THURSDAY’s draw for next weekend’s Grade 1 Avontuur Estate Fillies Guineas in Cape Town could have a dramatic effect on Saturday’s Grade 2 Ipi Tombe Stakes and the Grade 3 Fillies Mile to be run at Turffontein.
Trainer Mike de Kock has both Rumya and Festival Of Fire in the Ipi Tombe Stakes but has not yet declared jockeys for his two runners. “I will only name the jockeys once I know they are going to run,” said De Kock. “I have entered them in the Fillies Guineas at Kenilworth but I want to see where they are drawn before deciding where to run them.
“If they draw wide there is no way I’m going to spend R40,000 to take them down. In that case I will run them at Turffontein. If one or both draw well, then I will pull them out of the Ipi Tombe and take my chances in Cape Town.”
Meanwhile Sean Tarry has the identical problem with Amber Orchid in the Fillies Mile. “I am also waiting to see where she is drawn before making a decision. If she takes her place at Turffontein she will obviously be a massive runner but I first have to decide where she will run.”
The final declarations for the Cape Fillies Guineas are at 11am this morning with the draw taking place later. However, they could find a whole lot of withdrawals if the up-country horses draw wide.
De Kock hit out at the decision to do the draw for barrier positions so late. “Quite honestly they are doing racing a disservice but this time they may learn from their mistakes. No one has been favoured by this decision. It is not good for the trainers, owners or the punters.
“I am not sure how to prepare my horses because I don’t know whether they’ll be running this Saturday or next Saturday. It is impossible for me to plan.”
In previous years the Sansui Summer Cup meeting took place on the final Saturday in November, with two weeks separating the Fillies Mile at Turffontein and the Fillies Guineas at Kenilworth and some rescheduling might be necessary to make sure trainers have enough time to decide where they want to run their horses.
However, as De Kock pointed out, if they knew the draws beforehand, the decision would be easy.
“Why wait until the last minute with the draws. I know they do it with the Dubai World Cup but that is a $10-million race and you’ll take your chances from any draw.
“One should be able to create enough excitement with the announcement of the final field without holding back on the draws.” – Racing Express.
Draws should not be too much of a factor over 1600m(enough straight to place your mount before first bend) on the Kenilworth summer course, especially if the false rail is wide. The bigger problem in these big races is the lack of pace and maybe this is the reason that everyone is looking for good draws, so they can be well positioned when they turn it into a sprint at the finish. This years entries for the Cape Guineas must be the strongest ever seen and you won’t get anywhere near this in Gauteng or KZN this season. If you really would like a good measurement of how good these horses are, you are not going to get it in a very sub-standard grade 2 Ipi Tombi but the Guineas(Grade 1) will be a perfect trial to find out. If they are running on the Summer Course, the Guineas should be the choice, irrespective of the draw.