A R550,000 TAB Pick 6 carryover will boost the excitement at Scottsville on Saturday, when sprint stars from around the country clash in four Grade 1 contests at the annual Festival Of Speed.
The four big races, all over 1200m, form the only Grade 1 Jackpot in the country and the middle legs of the Pick 6 pool, which TAB boss
Vee Moodley estimates will hit R3 million as a result of the carryover.
The R1-million Tsogo Sun Sprint (Grade 1) tops the bill supported by the R600,000 City Of Pietermaritzburg Fillies Sprint (Grade 1) and two Grade 1 clashes each worth R600,000 for juveniles, the Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion and the Allan Robertson Championship.
In recent years low-number draws at this meeting have been favoured, but fields are confined to 14 runners this time and the inside rail will be brought out some 4m so the draw is unlikely to make as big an impact.
Flying Jozi-based filly Carry On Alice will be seen by many as the banker of the day when she bids to complete a double in the Fillies
Sprint, having beaten Alboran Sea in the race last year.
Carry On Alice comes into the race at the top of her game, having won the Grade 1 Computaform Sprint at the end of April, and under the
weight-for-age conditions trainer Sean Tarry’s charge looks hard to beat.
The two horses who got closest to Carry On Alice in the Computaform Sprint, runner-up Talktothestars and third-placed Barbosa, will do
battle in the Tsogo Sun Sprint.
Dennis Drier-trained Barbosa is 4kg better off with trainer Coenie de Beer’s charge for a four-length
beating and has home-town advantage, so things could get close.
Also in the field is Red Ray, who makes his return to the South African racing scene after a two-year absence during which he campaigned overseas.
His trainer Joey Ramsden wrote on his blog: “It is lovely to have Red Ray in the stable again. He was handed back to me by Mike (de Kock) inthe most beautiful order and I am really looking forward to giving him a run back at Scottsville.
“Luckily not too much pressure as he has had plenty of time off, but he has been doing really nicely at home and looks a million dollars.”
Drier will be out to secure his seventh win – and his fifth in a row – in the Gold Medallion. He runs Horse Guards, who won by five lengths ondebut on the Polytrack at Greyville. He bumps some smart young horses including Mike Azzie-trained Rivarine, who finished second behind exciting Cloth Of Cloud in the SA Nursery at Turffontein in April.
Azzie will also send new recruit Oomph into battle. The Tiger Ridge colt, formerly trained by Alan Greeff in Port Elizabeth, has demolished
his opposition by more than three lengths in each of his three races to date.
Tarry’s temperamental but hugely talented charge Cloth Of Cloud will be all the rage in the Allan Robertson Championship, taking on her own sex after her SA Nursery victory.
She will run against the first two in the SA Fillies Nursery in stablemate Myfunnyvalentine and Mike de Kock-trained Fursa, as well as a
promising young filly from the Cape in Vaughan Marshall-trained The Secret Is Out. She 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 the race.
Photo: Cloth Of Cloud, unbeaten.