Classic Day marks the second leg of the Highveld’s WSB Triple Crown and Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara series for three-year-olds. There is a whopping R1,5-million on offer for the G1 WSB SA Classic and R1,25-million at stake for the G1 Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic, both to be run over 1800m at Turffontein on Saturday.
Mike de Kock left for a brief trip to Australia en route to the USA on Thursday, but he reported that he had put some good work into, and finishing touches on his Classic Day runners. He sent us his previews for punters to consider, brought to you by BETWAY. Read the Insiders Blog every week!
The stables principal market rivals, Lady Of Power (Fillies Classic) and Eye Of The Prophet (SA Classic), will have plenty of supporters cheering them on, in their attempts to add the second legs of the respective series to their victories in the first round. But Mike has runners in both races capable of having a say. He believes it’s not ‘race over’ by any means in both the classics.
He commented: “In starting with the SA Classic, punters can draw a line through Shoemaker’s last run. Both he and East Coast returned choked up with mucus. We probably got it tactically wrong sending Shoemaker to the front in the Guineas so we’ll take our medicine and come from off the pace again. East Coast will enjoy the extra 200m.
“Both horses took some time to clear the mucus but its well cleared now, they had a good preparation. They’re doing well, I am happy with both, they seem not far off their best so we’re looking forward to the race. I’d give both eachway chances.”
Bonete, like the SA Classic pair, will be coming into the Fillies Classic over 1800m off a satisfactory preparation. Mike has noted that she’s an Oaks prospect this year and with this race as her final run into the Oaks, she’s likely to be a contender at the finish. “Bonete is well, she has improved after her Guineas run and we’re expecting her to put up a good run.” Boneta’s dam, Ilha Bela, was beaten just a neck in this race, in 2012, before going on to easy Oaks win.
Mike has given jockey Craig Zackey a ‘welcome-back’ ride on Forever Mine in the G2 Hawaii Stakes over 1400m, following his return from a most successful spell in New Zealand. But Zackey has his work cut out in this quality race, and so too does Richard Fourie on Humdinger. The trainer assessed: “At the weights and with the draws considered, both runners have tough tasks considering their styles of racing. They are well, will give of their best, but we’ll be happy if they can place in this contest.”
The undercard also has some interesting races and the stable has a chance of getting on the board with Red Hot Rose, a newcomer to the track in Race 3 over 1160m. She’s a daughter of Flower Alley, bred for further, but showing enough speed and ability to be involved. “If not too green, she’ll be in the money, her lack of experience might play a role.” Red Hot Rose’s dam, Festival Of Fire (Kahal), was beaten into second in two G1 features back in 2013, so there is class on the dam side too.
Clear Winter (Race 9, 1160m) ran a fair third last time, holding his form off a higher rating and Mike commented: “He’s just a handicapper, but this is an open race and he warrants inclusion, he has a chance of sorts.”
“On The Guest List (Race 10, 1600m) is well exposed, no star. But if she runs an honest race she can earn a minor stake in this line-up.”