Soqrat and Return Flight – the 2018 Equus Champion Two-Year-old Colt and Filly respectively – are among entries for the Dingaans and the Fillies Mile to be run at Turffontein on the Standside track on 24 November.
The Grade 2 Dingaans is one of the country’s most historic and prestigious contests and a key early indicator of strengths and weaknesses in the year’s three-year-old crop.
A stand-out nominee is trainer Yvette Bremner’s Port Elizabeth raider National Park, a facile, surprise winner of the recent Graham Beck Stakes over 1400m.
Also in the reckoning is Chumichuri Run, second in that Grade 3 race but who wields a merit rating of 116, the highest among the 22 entrants for the Dingaans.
Ace trainers Mike de Kock and Sean Tarry have both entered three horses for the 1600m showdown.
The former goes with Soqrat, who has a wide early draw of 16 out of 20; Hawwaam (drawn 8), an impressive winner of the “no-whip” race on Charity Mile day, and Atyaab (5), an Australian-bred colt who has won once in three runs.
Tarry has put forward Bien Venue (6); In Cahoots (17), and Chimichuri Run (13), who took a 5.75-length trouncing from National Park in the Graham Beck but who has performed well in top company and already has two Grade 3 scalps.
The Fillies Mile, a 1600m Grade 3 companion-piece race to the Dingaans with slightly different conditions, also has stellar names in contention.
Trainer St John Gray’s doughty galloper Ronnie’s Candy is the highest-rated entry, with a MR of 107 thanks to an emphatic victory in the Princess Charlene Starling Stakes at the beginning of November. Before that, the daughter of King Of Kings had taken out the SA Fillies Nursery as a maiden – at odds of 40-1.
Tarry’s Return Flight has won three out of five and is rated 106, largely due to her juvenile Grade 1 triumph in the Thekwini Stakes at Greyville on Gold Cup Day.
Celtic Sea, another Tarry entrant, is on a mark of 104 after winning the Grade 2 Golden Slipper on July Day.
The Dingaans and Fillies Mile have been moved a week forward from their traditional slot on Summer Cup Day at the beginning of December. The fixtures were deemed to be too close to the Cape Guineas and the Cape Fillies Guineas and the shuffle has given trainers a chance to contest both the Johannesburg and Cape Town events.
The two features will be the only races run on the Standside track on the night, with the balance of the card scheduled for the Inside turf.
Entries for the Grade 2 R500,000 Dingaans to be run over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday 24 November (all horses carry 60kg):
(For three-year-old horses. All carry 60kg)
1 Green Haze 60 89 Alec Laird
2 Reach For The Line 60 MG Azzie/AA Azzie
3 Marchetto 60 76 Gareth van Zyl
4 White Lightning 60 82 0 Paul Lafferty
5 Atyaab (AUS) 60 90 Mike de Kock
6 Bien Venue 60 86 Sean Tarry
7 Roll Of Drums 60 84 Joe Soma
8 Thanksgiving 60 88 Duncan Howells
9 Silken Prince 60 87 MG Azzie/AA Azzie
10 National Park 60 106 Yvette Bremner
11 Popsicle Toes 60 83 Paul Peter
12 Iditarod Trail 60 83 Geoff Woodruff
13 Chimichuri Run 60 116 Sean Tarry
14 Perfect Peter 60 90 Gavin van Zyl
15 My Boi Caloi 60 88 Stephen Moffatt
16 Soqrat (AUS) 60 114 Mike de Kock
17 In Cahoots 60 88 Sean Tarry
18 Hawwaam 60 90 Mike de Kock
19 Gift For The Gap 60 85 Tyrone Zackey
20 Samurai Warrior 60 88 Weiho Marwing
Entries for the Grade 3 R275,000 Fillies Mile to be run over 1600m at Turffontein on 24 November:
(Three-year-old fillies; 57kg, penalties for races won – Grade 1, 3kg for each win, Grade 2 race 2kg, Grade 3 race 1kg, not cumulative)
1 Afrostar 57 91 Paul Peter
2 Celtic Sea 59 104 Sean Tarry
3 Return Flight 60 104 Sean Tarry
4 Isle de France 57 89 Mike de Kock
5 Ronnie’s Candy 59 107 St John Gray
6 Running Brave 57 93 Paul Matchett
7 The Sash 57 83 MG Azzie/AA Azzie
8 Generous Lady 57 87 Paul Lafferty
9 Vi Va Pi Pa 57 84 Sean Tarry
10 Railtrip 57 95 Chesney van Zyl
11 I Like It 57 83 Stephen Moffatt
12 Sweet Red (AUS) 57 83 JA Janse van Vuuren
13 Sand Princess 57 85 Sean Tarry
14 Nafaayes (AUS) 57 99 Mike de Kock
15 Virginia 57 79 Alec Laird
16 Fariha (AUS) 57 82 Mike de Kock
17 Firdoas (AUS) 57 94 Mike de Kock
18 Ghaalla 57 98 Mike de Kock
19 On The Double 57 85 JA Janse van Vuuren
20 Perfect Tigress 57 86 MG Azzie/AA Azzie
21 Elusive Butterfly 57 83 Lucky Houdalakis
22 Storm Destiny 57 95 Mike de Kock
Supplementary entries for both races close on Friday 16 November and final declarations are on Monday 19 November.
Mike Moon.. www.tabnews.co.za