THE R1-million Maine Chance Farms Gr1 Paddock Stakes over 1800m at Kenilworth on Saturday has once again attracted a top class field of fillies and mares with talented raiders from around the country set to contest matters for the honour of putting this prestigious and highly valuable stud-book race to their names.
Mike de Kock has won the Paddock Stakes four times, saddling Dog Wood (1999), Escoleta Fitz (2002), Angelina (2004) and Mother Russia (2009), the four individuals ridden by different jockeys. So if you like having a flutter on what some would define as historically predictive form factors, Mike’s 2015 entry Pine Princess, priced up around 6-1, will make a bit of eachway appeal.
Weichong Marwing: Gets a leg over Pine Princess.
Her solid three-year-old form aside, Pine Princess will enjoy the good fortune of having Weichong Marwing on her back when she goes to post in this formidable line-up at 4pm. On 9 January 1999 Marwing partnered Dog Wood to win the De Kock stable’s first Paddock Stakes and his return 16 years later and almost exactly to the day, may hold an unusual measure of prophetic luck!
Denis Drier’s Jet Aglow (7-2 favourite), Mike Bass’ Hammie’s Hooker (11-2) and Brett Crawford-trained Maybe Yes (7-1) are three of the immediate dangers to Pine Princess but there are several others with chances including another upcountry raider Athina (Joe Soma, 8-1) and Justin Snaith’s filly Acrostar (8-1), while another Bass inmate Inara will have her supporters at 9-1.
The Paddock Stakes is always a cracking race. Pine Princess has not been taken to Cape Town for the scenery. She is a brave sort with enough ability to make her presence felt and here’s hoping that Marwing’s booking is the good omen the filly’s followers will be banking on!