Rating Appeal Fails For Nick Jonsson’s Splashout Cape Derby Runners
An independent National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa (NHA) Merit Rating Appeal panel consisting of Messrs R Napier, G Soma and K Miedema was convened virtually on 17 March 2023. The panel considered Merit Rating Appeals lodged by Trainer Mr J Snaith against the published adjusted ratings of the following horses following the SplashOut Cape Derby (Grade 1) on 25 February 2023 at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth Racecourse:
124 given to SEE IT AGAIN
119 given to WITHOUT QUESTION
109 given to ROCKPOOL
The Appeal Panel, after careful consideration regarding if the correct line horse had been used by the Handicappers, concurred that AT MY COMMAND was the correct line horse in this case and that their assessment of the race was correct.
Consequently, the three Appeals were dismissed.
The Appeal Panel ruled that the deposit fee in relation to the three appeals be refunded.
Ryan Munger Excited to Ride at Woodbine
The 27-year-old top-10 rider in South Africa and champion in Zimbabwe is headed to Ontario to start a new chapter in his career.
Munger is excited to travel more than 20 hours to Woodbine and he is sure to be a great addition to the competitive Woodbine jockey colony.
Yeni And Jacobson Still In Limbo
The Inquiry involving jockeys Billy Jacobson and Muzi Yeni will apparently continue in Johannesburg on 3 and 4 April, having commenced on Tuesday.
Hollywoodbets Life After Racing Program For Retired Horses
Galopin Des Champs wins the Gold Cup under Paul Townend (Picture: BBC).
Galopin Des Champs wins the Cheltenham Gold Cup for Willie Mullins
Paul Townend produces a brilliant ride to edge Bravemansgame after defending champion A Plus Tard was pulled up in pulsating race
Bravemansgame followed in second, while Conflated, trained by Gordon Elliott, produced a brilliant run off a fair pre-race price to finish third.
The picture gives a clue to the Gold Cup’s winning-most horse (Hulton archive/Getty images).
Answer at the bottom of the newsletter.
Tom Dreaper, trainer of the legendary Arkle. (picture: alamy)