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Amazing turf extravaganza

By unknown | May 03, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Africa's richest race, the US's most famous race and England's premier 1600m event for three-year-olds - that's the amazing line-up for horse racing fans this Saturday.

The R3million Gommagomma Challenge over 2000m headlines a 10-race card at Turffontein that includes five other feature races, including Africa's greatest test of speed for thoroughbreds, the R600000 Tedelex Computaform Sprint over 1000m.

On the same afternoon England's best three-year-olds will clash in the Stan James 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, one of the most famous classics on the planet, first run in 1809.

And South Africa will be there with Mike de Kock the first trainer in this country to have a runner in the race.

The action continues into the early hours of Sunday with the Gommagomma Challenge and Newmarket (UK) meetings, followed by a night fixture at Greyville and the excitement of the Kentucky Derby meeting at Churchill Downs, in Kentucky.

The day will overflow with high-quality racing action and the TAB pools will be huge, giving astute horseplayers numerous opportunities to win big on the best.

The Gommagomma Challenge is a fascinating contest between the older and younger generations, with champion older horses such as Elusive Fort pitted against three of the best three-year-olds in the land: Emperor Napoleon, Pick Six and Biarritz.

Elusive Fort will be making his final appearance for trainer Geoff Woodruff following his sale last week for a dizzying figure to James Atkinson, a patron of Durban trainer Herman Brown.

As a result of the sale, Mark Khan, Woodruff's stable jockey and Elusive Fort's regular rider, gets replaced by Kevin Shea. Khan finds himself aboard outsider Bhekinkosi.

Elusive Fort is on a hat-trick after beating Biarritz by a neck, with Emperor Napoleon 1,5lengths further back, in the recent grade 1 Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m at Turffontein. But he's significantly worse off with both of them and has his work cut out to confirm the form.

Pick Six failed to justify being favoured in the Cape Derby and SA Classic, but ran creditably in both races, failing by a neck to Cape star Jay Peg in the former and taking third place, behind Divine Jury and Emperor Napoleon, in the Classic.

A great race is on the cards and it might be best to rely on the big-race expertise of DeKock and take a chance with Emperor Napoleon.

The Computaform Sprint looks to be all about speed sensation Mythical Flight, from the yard of trainer Sean Tarry.

Mythical Flight has won six of six without really being extended and should stretch his unbeaten sequence to seven unless he runs below par.

The big-race action kicks off with the Unitrans/East Rand Audi Fillies Nursery event and there are some ultra-promising sorts in the field, including Australian-bred stablemates Lady Bonzer and Uber Rock.

It's the same story in the PG Bison Nursery, and the Ubuntu Camellia Stakes for fillies and mares is also a competitive affair, with the likes of Charity Mile November Handicap heroine Soft Landing, Dollar Bright and Chant de Nuit.

The Emperor's Palace Gold Bowl has attracted a big field and this 3200m marathon has the makings of a thriller.

The Gommagomma Challenge and all other races on Champions Day will be screened live on channel of 34 DStv.

What a day - make sure you're part of it!

The 2000 Guineas meeting will be screened live in TABs and on Tellytrack on channel 34 DStv, so don't miss out on the excitement this Saturday!

The Computaform Sprint runners are 1 Vega, 2 Greek Warrior, 3 Archipelago, 4 Escobar, 5 Byblos, 6 Jackpot Mac, 7 Gypsey Caravan, 8 Super Guy, 9 Mythical Flight, 10 Rebel King, 11 Fair Brutus, 12 Jaroslaw, 13 Mocha Java, 14 Evening Attire, 14 Woodland City


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