Dancing Feather was caught one-paced when not able to catch pacemaker Liquid Irish over the Hollywoodbets Greyville 1400m turf early last month where she started 7-10 favourite.
Gavin van Zyl sends her back over a mile, probably a more suitable trip, at the same venue this evening, although racing takes place on the poly.
Dancing Feather has a pedigree that suggests that anything short of a mile would be a test and her record – although only spanning four races – would suggest that. Both defeats have come over 1400m and she does boast a comfortable maiden victory over tonight’s course and distance.
Dancing Feather, 18-10 in early betting, could well be a contender for the Gr1 Woolavington 2000 come South Africa’s Champion Season, but she will first have to past today’s test.
Warren Kennedy is charging hard for the national title and although his loyalty is to the Van Zyl yard where he is first call, he is unlikely to be held to stable obligations should he find a stronger ride.
Kennedy will know what he is up against as he partnered second favourite Electric Surge to a narrow loss to the progressive Mary O and Robbie and Shannon Hill have picked up the services of Anton Marcus on a filly that has hardly put a foot wrong in six outings. She shed her maiden over course and distance three runs back and has shown up strongly in handicap company so it could be a close call.
Marcus and the Hill’s team up in the first with Quant Master that was narrowly beaten last time out back over what, at this stage, looks to be his optimum trip. Just how he fares could rest with just how far along Chief Officer is in his preparation for this race. Alyson Wright’s charge returns from an eight-month break but did show that he is a horse with some potential, taking on African Warrior at his last start. Early exchanges have Quant Master even money favourite with Chief Officer 3-1.
Apprentice Denis Schwarz has been well schooled by Gary and Dean Alexander who took him under their wing early in his career and it has paid dividends for the 22-year-old who recorded his first Gr1 victory in last Saturday’s Gr1 Summer Cup, making all the running.
Visiting trainer Clinton Binda teams up with the Cup winning apprentice with Kings Road in the second. Starting at lengthy odds on debut, Kings Road caught the eye with a close-up finish and is currently joint 28-10 favourite with Pafuri, that made sudden improvement first up in KZN. Maldives, blinkered and tongue-tie for the first time, could prove another threat.
Mount Anderson (12-10) and Bold Phoenix (2-1) dominate the betting for the third with the balance 9-1 and better. Dean Kannemeyer’s runner made good improvement on his debut effort and looks a worthy favourite after finishing in front of Bold Phoenix last time out. However, Bold Phoenix has more experience and the synthetic surface could suit after being ‘run over’ in two starts in soft going on the turf.
In the fourth, Lundy’s Lad gives Kannemeyer a strong chance of a quick double although the lightly raced Master Of Destiny could extend his rival’s run of second places to four.
By Andrew Harrison