It’s premature to read anything into the form after a break of two months, but what was obvious at Hollywoodbets Greyville yesterday was that the stables of Brett Crawford, under the stewardship of Peter Muscutt, visiting trainer Glen Kotzen, and Anton Marcus are primed for South Africa’s Champion Season.
What will be more interesting in the next few days will be which jockeys will stay in KZN given that the National Horseracing Authority rules, under direction from the lock-down regulations, state that jockeys may move province only once until restrictions on movement are lifted.
So do the riders that previously had the luxury of travelling stay in KZN for Champions Season or take a chance on Gauteng, where their season’s ends on Saturday?
Marcus is always looking for an edge and was a regular riding work at Summerveld during lock-down, so not for nothing is he one of the most sort after riders in the country – not only for his undeniable ability in the saddle but also his work ethic.
Best ride of his four-timer was possibly the Doug Campbell-trained Farland. ‘Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes,’ was an order allegedly given by American officer William Prescott at the Battle of Bunker Hill in the American Civil War but it is often suicidal to give start at the top of the straight on the Greyville poly. But while all were scrubbing for home and sticks flailing, Marcus waited until the last second to pull the trigger and after a few sweaty palms for Farland supporters it was very much job done for Marcus.
Final Attempt and Hexatonic may have put a kink in a few preparations for the classics although Wendy Whitehead will not have been pleased with the antics of African Sunrise which saw the gelding not make it into the starting gate.
Who did catch the eye was Mount Anderson, who came from a long way back to fill the shallow end of the purse giving the impression that a mile and further, the Gr1 Daily News 200 in particular, will be well within his compass.
Kotzen made inroads into the travelling expenses account with a brace of winners, Final Attempt and Hexatonic adding to the kitty and debutante Fast Love, taking on older runners, running out a comfortable winner of the opening leg of the Pick 6.
By Andrew Harrison