Mark van Deventer (Cape Racing)
On Saturday, 13 three-year olds will contest the Western Cape Fillies Championship (G2) over 1400m at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth. It could be that Ciao Bella prevails, but this is a tricky race with many of these unexposed youngsters having untapped potential.
The grey was visually impressive when slamming companion Kwinta’s Light at her last start.
Given that her stable mate is up with the best four-year-old sprinting fillies in the country, that form is arguably the best on offer. It helps that Justin Snaith is now really cranking his string up for peak performances; beautifully bred Ciao Bella (by Gimmethegreenlight ex Bela Bela) is handily drawn and will receive cagey tactical assistance from powerful hoop, Richard Fourie.
Candice Bass Robinson has also been in rich form, and she saddles Golden Hostess, Who Do You Love, Gimmies Lassie and Echo Of Life, who is poised on a four- timer but now takes on stronger opposition. There is little between the first two named who are clearly imbued with proper talent, yet both are inconvenienced by wide outside draws. Gimmies Lassie’s true ability is hard to peg accurately but sectionals reveal she can zip home swiftly and in Keagan de Melo she has the country’s hottest current jock ready to pounce when opportune.
Hold my Hand is proven at this class level having gone close in the Thekwini Stakes at Greyville and seems sure to be involved from a good gate. She meets Golden Hostess on the same weight terms, for a neck beating, from when they clashed last month.
Tipsy Tarragon is at least a bit better than Echo of Life on collateral form so might also be a factor though she will need to shine up on a dreary Diana Stakes flop when she caved in after over-racing.
Bevies Delight is another to consider based on neat KZN runs and her advantageous draw.
Time Fo Orchards, now with Vaughan Marshall, resumes after a 15 weeks break. She went close in the G2 Golden Slipper in July and is yet another worth a second peek.
Miss Marguerite suffered a tough trip last time and would have gone closer but will need a career best to trouble the scorer.