The Highveld will snatch back some public attention from the Cape Town racing revamp this weekend – with a R5-million Pick 6 pool and the annual Spring Spree Stakes celebrating the arrival of fruit tree blossoms.
A new sponsor, Topbet, has been signed by operator 4Racing and debuts with backing for the Spring Spree, a 1200m, R175,000, Listed handicap aimed at sprinters aiming to progress to grade races. Topbet will also sponsor Joburg’s Spring Challenge season, which kicks off on 1 October with a Family Fun Day at Turffontein.
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Another other feature on Saturday is The Lady’s Stakes, a non-black type handicap for R150,000. Last year’s winner of this race was trainer Paul Peter’s talented Big Burn, one of last season’s most consistent fillies and an Equus Award nominee.
A 4Racing press release this week revealed that Turffontein’s popular Furious Room punters lounge is reopening with free entrance to all on-course punters. Drinks and meals will be on sale, with “pub fare” of a free pie and soft drink or beer on promotion for punters who place their first R50 bet at the venue.
Many of those “pie and pint” bets are likely to be Pick 6 perms and punters will be looking for all the help they can get in formulating them. They appear to have a gift in the first leg, Race 4, with Lucky Houdalakis-trained Raratonga Rose, who has been priced up at 1-4 to win the 2000m contest.
So, that leave just five more winners to find.
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The Lady’s Stakes, Race 6, is a serious puzzle, with 10 in-form or highly rated fillies fighting it out. Layers with deeper pockets will be tempted to go the field.
The Spring Spree, Race 7, isn’t easy either. Trainer Roy Magner saddles two of the 11 starters, including last year’s winner Vaseem, who has the form to successfully defend. The stable’s in-form Rollwiththepunches has been scratched.
Mike and Adam Azzie’s promising filly Sheela and champion trainer Paul Peter’s five-time-winning gelding Val D’Orcia must be included in all combinations.
Race 6: 1 Mercury Rising, 6 Midnight Gem, 2 Bon Vivant, 8 Miss Daisy
Race 7: 3 Val D’Orcia, 5 Sheela, 6 Vaseem, 1 Prince Of Fire
Suggested Pick 6:
4 x 3,4,5,6 x 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 x 1,3,5,6 x 2,4 x 4,6,7,10 (R1280)