It’s never easy for a horse to step into a 92 MR Handicap straight out of the maidens and win – but when they do, it is worth sitting up and taking note.
Whizz Of Odds has given out all the signals that she is a filly out of the top drawer, a view that can be confirmed at Hollywoodbets Scottsville today.
Gavin van Zyl acted pleasantly surprised when Whizz Of Odds trotted up in a strong field over the same course and distance last time out but heaped praise on the filly. “I was happy to be in the first three. That would have been a good run against seven-time winners like Effortless Reward. I must be honest, I was pretty impressed with that.”
Warren Kennedy also sang the filly’s praises and was talking about the SA Fillies Sprint come Champions Season.
The drop in class today and the strength of her win has resulted in a corresponding hike in the weights and the 59kg on her back will prove a searching test but another victory will set her up nicely for the season.
At the other end of the scale and draw is Captain Of Colour. Johan Janse van Vuuren’s charge took time to shed her maiden but Van Vuuren was not shy to take on males. She is a filly with plenty of substance and was touched off by the promising High Voltage at her penultimate start. All her local outings were on the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly but stepping out on the Scottsville turf for the first time she ran out a comfortable winner beating Flaming Lass who has since franked that form.
Apprentice Thabiso Gumede takes 4kg off her back so she will be in receipt of 9.5kg from Whizz Of Odds which is a lot of pudding. The latter is at 5-2 while Captain Of Colour is easy to back at 12-1.
Van Zyl also saddles Wave (15-10) in a Novice Plate and if the gelding can live up to the promise that he showed last season he should prove difficult to peg back.
He made a smart seasonal debut when beaten by the older Goliath Heron last time out and although the blinkers come off he should strip fitter now.
Eden Roc and African Warrior, two of the feature winners that he was up against last season, have not exactly covered themselves in glory this term which is something of a worry as far as Wave’s form goes but they have been contesting features whereas Van Zyl has taken a more cautious route.
Still a maiden, High Voltage (10-1) finished ahead of Wave in the Godolphin Barb Stakes last season but his form from there on was patchy. He stepped out as a gelding back in November and had a battle royale with the filly Captain Of Colour to shed his maiden. But his rider had his stick knocked out of his hand and the winning margin could have been greater. He raced in some top company last season and the form of his maiden win has been franked. Share Holder (11-2) and Cavalieri (10-1) are others to consider.
Staying races are often tricky to call given the quality of the runners in KZN but Paybackthemoney (16-10) was narrowly beaten by the much improved stable companion Merlin From Berlin last run and should be good enough to go one better in the fourth. Greek Sword (5-1) ran a good race first up in handicap company last time out beaten by Victorious Man and Clouds Of Witness. He has come well since arriving in KZN from the Cape and this trip should suit. Of the balance, Impact Zone (12-1) was only a length behind Paybackthemoney when last they met and has been coming to hand again while MJ Odendaal has given notice that his yard is finding form with Quick Star winning the last on Sunday. He saddles Wildlife Safari (20-1) who has been a little disappointing at his last two but this trip will suit and the tongue-tie goes on. Top of the Computaform speed ratings is nine-year-old Crime Victim (12-1), probably the only horse still racing that shed his maiden at Clairwood Park.
By Andrew Harrison