The 10-day card at Turffontein on Saturday is headed by the G2 Senor Santa Sprint, backed by the Listed Aquanaut Handicap, the Listed 4Racing Derby Trial and the Listed Ormond Ferraris Oaks Trial.
Mike de Kock has representatives in the two Trial races, both to be contested over 2000m and starting with Destiny Of Souls in the Derby Trial. He has been tipped to win by Computaform in a field of 13 in which he has to shoulder top weight. Destiny of Souls had his merit rating hiked to a highest ever 90 and since he was previously not fully effective off an 88, this is a concerning factor. He is a progressive type, however, has improved with racing and there was a lot to like about his fluent win in his first attempt over 1800m a fortnight ago. Mike commented: “That was a stiff penalty for his win. He’s back among his own, he’s quite a talented horse but this a test. It will be tough for him at handicap conditions carrying that weight, but he’s an obvious inclusion for exotic bets.”
Stable companion Climate Control has only missed a place in 10 starts and for his consistency looks like a runner with a place chance in the same contest. Mike said: “He’s needed his last two starts and, back among three-year-olds in a handicap he should go well. He is a little high in the rating still, I’d say, but he is certainly capable of having a say and he’s very fit.”
Littlemarysunshine was impressive when she raced under a big weight and fought gamely to win a 1450m handicap on 23 February. She’s one of the popular fancies in the Oaks Trial and Mike noted: “Even though she’s by stamina sire Silvano, I’m a little concerned that I’m stretching her over 2000m. When we dropped her from 1800m to 1450 she won really well and some of her best form has been over 1450m. So this does worry me slightly. She is capable, but I’m doubting myself just a bit over the 2000. Let’s hope and see.”
The stable’s Magic Prince (Race 1, 1160m), has been disappointing on the track and Mike said: “He’s a horse that shows quite a lot in work. Keagan De Melo rode him last time in a race, felt that he wasn’t giving his best and suggested blinkers. So we’re listening, putting the blinkers on. Magic Prince has a definite chance if he puts his best foot forward.”
ARAGOSTA (Race 6) – Late scratching, temperature.
Motown Magic (Race 10, 1800m) has disappointed recently, but Mike said: “With blinkers on for the first time we’re expecting a good run. He’s a horse that’s capable of a lot better, there is no physical reason for his moderate showings recently. I’m expecting him to be in the money.”