Second Base looks for a home run at Turffontein
CAPE TOWN - The Turffontein Inside meeting on Saturday features the Grade 3 Sea Cottage Stakes over 1 800m with Second Base can make it five wins in six starts.
This rangy Gimmethegreenlight gelding was caught one wide without cover in his first attempt during his trip last time, but still managed to relax well and displayed an impressive range of gears in the straight.
Jumping from the widest draw, Saturday’s ten horse field should not bother him and he looks to have the class to give 2kg and more to the rest of the field. Chase Maujean is a capable replacement for regular pilot Gavin Lerena.
Shah Akbar won impressively from the front over this trip last time. He received 6.5kg from Sell High and beat him by 10 lengths and the latter had earlier given Second Base 1kg and lost by only 2.50 lengths.
That puts Shah Akbar ahead of Second Base on paper as he will receive 2kg from the latter tomorrow. Furthermore, he ran a time 1.59 seconds quicker than Second Base over the same Standside 1800 m trip, although he was carrying 5kg less.
However, Second Base look to have plenty of scope for further improvement and on merit ratings he is 1.5kg better off with Shah Akbar.
Dr Doolittle also throws a spanner in the works as he beat Shah Akbar by 3.75 lengths in his last run over this trip despite having to give him 3kg. However, Shah Akbar ran way below the form of his next run in that outing, and that is proven by the form of Fsquadron who finished runner up to Dr Doolittle when receiving 6,5kg and has failed to win in two subsequent events.
However, that should not detract from Dr Doolittle, who is on the up and could be a threat receiving 2kg from Second Base, although officially he is 1.5kg under sufferance.
Nartje is another decent type and he is 5kg better off with Second Base for a four-length beating so should get closer.
Bold Jazz finished just 2.25 lengths behind the unbeaten Paisley Park in the Listed Secretariat Stakes over 1 400m despite having to give him 2kg so he is an interesting runner here because on pedigree he should appreciate this trip.
Gimmethegoahead looks held by Bold Jazz on 1 400m form, but won well when stepped up to this trip last time and now has a good draw. However, he will have to defy the handicappers who have him on a merit rating of 90, which puts him 5kg under sufferance with Second Base.
The best weighted runner is Al Muthana, who is rated one point higher than Second Base on 105 and yet receives 4kg from him, which makes him 4.5kg well in.
He achieved this rating with a 5.25 length fourth place finish in the WSB Dingaans. He has a good draw and will relish the step up in trip. However, he needed the whole length of the straight to get going in the Dingaans and there is a question mark about his suitability to the tighter Inside track. The risk averse should include him in their exotics though.
The remainder of the field are Foreign Field, Baymax and Fsquadron who are way out at the weights and will need to step up.
There is some classy racing throughout the day and there are in fact no maiden plates on the card.
In the second race, a MR 92 Handicap over 1 500m, Bartholdi will give a clue to Al Muthana's chances. Last time out in the Listed Tony Ruffel Stakes over 1 400m he finished just half-a-length behind Bingwa, who beat Al Muthana by 2.75 lengths in the Dingaans. Bartholdi is the one to beat in this field but might be given a hard time by the topweight
The Eighth Lord, who cruised to an impressive win over 1 600m at this course back in November, although he is now rated ten points higher.
Against the Grain in the third over 1 500m is made the best of the day as he should be cherry ripe having now had three runs since his ten month layoff. He should start displaying the class he has always possessed.