Abashiri can headline London News
The Grade 3 London News Stakes and Listed Sea Cottage Stakes at Turffontein on Sunday will provide the purists with something to look forward to after what is going to be fantastic racing at the L’Ormarin’s Queen’s Plate meeting at Kenilworth on Friday and Saturday.
Abashiri is the selection in the London News, which is a conditions race over 1800m. He has been showing glimpses of his old self this season. Last time out in the Summer Cup he was dropped out to last from a wide draw and proved too be too far back. He sliced through the field with that giant stride of his, but understandably ran out of steam in the closing stages having made up a lot of ground. He now has a plum draw of two and Gavin Lerena is up. The course and distance is ideal and he is second best in at the weights. Matador Man is the best weighted horse. The tough Turffontein Standside 1800m might stretch him, but he is much better drawn than he was when disappointing in the Victory Moon Stakes over course and distance. He should find cover from this draw and can then use his powerful finish to good affect in the straight, as he did when third over this trip at Greyville in the Grade 1 Champions Cup.
The dark horse in the race is the classy Irish-bred filly Cascapedia. She is officially not well weighted, especially as she is in reality still a three-year-old having been bred in Ireland. However, she looks full of class and was impressive over course and distance last time out when stretching away to win easily. She has a good draw and champion jockey Anthony Delpech is up. The Elmo Effect has an impressive stride and has won twice over this trip. He has an ideal pole position draw for his style and should be staying on strongly in the straight, so could be good value for a place. Pagoda ran a good fourth from a similar draw to this tricky one in the Summer Cup. He needs to be well drawn as he does not have good gate-speed but he will be staying on. He is 2kg better off with Coral Fever, who beat him by a short-head in the Summer Cup. Coral Fever was drawn 19 out of 19 in the Summer Cup, so can earn again here from a better draw of eight. Brazuca ran a bit disappointingly in the Summer Cup from a tough draw.
He has a better drawn here and runs well fresh, but it going to be tough giving 2kg to Abashiri and 2,5kg to Matador Man. Girl On The Run won the Victory Moon from a handy position and made a bold bid from the front in the Summer Cup. She can’t be written off from a fair draw. Bi Pot will also relish the course and distance. French Navy is a Grade 1 winner over this course and distance and can’t be ignored, although his last win was two years ago.
In the Listed Sea Cottage Stakes over 1800m, Royal Crusade and Majestic Mambo as two-time winners have to give 2kg to the Investec Dingaans runner up Seerite. However, Royal Crusade caught the eye last time as one who switches off well and then when asked the question shows a fine turn of foot and a powerful action. Seerite is a long-striding sort who will love the course and distance having flown for a narrow second from a wide draw in the Dingaans. Majestic Mambo stretched away last time to remain unbeaten in two starts, both over this trip. However, he does have a tricky draw to overcome. Haralan County went close in the Secretariat Stakes over 1400m, although he was receiving 7,5 kg from the classy winner Surcharge. He is progressive and should enjoy this trip. Alshibaa has regular Mike de Kock rider Callan Murray up, but his Dingaans run was disappointing and he still has a bit to prove.
By David Thiselton www.goldcircle.co.za