Ashburton-based Duncan Howells, currently leading the KZN trainers log in both number of wins and stakes, has had a string of second places behind his name this season – 30 to be exact.
He again had to resign himself to the second box when Thanksgiving found Hawwaam to hot to handle in the Gr2 Dingaans at Turffontein on Saturday.
Thanksgiving was another addition to his list of second places on the Highveld where Via Africa ran second in the Gr1 Computaform Sprint, Same Jurisdiction second in the Gr1 SA Fillies Classic and Saratoga Dancer in the Gr2 Charity Mile.
Howells raids with three runners on G-Bets Summer Cup day at Turffontein on Saturday looking for a change of fortune.
Top of the list is star filly Fiorella who put one over the fancied Snowdance in the Gr2 KZN Fillies Guineas and ran Gr1 Sun Met winner Oh Susanna to within a length in the Gr1 Woolavington 2000 last season before finishing down the field in the Vodacom Durban July.
She has had two warm-up sprints leading into Saturdays Gr2 World Sports Betting Ipi Tombe Challenge. Fiorella was staying on nicely behind smart sprinter Wynkelder (a runner in the Merchants on Saturday) in her seasonal debut and followed up with a good second to the useful Royal Frost over the Greyville 1400m last time out.
She has prepped well and will give a good account of herself, said Howells yesterday adding that she will be much better suited to the mile. One of her final workouts was with Dingaans second Thanksgiving a fortnight back so the omens are good although she does face stiff opposition in the form of Gr1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes winner Redberry Lane, Al Danza and bottom weight Dagmar.
Other Howells runners on the day are Accidental Tourist in the Gr3 Epol Magnolia Handicap and Procal Harum in the Gr2 Goldrush Derby Run Merchants, fifth and sixth races on the card respectively.
Procal Harum had a nice comeback run, said Howells after his narrow defeat over the Scottsville 1000m to Golden Loom Handicap runner-up Rebels Champ and he will enjoy the extra 160m of this race. He has a money chance, said the ever-cautious Howells.
Of Accidental Tourist he said the step up in class may find her out, but she is well and we are hoping for the best. Gold Circle