FIVE feature races will be run on Guineas day at Turffontein and all the big races are tricky, with some runners having preparatory runs for bigger prizes later in the season and doubts about others’ wellbeing.
Here are assistant trainer John Buckler’s comments on Mike de Kock’s runners in the Grade 2 races on the day, the R1-million Gauteng Guineas, the R500,000 Gauteng Fillies Guineas and the R300,000 Hawaii Stakes, and other races, courtesy of Racing Express:
Checcetti (Acacia Handicap) is doing nicely and should be better suited to the “mile” this time. She is also nicely weighted. Europa Point (Acacia Handicap) is coming off a bit of a break but is very well at the moment. She’s had plenty work and is fit enough to win.
Galileo’s Destiny (Hawaii Stakes) has had a long break and is going to need a run. Gibraltar Blue (Hawaii Stakes) has come back from Cape Town and is very well. She has a good draw and I think she will be a big runner over 1400m. I envisage a lot of pace in the race and she should be in the front. The straight course at the Vaal did not suit Kavanagh (Hawaii Stakes) last time he ran. He is a better horse around the turn. His work is very good at the moment and this is his best distance. He is the stable elect. Solo Traveller (Hawaii Stakes) is doing well with us. He is 4kg worse off with Kavanagh on their last meeting but needed that run. He gives the impression that he will need further. He will prefer the standside track this time as he is a big-striding horse.
Bluroute (Fillies Guineas) is a nice filly, she’s drawn well and we’re expecting a good run. Last time she took on the colts and had to give them weight. I think Ilha Bella (Fillies Guineas) was unlucky not to win last time but this 1600m is a little too short. Despite that, I’m expecting a decent display. Unfortunately Salsabeel (Fillies Guineas)is drawn wide at No 12. She put up a good gallop with Bluroute the other day and on that effort, with the exception of the draw, it is hard to separate the two.
Frontino Gold (Guineas reserve) is the second reserve and looks unlikely to make the field. Golden Chateau (Guineas) was coughing badly after his last run. He’s drawn well but I think a “mile” is a little on the short side for him. He will be running on. Governor General (Guineas) is doing very well since we brought him up from Durban. Unfortunately, he is drawn at No 16 and Johnny Geroudis will have to drop him out. If Johnny can get him midfield it would help. He is an experienced jockey and we will leave it up to him to use his discretion. Even if we do drop him out, he will be running on strongly. His last run was on the inside track, which I don’t believe suits him. He’s a horse I think will go further and we will look at the SA Classic with him. Red Barrel (Guineas) is coming back from a long rest and, more than likely, will need the run. And he’s drawn at No 17. Silver Flyer’s (Guineas) preparation suffered a setback when he developed colic coming back from Cape Town. He was in a clinic for just over a week and missed a lot of work. We’ve done what we can and we’re just hoping for the best. If he was at the top of his game, he would have been the first choice of the stable.
Atyeb (Aquanaut Handicap) and Dunraven are very close on their last run. On work Atyeb looks a little better. He’s an out-and-out stayer and the conditions should suit him. Dunraven came through that race well. He and Atyeb are at level weights again so he must have a chance. Hawk’s Eye (Aquanaut Handicap) has come up from Cape Town and might just need this run. He gets a bit hot but we will know a lot more about him after the race.
Headline photo: Silver Flyer wins Dingaans in 2011.