Brett Crawford, in tremendous form this season, can start the ball rolling at Kenilworth tomorrow with Sing Out Loud in the first.
The Philippi trainer has had 53 winners – only Alan Greeff (60) and Justin Snaith (57) – have sent out more and Sing Out Loud went into the notebooks after her promising debut over this 1 200m three weeks ago. She was little fancied that day, despite being ridden by Anton Marcus, and she was no match for comfortable winner Queen Of Quiet but she beat everything else in a manner that suggested she would come on enough to beat tomorrow’s opposition.
There are really only two negatives – firstly whether the trip might be a bit sharp for a daughter of Dynasty and secondly that the bookmakers also noted just how promising that first run was and have opened her at odds-on.
Forget O’Girls (9-1) should make the frame and the other main danger is 6-1 second favourite Lady Of The Lake who is returning after a five-month break and is dropping back in trip after two runs over 1 400m.
Crawford also has good prospects of taking race three, the 1 400m Betting World Maiden, with 2-1 favourite Smart William who didn’t start racing until he was four. He meets his rivals on terms 4kg better than weight-for-age and has finished a promising fourth on both his starts. He steps up a furlong here but Corne Orffer has to overcome a poor draw.
That apart, he probably has most to fear from 33-10 second favourite Fade To Black, over three lengths behind last time but again ridden by Marcus and well drawn. Mr Fergie and 4-1 shot Themadirishsheriff would not need to improve all that much.
Sing Out Loud’s running in the first should be a pointer to the chance of Academic Gold in race four because the Andre Nel filly started a warm favourite when a length and a half behind her last time and is taken to win this.
It could be worth siding with Priceless Ruler in the last even though he has to give 4.5kg to the highly regarded Liberty Hall. The Dennis Drier four-year-old ran significantly above his rating in the Cape Mile and the handicappers were limited to a six point increase. On the debit side he has top weight and 4-1 is plenty short enough
Liberty Hall (also 4-1) ran way below his good Durban form on his return in a sprint handicap and looks a major threat.
By Michael Clower