Like a raiding Viking chief, Mike de Kock has orchestrated a ‘hit’ on Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday and by the fourth race could be headed home with a sack-full of spoils.
De Kock’s first strike comes in the second and although there are many first timers to keep an eye on Perfectly Putt makes the long trip from the Highveld to race on the poly. He has drawn well and should feature prominently in what has stacked up into a modest field. His biggest threat could come in the form of Arianos Spinner who takes on males but was much improved at her second start. With a 4kg claimer up she only has 50kg to shoulder.
Arnica Montana is the second of the De Kock raiders and should get the Pick 6 off to a solid start. The gelding has failed narrowly in his first two starts and should be a solid bet in this line-up although you are not going to get rich at likely cramped odds.
Of the balance, Rasputin’s Remedy has not been far back in two sprints and should much prefer this trip while Dutch Alley has put in one good effort so far and is re-united with Stuart Randolph. A repeat of that run should see him competitive.
Given the betting, Al Ragnar was not a typical De Kock runner, drifting from an opening call of 14-1 to 33-1 after finishing with just two behind him on debut.
But the addition of blinkers brought out the best in him and the line came a stride too soon as Gimme The Fire clung onto his lead. There should be no mistakes here. Charlie Mccreevy has been disappointing since a plunge three runs back where he was decidedly unlucky, the victim of a mid-straight traffic jam. Lezeanne Forbes’s runner has held form since and should feature in the money. Ice Baron and Querari’s Cowboy both step up in trip and could prove dangerous.
The fifth is a wide-open handicap but top weight Room At The Top was narrowly beaten in his third local start by Favour. He has the best of the draw and is 1kg better off with his rival this time around. Al Jackman comes from a very much in form stable and was a close-up second last outing and Viento is also 1kg better off with Favour and is seldom too far back of late.
The handicappers have taken the plunge and dropped Arianos Shadow five pounds since her last run on the poly and although she carries top weight in the Jonsson Workwear Handicap she looks more competitive off her new mark. Frank Robinson saddled the filly in a strong Pinnacle Stakes field last run and the extra 400m this time around should be to her benefit.
The dangers! Escape Club appeared to be badly in need of her last start after returning from a lengthy break. Her form before that was excellent and from a good draw, she will have a big chance if near her best. Petra is useful on her day and has been consistent but also gets a three-point drop in ratings and her best recent effort has been over course and distance.
By Andrew Harrison