The G3 Sycamore Sprint over 1160m is the main attraction on Saturday’s Turffontein card and Betway Ambassador Mike de Kock has an interesting entry in Good Queen Bess, the five-year-old mare by Kingman.
Good Queen Bess is a measure below top class, but she’s improving late in her lightly-raced career and has given the recent impression that she’s enjoying herself on the racetrack, more than ever before. This could have something to do with the decision to equip her with a pair of blinkers – she’s won and placed second in two starts racing with the scoops, and may well have won last month’s Bauhania Handicap over 1000m if she’d found a gap to run through, late in the race.
Mike said: “She’s a nice filly and she’s getting there. I like what I’ve seen of her lately, she’s been very honest and now that we’ve seen sprinting is what she’s comfortable with, one has to believe she’s best over 1160m, as her last win showed. This seems to be a higher-class field, in general, than she’s faced recently, but she’s in with a chance, don’t leave her out of anything.”
The stable’s day starts in Race 2 over 1600m, where owner Winston Chow’s gelding Mambo Come Tesio lines up in a Maiden Plate. There are a few battlers in the race and this one looks to have an outside chance. “He hadn’t been showing us much prior to his first run two weeks ago. But he surprised me with how well he ran on in a race won by Sharapova. He’s showing more enthusiasm in his work, has definitely improved. He doesn’t give away a massive amount, we’d like to see him confirm his fair first run, but he must have Quartet prospects.”
Sequoia’s overdue a win, he often finds one to beat him – three seconds in his last four starts – and perhaps Richard Fourie’s handling can make a difference in Race 3 over 1600m. Mike noted: “He’s fairly honest, runs on well. but he’s not the most reliable of horses. He has an eachway chance.”
Bold Act and stable debutante Black Silver go to post in Race 4 over 1400m, a handicap which has drawn a line-up of decent quality. Mike said: “Bold Act is course and distance suited here and well drawn. I think she has a lot in her favour and will run well. Black Silver’s best form is over further and we’re trying a tongue tie for the first time. She’s a filly we’d like to learn more about. She has a certain amount of ability, her form suggests this will be too short and she’s drawn deep. Let’s see how she goes.”
Golden Spoon (Race 5, 1400m), is another faced with a poor draw and Fourie’s expertise will be relied upon to overcome that. Said Mike: “She’s done well of late, but will need a bit of luck to win from that draw. She’s also one with an eachway chance.” – Late scratching.
Clafoutis received only a two-point penalty for her recent Acacia Handicap win and she’s capable of following up in the Listed Jacaranda Handicap, Race 6, over 1800m. Mike commented: “Her last win was very good. I’m hoping we get the same sort of pace because we know now that her best way to race is from off the pace. And once you commit to those tactics you need a pace, otherwise you’re in trouble. I think the 1800m will suit her well, she’s a runner, we’ll be looking for a share of the stakes.”