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Naval Guard expected to follow up in his impressive last win.

Jack Milner (The Citizen)

Trainer Paul Peter is in the best form of his career and after success in last Saturday’s Grade 1 Wilgerbosdrift HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m, and at the time of writing, he has moved into a R1,256,225 lead at the top of the national trainers’ log.

Peter is not resting on his laurels and tomorrow at Turffontein he has 17 horses carded to run on the 10-race programme.

He is sure to have a few winners but there are a couple of runners that really stand out.

Best of the day looks to be Freed From Desire in Race 5, a Pinnacle Stakes for fillies and mares over 1200m. They are running on the Inside track which means all the races take place around the turn and inside draws are a massive advantage.

This three-year-old filly is already a six-time winner from 13 starts and if you add four seconds and a third place to that, this daughter of Jackson has a most impressive record.

Despite the fact she carries joint top weight 60kg and has to give weight to all but Celestial love, Freed From Desire is very well handicapped.

Only Celestial Love is better weight and only by 0.5kg. In addition, this Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained filly has not been at her best of late and would need to improve on her last few races if she is to be competitive.

Freed From Desire has got excellent form at this course and where she has run three times for two wins and a close second. She is nicely drawn at No 3 and has a top jockey in Warren Kennedy.

Peter has high representation in Race 9, a MR 80 Handicap over 1800m, where he saddles five of the 12 runners.

They could very well fight it out and it would come as no surprise were they to fill the Trifecta or even the Quartet.

However, based on his selection of jockeys, Naval Guard looks the stable elect. He took a while to come to hand but his last win, over 2000m on the Standside track, was exceptional. The son of Elusive Fort looked superb and ran accordingly. He clearly needed gelding and since that was done, he has clearly turned the corner and there must be lots more to come.

Kennedy, who is well on his way to claiming the jockeys’ championship for the second time, is the first choice for the Peter stable and he has stuck with Naval Guard.

Secret Is Ours, with Gavin Lerena up, is another runner from the stable who will be competitive in this race.    

This meeting is the annual Hennenman Memorial Raceday, held in memory of those who died in the Hennenman air disaster on Tuesday 12 April 1988.

All the races are named of the jockeys, trainers, officials and crew who died in the accident which has had a devastating and long-lasting  impact on South African racing.

The full contents of The Citizen’s Racing Express below:

Picture: The Memorial to the Henneman Air Disaster Victims at Turffontein.