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Apache Fighter is selected by Dave Mollett to win the Non-Black Type Allez France Stakes tomorrow (Saturday) at Turffontein Standside (JC Photos)

Crimson Princess and Apache Fighter race at Turffontein on Saturday

by David Mollett (Business Day)
With the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal between France and SA scheduled for Sunday, the name of the feature race at Turffontein on Saturday — the Allez France (“Go France”) Stakes — can only be described as unfortunate.
The World Cup has certainly become a  dominant focus of attention for sports fans and one would imagine only French citizens resident in the country will be chanting “Allez France”.
In the 2,200m race at the city track, trainer Roy Magner holds a strong hand with Crimson Princess and Apache Fighter.
The interesting aspect is that one suspects Magner offered Muzi Yeni the choice of rides as he rode both mares in their recent starts. Perhaps not surprisingly, he’ll be aboard Apache Fighter who is set to receive 6kg from her stablemate.
There is also the question regarding the distance.  Apache Fighter has won over 2,400m while Crimson Princess will be trying this longer trip for the first time.
Another runner unproven over 2,200m is Robbie Sage’s four-year-old, United Council. S’manga Khumalo has got the call to partner owner Colin Bird’s daughter of The United States for the first time.
Gavin Lerena seems to get the best out of Opera Glass who has excelled for Steve Moffatt’s stable. A R70,000 buy as a yearling, the mare’s earnings have exceeded R760,000.
Magner and Yeni team up with Melech in the sixth race and the gelding has won four of his six starts for enthusiastic owner John Finlayson. The son of William Longsword could notch his fifth win provided he can beat Tony Peter’s runner, Meridius.
Purchased at Ashley Fortune’s dispersal sale, Meridius hasn’t raced since the end of July and the market will be the best guide to his chance.
Several Betway Summer Cup hopes are in the field for this 1,600m contest including Safe Passage, Billy Bowlegs and Litigation. The first-named performance will be closely monitored as the five-year-old is 6-1 second favourite for the November 25 race.
Mike de Kock has three runners in the race and one feels that both Union Square (JP van der Merwe) and East Coast (Rachel Venniker) are better than their form suggests. The alumites go on Union Square so he could be the pick of the duo.
De Kock has another fancied runner, Sharapova, a daughter of Nother Russia, running in the final leg of the Pick 6 in which Tamil Tigress makes plenty of appeal carrying just 53kg.
The stable can start the meeting with a winner as the Vercingetorix filly, Woman Of Power, looks set to open her account following two placed runs. She has failed to justify favouritism in her two starts but should get it right this time.
Woman Of Power’s stablemate, Red Hot Rose, returns from a 19-month break in the third race and may be worth opposing with Johan Janse van Vuuren’s expensive colt, Barbaresco. The grey cost R1.4m as a yearling and was an impressive winner of his third start.
Candice Dawson’s team is hitting top gear and — following a brave effort at Greyville three weeks ago — her five-year-old, Captain Of Grit, looks worth a punt in the final leg of the Pick 6. It might pay to take the swinger with the frustrating Kotinos.
1st Race: (11) Woman Of Power (9) Sahara Dawn (3) Boom Boom (4) Shine In Memphis
2nd Race: (6) Beamonesque (9) Mizzen Sail (1) Ethanator (2) Callaburn
3rd Race: (7) Barbaresco (9) Red Hot Rose (10) Chasing Happiness (8) Dreamland
4th Race: (3) Coldhardstare (1) Winter Greeting (2) Emerald Princess (4) What A Honey
5th Race: (1) Turbo Power (3) Napoleon (4) Nothingelsematters (2) Moola Man
6th Race: (6) Melech (7) Meridius (8) Union Square (1) Safe Passage
7th Race: (7) Apache Fighter (1) Crimson Princess (4) United Council (3) Opera Glass
8th Race: (10) Captain Of Grit (11) Kotinos (1) River Romeo (4) Running Rifles
9th Race: (10) Tamil Tigress (5) Sharapova (2) Magical Flight (6) Trentino