Nine runners from seven different yards line up in this Saturday’s feature race over 1400 metres and looking at the field, it is correct to say that there are a lot of contenders that are right in with a shot of taking victory. They include recent winners Nottinghamshire and Nordic Warrior, while Charles Lytton and Tandragee will look to bounce back from their last attempts.

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE is the early leader in the Sprinters’ championship after his superb win in the Group 3 Noble Salute Cup. It can be said that he is following in the footsteps of his late-stable mate Blow Me Away, who won two Group races for Rameshwar Gujadhur after having arrived with a low key reputation.

This genuine performer remains in top order and his in-form jockey Juan Paul Van der Merwe is confident that another big run is coming from him. It would not be a surprise if he managed to double the score here

NORDIC WARRIOR (Derreck David) made it all about himself in the feature race of the 5th meeting. He won from start-to-finish, earning his 12th win on Mauritian soil in the process. He remains in excellent condition and with his yard on form, he can confirm especially if he is able to dictate proceedings once again.

CHARLES LYTTON did well to complete the podium in the Noble Salute Cup. This was despite his saddle slipping at the start and then becoming sideways just before he entered the final straight.

This Gilbert Rousset-trained gelding will relish the longer trip this time round, and he comes into this race having shown complete satisfaction at track work. With Robbie Fradd on board, he is capable of making it. 

TANDRAGEE produced a genuine attempt in his seasonal debut, beaten by a fine margin by the aforementioned Nottinghamshire. This veteran has benefited from that run and is arguably in even better shape and form. He will appreciate the longer trip and with New Zealand’s Daniel Stackhouse in the saddle, he is in with a serious chance in this contest.

Stable companion SEVENTH PLAIN (Akshay Balloo) makes his debut here. He has arrived with an excellent reputation and it is worth noting that he even won a Group 1 in his homeland. He has looked at ease in his workouts and he merits the greatest of respect here.

ERNIE (Cedric Segeon) had been widely tipped to strike from his pole position draw in his last attempt. However, he was a slight disappointment, doing only enough to land 3rd place. Improvement is expected from him this time round.

BUDAPEST (Swapneel Rama) was rated as the favourite in this season’s opening classic. However, he did not turn up, finishing dead last. He is given another chance and he has shown up well in training. It won’t be a surprise if he can show his true capabilities in this.

CAPTAIN SWAROVKSI (Kersley Ramsamy) makes his third start of his debut season. He did not show much in his first two outings. He has looked well at track work, but his best bet is a place in the quartet.

BRILLIANT CRIMSON (Dinesh Sooful) makes his debut for Shirish Narang. A two-time winner in his homeland, he has also competed against most of South Africa’s top performers such as Marinaresco, Trip To Heaven and Elusive Silva. He has worked solidly in training and it is worth keeping an eye on him here.