DESPITE doubts about whether he will see out 1800m, Mike de Kock has kept Gauteng Guineas winner Link Man (photo) in the field for the R2-million SA Classic to be run at Turffontein on Saturday 26 March.
He has a strong hand in the race with two other runners who are certain to stay – Perana and Dark Wind.
In the SA Fillies Classic, Mike has opted to run Gauteng Fillies Guineas winner Igugu but has pulled out third-placed Welwitschia. He said he had decided to split the two as they were both talented three-year-old fillies and would have different missions for the remainder of the season.
These two Grade 1 races form the second legs of the SASCOC SA Triple Crown and the Triple Tiara for fillies respectively. There is a R2-million bonus for any horse who wins all three legs of the Triple Crown and a R1-million windfall for the Triple Tiara winner.
There is strong opposition awaiting Link Man. Charles Laird runs Guineas third Galileo’s Destiny, who was doing his best work at the finish and will be better suited to this 1800m.
English Garden had an excellent warm-up race and Mike Bass’ charge looks set for a big run in this event. Vaughan Marshall sends out Investec Cape Derby winner Top Seller who is sure to enjoy the long Turffontein run-in. However, he has not yet raced on the Highveld.
Sean Tarry looks to have a useful sort in lightly raced Roman Wall. Jockey Johnny Geroudis said he believed this long-striding horse would be far better suited to the standside track after he took time to get going in a race on the inside track last Saturday.
Snowdon put in a decent preparatory run last Saturday over 1450m and Ormond Ferraris’ runner looks fit, well and ready to run a big race.
Igugu will be hard to oppose in the SA Fillies Classic. The field has been reduced to just nine runners and her main opposition is still likely to come from Laird’s Hollywoodboulevard.
The fields are: