FRONT AND CENTRE SHOWS HER CLASS
Brett Crawford, Anton Marcus, and Ridgemont teamed up to win the second and third races at Kenilworth on Saturday, with their Kursk victorious in the second race, and top-class filly Front And Centre landing Saturday’s third race in convincing fashion.
There was a lengthy delay to Saturday’s third race, the World Sports Betting Pinnacle Stakes (F&M) (1400m), after an unnamed starting stalls handler was injured and taken off by the paramedics. The race attracted just six runners, but looked a match race in all but name, with last season’s G1 winning fillies Front And Centre (World Sports Betting Cape Fillies Guineas) and Celtic Sea (South African Fillies Sprint, Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes) all the rage for the 1400m contest. Tote favouritism was eventually entrusted to Gauteng raider Celtic Sea, but the latter, South Africa’s Champion 3YO Filly of 2018-2019, proved no match for her market rival on the day.
Front And Centre’s stable mate Water Spirit (one of three for the stable in the race) went out to make the running, and led early from Santa Clara and Golden Chance, with Front And Centre tracking the fourth Celtic Sea. Turning for home, Anton Marcus always looked to be travelling well, and when he asked the question, his four-year-old Highlands bred mount quickened up well and went away to record a smooth one and a half-length win. Longshot Golden Chance stayed on for second, with tote favourite Celtic Sea somewhat disappointing back in third spot albeit just a head behind Golden Chance. A daughter of deceased Horse Of The Year and former top Highlands sire Dynasty, Front And Centre claimed her sixth win, from just ten starts, in a time of 85.9, and she looks a strong contender for both the G1 Paddock and G1 Majorca Stakes later in the season.
Front And Centre, who took her earnings to R1 383 125, is one of nine winners produced by the Alzao sired G3 Prestige Stakes runner up Alignment. The latter, who hails from the same family as English classic winners Golan and North Light, is also dam of G1 Premier’s Champion Stakes winner, and promising sire, Potala Palace, as well as the dam of Excellent Result (G2 Dubai City Of Gold), and Midnight Crossing (G3 Robert J Frankel Stakes).