Mike de Kock has his string nicely on the boil approaching the Highveld’s summer’s premier features and he’ll be hoping to add to his Thursday double at Turffontein on Saturday. While none of the Betway Ambassador’s five runners are stand-out bets, they’ll all warrant inclusion considering the stable’s general well-being.
Marquez (Race 2, 1160m) failed over 1400m last time and Computaform opined he had a ‘flat’ second run after a layoff, which is possible. He may also have found 1400m beyond his reach and is expected to do better over shorter. Mike said: “We’re fitting Marquez with blinkers. He has a Maiden win in him but there are a few to beat here, including the Joe Soma (Walled Garden) and Brett Crawford runners. Marquez is drawn on the wrong side of the track. We’re hoping for a place.”
Race 3 over 1600m also looks competitive and Milke said: “We have No Place Like Home running for us here, he has some decent form over this distance. He is drawn wide, but the standside track can be forgiving of wide berths over a mile and up. He’s got to have chance, he should be in the mix.”
Top-level performers Aragosta and East Coast take their place in the G3 Betway Victory Moon Stakes over 1800m and Mike assessed: “Aragosta’s coming off a rest and a wind operation. He hasn’t raced since July and we are behind the eight-ball with him approaching the Summer Cup. This run is what he needs to bring him on, it will do him the world of good. East Coast is doing well, going the right way. He is another one drawn badly, but he finished his race off well last time out and I hope to see the same again. He ran second in last year’s renewal of the race and is probably not out of it here.”
Mike said about Woman Of Power (Race 9, 1160m): “She’s quite a nice filly and we have an outside draw for the standside which is good. She is quite speedy, steps up from her Maiden win but has a chance, include her.”
The Algoa Racing Festival concludes on Sunday with the 2000m Listed Algoa Cup, the main event on a nine-race card that features a R500,000 carryover Pick 6 pool set to surpass the R3-million mark.