Class on Grass - G3 Diana and Matchem Stakes review

Class on Grass - G3 Diana and Matchem Stakes review
durban racing
A model presents a creation by local designers during a fashion show in Durban, on July 6, 2018 Getty.
“Class on the grass” is an enduring racing adage. Punters who swear by this maxim would have collected in both the G3 Diana and Matchem Stakes, where Front and Centre and One World proved best.

Front and Centre duly disposed of Freedom Charter as the top two on official ability ratings fought out the finish at Durbanville. Helen’s Ideal was game back in third after setting comfortable early fractions but Front and Center, despite again showing a tendency to hang, won the Diana without undue fuss.

One World (s/s 109 +) was most impressive in the 1400m Matchem. This Captain Al colt had run some huge figures (s/s 112) as three-year-old and came out for his seasonal debut in fighting trim. Search Party (s/s 108) launched a sterling rally from the rear to get second ahead of Undercover Agent, who needed his comeback run after four months off track. These three horses (all sired by Captain Al) were the top three on official ability ratings.

African Warrior (s/s 105 +) is one for the notebook. The lone three-year-old in the Matchem made a bold move from stone last, where, despite a difficult passage, he still managed to get within two lengths of the high-class winner. He ought to enjoy a productive Summer.

Turffontein hosted two G2 1450m contests where, like the Cape features, one was false run and the other a truer test. The early pace in the Joburg Spring Challenge was pedestrian which lead to a clustered finish. Ultra consistent Prince of Kahal produced the best late kick to mug front-runner, Chjmes, Zouaves, Infamous Fox and Chimichuri Run at the post.

The Fillies and Mares version saw Vistula (s/s 102) and Gin Fizz (s/s 101) scrap for first prize with the former just getting it on the bob as Perfect Tigress (s/s 99) clocked in third. Spiritofthegroove (s/s 98) was observed making neat progress in deep stretch, whilst Sidonie (s/s 97), found no extra late after racing prominently, but was hardly disgraced at only her second start.                                 

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