Anything Goes Favourite For Thekwini
The promising Stuart Pettigrew-trained three-year-old Var filly Anything Goes has been entered for both the Grade 1 Thekwini Stakes and Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Stakes on WSB Gold Cup day August 29 and has drawn well in both.
The unbeaten Varsfontein Stud-bred filly is out of unplaced Parade Leader mare Dance Domain, who is a half-sister to Equus Champion Miler Capetown Noir, and she herself is a half-sister to the Grade 3 winner and Grade 1 SA Classic runner up Green Laser.
Anything Goes started her career over 1450m on the Turffontein Inside track where she was drawn six out of 13 and jumped at odds of 11/1 after opening at 14/1. She came from a long way back and displaying a nice big action won in workmanlike fashion by 1,50 lengths under Diego De Gouveia.
In her next start in a Juvenile Plate over 1400m on the Turffontein Standside track she opened at 3/1 and was backed into 19/10 favourite. This time from a draw of five De Gouveia had her more handy and after moving up under the hands he got to work at the 300m mark and she responded in fine style to fetch the decent Elusive Woman, who had a 4kg claimer aboard, and won by 1,50 lengths. The form has been franked as the 2,25 length third placed War Of Athena has since finished third in the Grade 1 Allan Robertson over 1200 with a flying finish and later won a Graduation Plate over 1400m by 5,50 lengths.
In Anything Goes’ last appearance she faced a decent field again, this time over 1600m on Turffontein Standside, and started at 8/10. She relaxed well near the back and after creeping up under a double handful she turned it on impressively at the 400m mark to win by a length from Shezaglo, who runs tomorrow at the Vaal. The rest were well beaten.
Anything Goes has been priced up by Track and Ball as 33/20 favourite for the Thekwini and 8/1 for the Premier’s.
A jockey has not been booked yet. De Gouveia has ridden on the Highveld this month so his chances of retaining the ride will be dependent on a change to the protocols which currently allow jockeys one move at the beginning of the month.
The second favourite in the Thekwini is the Sean Tarry-trained Caralluma, who was regarded as the meeting banker on Vodacom Durban July day but could only manage second in the Grade 2 Zulu Kingdom Explorer Golden Slipper over 1400m, having earlier impressed with an easy win in the Listed Devon Air Stakes over that same course and distance. This classy filly is by Pomodoro out of a Kahal mare whose two wins were over 1600m and 2000m, so she will relish the step up in trip. However, she has drawn wide in 14 out of 17 entries.
The Golden Slipper winner, the Frank Robinson-trained Love Bomb, is third favourite for the Thekwini together with the Paul Matchett-trained War Of Athena. Jockey Sean Veale has no doubt whatsoever that Love Bomb, who is by Oratorio out of a Captain Al mare, will enjoy a mile. She certainly stayed on strongly from well back in the Golden Slipper and was not stopping at the line. She has drawn well in six.
War Of Athena is by Act Of War and has plenty of stamina in her female side, so she should have no problem with the trip. She is going to be dangerous as she hardly came off the bit last time over 1400m on Turffontein Standside when thumping Elusive Woman by 5,50 lengths. On the occasion she was beaten 2,25 lengths by Anything Goes she was finishing strongly and likely needed it because in comparison to Elusive Woman she has improved 6.25 lengths from that run.
Next in the betting is the Dennis Bosch-trained Princess Calla. This Flower Alley filly has plenty of substance and won going away by 3,20 lengths on debut over 1200m on the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly. She is out of the Grade 2-winning Captain Al filly Princess Royal, who is a half-sister to the champion filly Princess Victoria, and she certainly looks classy so has to go into the equation.
The Glen Kotzen-trained Jasmine stayed on strongly for third in the Golden Slipper and this Futura filly, being a three parts sister to the decent stayer Alexander, will relish the step up in trip. However, she has landed a tough draw of 16.
Trickster raced without cover in the Golden Slipper one out and back and stayed on well for fourth but she will have her work cut out reversing a beating of over two lengths by both Love Bomb and Carallumo.
Maledimo and Sentbydestiny, fifth and sixth in the Golden Slipper, could improve on those performances if their races pan out better but they have tricky draws of 11 and 12 respectively.
The Paul Peter-trained Cloth Of Ice could improve if ridden more handy than last time, when receiving 2kg and a six length beating by Anything Goes over 1600m.
The rest don’t make as much appeal as those mentioned.
The field will be limited to 14 runners.
The supplementary entry stage ends at 11h00 on August 17 and declarations are due by 11h00 on August 20.
The only declaration so far is Richard Fourie to ride Trickster.
Copy: Gold Circle’s David Thiselton, Image JC Photos