The first feature, the Listed Christmas Handicap over 1600m, Race 6 on the programme, should see victory go to Mike and Adam Azzie-trained five-time winner Arctica, who will have Anton Marcus aboard for the first time.
This six-year-old has been holding form in superior company at Turffontein, being unplaced only once in his last eight starts. That unplaced run was in his last outing when he was, nonetheless, a commendable two-length fifth out of 18 in the 2000m G-Bets Gauteng Summer Cup (Grade 1).
The consistent gelding will like a step down in distance as his last two wins were over 1600m and, with the advantage of pole position, he should post an overdue win.
Arctica’s principal rivals are Kazaar, Matador Man, Dark Moon Rising and Blackball.
Marcus could also strike aboard Paul Peter-trained top-weight Fort Ember in Race 7, the Flamboyant Stakes (Grade 3) for fillies and mares over 1600m. This raider’s last win was three runs back when she performed bravely in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1800m at Turffontein.
The seven-time winner was unplaced in her subsequent runs – in a Grade 3 event and then in the Summer Cup. However, vast improvement can be expected from the mare as she is well drawn and four of her wins have been achieved over this distance.
It is also worth noting that she will be bidding for a double as she won this event last year.
Also in with claims is bottom-weight Arianos Shadow out of Yogas Govender’s stable and ridden by Muzi Yeni.
This three-year-old is a three-time winner from just six starts. Her last success was in her penultimate outing when a clear-cut winner over the course and distance. Then, after a two-month rest, she returned with a game second over 1400m at the same venue.
Expect a bold bid from Gavin van Zyl-trained five-time winner Raes’ Dyna Jet (Warren Kennedy) who recaptured top form in her last two outings after a rest. The five-year-old followed up a bright second with an impressive win, coming from last to snatch victory over 1800m at Greyville.
Others who could be involved in the finish are Stelvio, Royal Frost and Camphoratus.... www.tabnews.co.za