All systems GO!

PUBLISHED: 30 May 2020

Mount Anderson (Candiese Lenferna)

The consequences of the Coronavirus lock-down have been debilitating as far as the sport’s finances are concerned but it is back to business come Monday with a 10-race card scheduled for the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly track.

Training has not been interrupted with both Ashburton and Summerveld carrying on as normal but it has been a bit of guess work as far as preparations have gone. Trainers have been in the dark as to when racing would resume so getting their charges to peak fitness for the restart will have been tricky.

That said, the two-month break will have done most horses the world of good with trainers having the time to sort out any persistent niggles.

Mount Anderson (Candiese Lenferna)
Mount Anderson (Candiese Lenferna)

So, the 120 horses lining up for Monday’s events should be in prime condition but finding winners could prove tricky. Some will be being preparing for the bigger races scheduled for South Africa’s Champion Season while some of the lessor lights will be primed for the restart.

A trio of runners that will almost certainly have the final classic races of the season in their sights are African Sunrise, Mount Anderson and Trip To Africa in the sixth, all three of which showed above average promise before the lock-down.

African Sunrise has won two of his four starts and both wins have been full of merit. Last time out from a coffin draw over the poly 1600m, he coasted home against older and more seasoned rivals. He has another difficult draw to overcome on Monday but Wendy Whitehead’s charge is a talented gelding and if not winning, should at least be in the money.

Dean Kannemeyer has a number of runners on the day and he will be looking for a big effort from Mount Anderson who followed up his maiden win with a smart victory in a MR 90 Handicap, a big step up from his maiden win. The gelding then came unstuck in a 98 MR Handicap but was under two lengths back to the useful Padre Pio. He is ideally suited to this course and distance and will be a big runner.

Trip To Africa is also lightly raced but Duncan Howells is of the opinion that he has a future. His first run out of the maidens is best ignored but he showed up well next time out, his jockey of the opinion that he may just have needed the run. He will much prefer Monday’s trip and must be included in all bets.

With only two months of the official season to run, Monday sees many juveniles in open company and those that show some potential are most likely to be too strong for many of their moderately performed older rivals.

Thomas Henry could be a case in point and open the card on a winning note for visiting trainer Glen Kotzen. He showed up well in his first two outings at Kenilworth but then fluffed his lines in an early season feature. Kotzen is not likely to have wasted money on a float trip to KZN if he didn’t think his charge would pay his way.

Given that punters will be hungry for some local action the Pick 6 will be a popular bet. Two runners that could save on expenses are Fade To Back in the opening leg, fourth race on the card, and Farland in the seventh.

Fade to Black could prove the pick of the runners that have raced but it may pay to keep an eye on the first timer Fast Love, another Glen Kotzen runner. Kotzen will leg up Anton Marcus in spite of him putting up half-a-kilo overweight which all points to a big run.

Doug Campbell’s runners generally perform well on the poly surface and although Farland’s last two outings have been on the turf, they have been in far superior company to what he meets on Monday. Farland is no stranger to the poly and from a good draw and Marcus aboard he strikes as a possible exotic bet banker.

By Andrew Harrison