Extract from European Bloodstock News - 25 May 2007 (SA Racing News)
While winter has arrived with a vengeance in KwaZulu-Natal, bringing with it plummeting temperatures and snow on the famous Drakensberg mountains, racing promises to be red-hot at Scottsville on Sunday, with four Gr.1 sprints heading the day’s programme.
The R400,000 Golden Horse Casino Sprint could be one of the last local appearances for Mythical Flight, by far the best sprinter we have witnessed in recent times. Slated to embark on an English campaign, the three-year-old son of Jet Master faces a stern test in Sunday’s contest, not so much from the opposition as from the Scottsville track, which is widely regarded as having probably the toughest six furlong straight in the country with its deceptive undulations. Unbeaten in all seven starts, the gelding’s blistering speed saw him set a new South African record over five furlongs in the Gr.1 Computaform Sprint and on Sunday, he carries the steadier of 60 kg, having to concede up to 8kg to a number of his opponents. Nonetheless, he has yet to be seriously challenged in any contest and even with top weight, his class should carry him to victory number eight.
The opposition is headed by last year’s winner Let’s Rock’N Roll (Muhtafal) and runner-up What A Question (Qui Danzig), while Mike de Kock’s muchvaunted Kildonan (Rich Man’s Gold) returns to action in this race after an injury-enforced rest of six months. Last season’s joint champion juvenile colt has not run since losing his unbeaten record in the Dingaans in November, having suffered a muscle injury.
Although he was beaten fair and square in the Computaform Sprint, Charles Laird’s talented Rebel King (National Emblem) will have another crack at Mythical Flight, while the Australian-bred Tropical Empire (Second Empire), trained by former champion jockey Michael Roberts, faces a huge rise in class but has the advantage of a handy bottom weight of 52 kg. Both juvenile sprints have attracted top class fields.
The Allan Robertson Fillies Championship features Gr.2 Fillies Nursery winner State Factor (National Assembly) and runner-up Glenrossal (Anytime), as well as Brazilian import Rat Burana (Dodge), a runaway debut winner for Mike de Kock last week. Animate, a daughter of prominent freshman sire Silvano, was equally impressive when hacking up by more than three lengths in her last start.
The R500,000 Gold Medallion promises to be one of the highlights of the day, with two hugely-talented Australian-bred juveniles likely to dominate. Charles Laird’s Seventh Rock was mightily impressive on his debut and subsequently started a warm favourite for the Gr.2 Nursery at Turffontein, where he only found Hit Song too good on the day. A big, imposing son of Rock Of Gibraltar, he will wear blinkers for the first time and is set to square off against Dennis Drier’s Street Cat (Tale Of The Cat), who romped to an eight length win at Clairwood on his second start. The unbeaten Port Elizabeth challenger Copper Trader (Lecture) and Godolphin Barb hero Mr Flatley (Alami) add spice to what should be a hotly-contested affair.
The R300,000 South African Fillies Sprint appears to be the most open of the four Gr.1 races. Sadly, Alistair Gordon’s Poinsettia Stakes heroine Disco Queen, who chased home National Colour in last year’s race, has fallen by the wayside with a foot abscess. Still, the lineup is deeply talented. Wendy Whitehead’s recent Gr.2 Camellia winner Chant de Nuit has matured into a formidable sprinter and she will be aiming to become yet another Gr.1 winning daughter for her sire Caesour. She faces a formidable challenge from last season’s Gr.1 Garden Province winner Soft Landing (Jet Master) who, after running in snatches in the closing stages of the Camellia, was unlucky to go down by just a neck. Three-year-old Los Kop Doll (Joshua Dancer) looked all but a winner in the Poinsettia over the course and distance until caught on the line by Disco Queen. That was her first appearance at the Pietermaritzburg track and a similar effort could see her involved in the outcome of this race. Cape Town challenger Secret Of Victoria (Goldkeeper) finished third in the Poinsettia and this classy half-sister to champion Rabiya is yet another who has a chance here.