La Pulga on target for Candice in the CapeTH

Candice Bass-Robinson (Credits to 4Racing)

Trainer Candice Bass-Robinson saddles a dozen runners at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on Tuesday 9 July, including the three most attractive betting propositions at the meeting – From A Distance, Scarlet Macaw and La Pulga – all of whom have revealed promise.

Querari filly From A Distance has filled the runners-up berth in consecutive outings over 1200m at Cape Town’s flagship racecourse and, with any improvement, should go one better in Race 1 on her return to the same track and trip.

Aldo Domeyer has partnered this two-year-old filly in all three of her appearances and resumes his partnership with From A Distance, whose form experience should stand her in good stead in the opener.

Race 2 is a warm Maiden Juvenile Plate for fillies over 1200m with several promising two-year-old fillies and one particularly well-bred newcomer, Justin Snaith-trained Vercingetorix debutante Wild Applause, in the 11-horse field.

Priscilla Maisey boasts, arguably, the strongest form in the race having finished a close-up third in the Listed two-year-old East Cape Nursery won by Splicethemainbrace (a two-time Listed winner) on 15 March. However, Glen Kotzen’s charge hasn’t been seen since so her fitness will have to be taken on trust.

Bass-Robinson inmate Scarlet Macaw, on the other hand, has form and recent race fitness on her side. The daughter of Horizon has improved with every start, finishing nearer the winner in each of her 1000m appearances.

She finished third (2.25 lengths off the winner) on debut and confirmed that promise by finishing a 1.60-length fourth next time out before a career-best second (beaten 1.50 lengths) in her last start on 11 June.

Domeyer was aboard Scarlet Macaw in her last two outings and, unsurprisingly, retains the ride with the extra 200m likely to unlock further progress from this Bass Racing-owned two-year-old filly.

Exacta, Trifecta and Quartet players need to include Mai Sensation and Festival Chic in their play. Both well-bred fillies ran with merit on debut and would’ve come on with the benefit of that experience, so they could improve to pose a threat.

The pick, however, of Bass-Robinson’s 12 runners on the day is La Pulga – the most famous/popular nickname given to eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi – in Race 4, also over 1200m.

Gareth Wright steered this well-related son of Pomodoro to an encouraging fourth on debut over 1000m and Domeyer was in the irons when this two-year-old colt confirmed that promise by finishing second over 1200m five weeks ago.

La Pulga, which means ‘The Flea’ in Spanish, needn’t make much progress to open his account against moderate opposition.

Elsewhere on the card, trainer Greg Ennion could land a double of his own with honest, hard-knocking mares Fly To Rio (Pomodoro) and Veronique (Pathfork) who will both be ridden by Grant van Niekerk.

The former renews rivalry with last-start conqueror Gold Index on 2.5kg better terms in Race 6 over 1400m and from a better draw, in receipt of 4.5kg, could avenge her recent course-and-distance defeat, while her stablemate will appreciate reverting to 1400m in Race 7 after a lacklustre performance over 1200m seven weeks ago.

Clive Robinson

Author: Melissa