South Africa Racing – Is Bess best in Sycamore Sprint?

Mike de Kock (right) - Credits to 4Racing

There are two feature races on Saturday’s Turffontein card and both could really test punters.

Both races are for fillies and mares, and they are the Grade 3 Sycamore Sprint over 1160m and the Listed Jacaranda Handicap over 1800m.

There are some decent sprinters lining up in the Sycamore Sprint, but the collateral form does appear to be of little help as one gets a different result each time they line up against one another.

Perhaps trainer Mike de Kock could provide the answer as he sends out Good Queen Bess who has come back to form after she was fitted with blinkers two run ago.

This British-bred five-year-old daughter of Kingman was always rated quite highly by her connections and started off her career with a win. But she went off the boil for a while until De Kock opted to run her in blinkers.

That happened two runs ago in a MR 80 Handicap over this course and distance. She took on the boys on that occasion and fought on gamely to beat Smith And Wesson by a head.

She proved that run was no fluke in her next start when she contested the Non-Black Type Bauhinia Handicap over 1000m. She may have found the pace a bit hot over the minimum tribute ran on strongly to finish a rapidly diminishing 0.50 lengths behind Cold Fact.

Back to 1160m and with just 52.5kg on her back, she does look the one to beat.

Cold Fact is also in this race but is 0.5kg worse off with Good Queen Bess and could battle to hold off De Kock’s charge over the extra distance.

Alula’s Star is an interesting runner. She won the Grade 3 Magnolia Handicap over this course and distance last November and had a number of these runners behind her.

She finished fourth in the race won by Cold Fact, beaten two lengths, but is now 3kg better off with Cold Fact and 3.5kg better off with Good Queen Bess so she also has to come into the reckoning.

Others to consider are Kiss Me Captain, Miss Cool, Marigold Hotel, Flowerbomb and even Peach Daiquiri, who is up from Port Elizabeth and will be having her first run for trainer Alec Laird.

One can make a case for a number of runners in the Jacaranda Handicap, but perhaps top weight Gilded Butterfly is the runner to beat. She is unbeaten in two starts over the distance and has the services of Gavin Lerena.

However, one needs to consider the likes of Bold Fortune, Clafoutis and Queen Of Shadows.

Clive Robinson

Author: Melissa