SPRINTING stars from around the country will thrill the crowds at the annual festival of speed, the Tsogo Sun Sprint day at Scottsville Racecourse in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday that boasts the only official Grade 1 Jackpot in the country.
The R1-million, Grade 1 Tsogo Sun Sprint tops the bill supported by the R600 000, Grade 1 City Of Pietermaritzburg Fillies Sprint and the two R600 000, Grade 1 clashes for juveniles, the Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion and the Allan Robertson Championship – all four races over the testing 1 200m trip.
Carry On Alice (purple cap) and Alboran Sea (red cap) were great rivals.
Fields for the races have been confined to 14 runners and with the inside rail being brought in some four metres to eliminate the alleged better going down the inside, racing is expected to be fairer for all runners on the day.
While the flying filly Carry On Alice will be seen by many as the banker of the day when she bids to complete the race double in the City Of Pietermaritzburg Fillies Sprint having beaten Alboran Sea in the race last year, very competitive fields have been received for the three other events and racing should be hard, fast and exciting.
Carry On Alice won the Computaform Sprint at the end of April and under the weight-for-age conditions of Saturday’s race the Sean Tarry superstar looks very hard to beat.
Things are different, however, in the Tsogo Sun Sprint where the Computaform Sprint runner-up Talktothestars and third-placed Barbosa will lock horns again with the Dennis Drier-trained Barbosa being 4kg better off with Coenie de Beer’s charge for a four lengths beating recently at Turffontein. However Barbosa now has the “home town” advantage, things could be very close between them.
Adding to the interest in the race will be the return of former Tsogo Sun Sprint winner Red Ray from the Joey Ramsden stable that makes his re-appearance in this country after a two-year break during which he campaigned overseas.
In the Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion, Drier will be out to secure his seventh win in the juvenile race and his fifth on the trot. He races the Horse Chestnut colt Horse Guards that won impressively by five lengths on debut on the polytrack at Greyville. He meets some smart young horses including the Var colt Rivarine from the Mike Azzie stable that was beaten into second place in the SA Nursery at Turffontein by the exciting Tarry-trained filly Cloth Of Cloud.
Also likely to produce a strong challenge is the Mike Azzie trained Oomph. The Tiger Ridge colt has demolished his opposition by more than three lengths in each of his races to date.
In the Allan Robertson Championship, Cloth Of Cloud is likely to be all the rage on her beating of the male opposition in the SA Nursery. She will be up against the winner of the SA Fillies Nursery winner Fursa from the Mike de Kock stable as well as the Tarry-trained Captain Al filly Myfunnyvalentine that ran second with the top young filly from the Cape, the Vaughan Marshall trained daughter of Captain Al, The Secret Is Out, a talented addition to the mix. The Secret Is Out has cruised home in both her races including the Strelitzia Stakes at Scottsville last time out and is expected to be a major player in this race.
The stage is set and the star cast is ready for what should be a fabulous day of Grade 1 racing on Tsogo Sun Sprint Raceday at Scottsville on Saturday, a meeting not to be missed.