Can Han Solo ‘chew bacca’?

PUBLISHED: 01 November 2019

Techno Captain (Candiese Marnewick)

Barrier trials are a continuing bone of contention amongst local trainers but they are here to stay for the time being so it is best to try and make use of them as a pointer to possible ability.

Back in September, the word was out early that Kay Tee Perry was something special and Johan Janse van Vuuren’s Argentinian-bred filly duly arrived in her Hollywoodbets Scottsville barrier trial, never allowed off the bit. The ‘form’ behind that doesn’t look too flash at this stage but there were a number of ‘non-triers’ behind her that, had this been a race, would have had jockey and trainer locked up for life.

Techno Captain (Candiese Marnewick)
Techno Captain (Candiese Marnewick)

One was Han Solo, Sean Veale letting Glen Kotzen’s runner cruise to the line without asking anything serious from his mount.

Barrier trials need to be viewed in context. They are essentially an exercise in smoke and mirrors but for punters who take their form studying seriously, they are another gun in their arsenal.

Han Solo may have flattered to deceive in his 1000m trial, but all will be revealed when he lines up in the second at Hollywoodbets Greyville tonight where he tackles 1600m on debut. The signs are good – Anton Marcus aboard from a plum draw and a strong stable.

It is another tricky card on the synthetic surface but Techno Captain can get the Pick 6 off to a favourable start in the third. There were varying opinions as to the validity of his demotion behind Clouds Of Witness last time out, many believing that Paul Gadsby’s runner was a trifle unlucky to be on the receiving end. No matter, Techno Captain escaped unsullied by the handicappers and with regular pilot Sherman Brown back in the saddle he rates a possible Pick 6 banker.

Silva Magic found one better when Shoot The Wagon upstaged her last time out and she renews rivalry with Lady Clementine – a length back in that race. This pair of improving three-year-olds should be involved in the finish again along with Live My Dream who Gadsby has set up nicely for this race.

Should Lady Clementine oblige, Lady Caroline Lamb could afford Gavin van Zyl and Warren Kennedy a quick double. Although a recent maiden winner, she enjoyed the trip and her first race on poly and rates a strong chance. Challenges could come thick and fast from the Ashburton challenge of Bold Beauty from Duncan Howells and Chatty Cathy and Purple And Gold, Julie Dittmer’s pair having valid excuses in their recent starts and both due a change of fortune.

Louis Goosen has been quite of late but has recently relocated to Summerveld and may only now be getting the hang of the tracks. He saddles Yaas in the sixth and the booking of Anton Marcus could prove significant but the dangers are many. Ginger Biscuit is a remarkable mare that never knows when she’s beaten while Vaal-based Dorrie Sham is not a regular in KZN but Samba With Suzie is one of two Sham runners in the race. Her best recent form has been over the Fairview poly and with a light weight is one to watch.

Jardin looks well handicapped in spite of top weight in the seventh and the ever-alert Marcus could cash in for Alyson Wright.

The last is a difficult race but Land Of Mystery is down in class and takes a two-point drop in the ratings which should see him competitive in spite of top weight. Roy’s Magic is useful and has also taken a rating drop and from a good draw could shape as the biggest threat along with Candle Cove that took on a strong field first up out of the maidens from a wide draw.

By Andrew Harrison