It was tough going at Hollywoodbets Greyville last Friday night and it could be equally testing for punters on the poly at the same venue this afternoon. That said, the harder the going the better the rewards for those who do their homework.
There are no obvious exotic bet bankers on the card and race-by-race may be the way to go.
Tuscan Kiss and Duran could be the exacta in the card opener in what is a tricky race with thin form. Tuscan Kiss ran a fair race behind his stable companion Kingston Rock last start and meets weaker here. Duran has disappointed Gary Rich on more than one occasion as he has expected more from his charge that has shown ability at home. The Rich stable is in form and Duran can improve on recent showings. Of the balance, Shining Bright has found market support at recent starts and reverts to a sprint which could help.
In the second, Irish Pearl was backed at long odds last start and made good improvement in cheek pieces. She has drawn wide but this is only her fourth start so could have more to come and offers more scope than Amberbell and Retrial. This pair look the more obvious but Amberbell is a long-timer battler although not far back at recent outings while Retrial was a short-head behind Amberbell when last they met so there should not be much between the two again although Amberbell has the better draw. Enrapture improved nicely second time out and has a winning chance in a weak field.
The lightly raced Gwendolyn won well second time out and looks progressive in a modest field when she lines up in the opening leg of the Pick 6. San’s Dancer has run two cracking races for her new stable and the step up in trip should suit so she could prove the biggest threat. Of the balance, season veteran Royal Kaitrina is never far back and comes from a form stable and although S’Manga Khumalo puts up 1kg over-weight that should not be enough to stop her putting in a big effort.
Velvet Season has a bright chance in the fourth and is overdue a first win as he is rated way better than the majority of this field. He has a good draw to boot. Biggest danger could come in the form of Smart Sox who has only had two starts for Dean Kannemeyer. He made a promising debut on the poly and although he was a distant fourth on the turf next up he can do better back on the synthetic surface.
The fifth is wide open but recent maiden winner Royal Kitty has shown ability and won unextended. That was a moderate maiden line-up and she meets a lot stronger this time around. Such A Rush has excellent form on the poly and Lowan Denysschen’s yard is in good form of late while Arrabiata, Stormborne Thunder, Blue Flower and Fire Faerie all warrant consideration in a difficult race.
Candle Rock showed signs of returning to form last start and Jeff Freedman’s filly was backed at long odds. She is down in class and although drawn a little wide she should put in a big effort. Track & Ball have her at 10-1 which are attractive odds. Smiley Kylie has been rested but Garth van Zyl’s filly has put in two smart efforts on the poly and if not short of a gallop will be right there. La Valette has been rested but was not far back in strong feature company last outing while Purple Persuasion is at the top of the ante-post boards with Smiley Kylie.
The seventh is another open handicap but Made In Hollywood has had two outings for his new stable and has made marked improvement. At 12-1 in the ante-post market he looks fair value. Favourite is recent winner Graduate who scored comfortably at his last two. He got a four-point penalty for that last win but should still be competitive. Hey Boy is quick and goes very well on the poly and gets weight from most of his biggest rivals.
Kom Naidoo sends out a steady stream of winners from his Ashburton yard and he could round off the meeting with Fives Wild who takes a big drop in class and with 4kg claimer Xola Jacobs up should have a big chance in this line-up. Others to watch are Jerry The Juggler, Alphamikefoxtrot and Ninotto in another wide open contest.
By Andrew Harrison