ASSISTANT trainer Mathew de Kock has no doubt in his mind that Espumanti (headline photo) will restore her reputation as a top filly, despite her lacklustre fourth in last Saturday’s Grade 2 Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Guineas over 1600m at Turffontein, reports JACK MILNER, Racing Editor of The Citizen.
Espumanti was sent off 17-20 favourite for the R500,000 race, the first leg of the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara, but, after looking dangerous early in the home straight, faded to finish 4.75 lengths behind winner Cherry On The Top.
De Kock confirmed that the British-bred daughter of Dansili had pulled up sound and was back in training. “I’m not too disappointed. It was a little bit of a flat run but I did warn people that it was her first time over the distance and first time against this class of filly.
“At one point she almost hit the front and then just flattened out. We might have been a run short because she missed out on a run in the Three Troikas Stakes. We just have to suck it up. She didn’t miss that much work but those couple of days off may have taken the edge off her. One must not forget that Cherry On The Top and King’s Mistress are top fillies with proven track records.
“It was probably a lot to ask of Espumanti but we know we have a top filly and she will be back,” said De Kock.
On the subject of the Fillies Classic, De Kock jun said he was delighted with the performance of Al Kindi in the Fillies Guineas. “Take note of Al Kindi for the Fillies Classic. She was tailed off last but ran on to finish seventh. She must have run a fast 400m-to-finish. I was pretty impressed with that run, considering she was drawn widest of all.”
Speaking of their Betting World Gauteng Guineas runners, he added: “It was too short for Alexandra Palace. He also ended up racing three wide, which was not ideal.
“Cannon and Emerald Approach disappointed me. Emerald Approach was blocked but it didn’t really affect his chances. Cannon was perfectly positioned, despite a poor draw, and had every chance.”
Of the stable’s other runners at the meeting, De Kock felt Canterbury Tale “ran a cracker but is probably better over 2800m”.
“They slowed it up going through the 1400m and that didn’t suit us. Rocco’s Luck is going to be gelded and I think he didn’t see out the trip.”