THERE’S some brilliant racing in store for racegoers at Kenilworth on Saturday, writes NICCI GARNER of The Citizen’s Racing Express, when two of the most promising three-year-old fillies in the country cross swords for the first time.
Justin Snaith’s unbeaten Ebony Flyer (left on photo) and Mike de Kock’s star Australian-bred filly Igugu (right) will do battle in the R750,000 Avontuur Estate Cape Fillies Guineas (Grade 1) and the race promises to deliver a magnificent finish.
Snaith’s Jet Master filly is a dual feature race winner, having followed her debut success with a decisive victory in the Ladies Slipper over 1400m at Arlington in June. Snaith then gave her time to mature and she showed her appreciation by coming out and posting a facile win in the Odessa Stud Fillies Championship.
Snaith said yesterday: “She’s very good and, while I have respect for Igugu, I’m quietly confident. Ebony Flyer’s preparation couldn’t have gone better. She’s doing well and has everything in her favour.’’
She travels beyond 1400m for the first time in her career, but is bred to relish the distance, is well drawn and will be partnered by Bernard Fayd’herbe who rode her to victory last time.
Igugu also won her first three starts, including taking the honours in the Joburg Spring Fillies Challenge over 1450m at Turffontein in October. There were excuses for her second in the Ready To Run Cup behind Hollywoodboulevard – a filly who went on to win the KIC Fillies Mile on Summer Cup day last Saturday.
De Kock said: “She did not have a perfect preparation – I was always under pressure with her. She’s had a very good prep into this race and has won over 1600m before.’’
With six of the nine runners in the other feature at the meeting, the Tony Taberer Southern Cross Stakes over 1000m, Snaith looks a certainty to take the race with the best of his horses looking to be consistent Country Girl.