El’ Zara is an opening gift

PUBLISHED: 17 April 2019

Caliente (Candiese Marnewick)

El’ Zara could become the first two-year-old to win in open company in KZN when she lines up in the first at Greyville this evening.

Louis Goosen’s filly takes on what is a fairly modest field of maidens after putting in two promising sprints against her own age group and bookmakers have her in the red.

Both starts were on the turf at Scottsville and she showed good pace before being run out f it late. The switch to the poly should be beneficial and she can get the better of She’s A Crusade and Variety Concert.

Caliente (Candiese Marnewick)
Caliente (Candiese Marnewick)

Belther, beaten a nostril by stable companion Popova last time out is at the top of the boards along with Ruby Slippers setting Lyle Hewitson up against Anton Marcus. Alistair Gordon’s came from well back when beaten by Popova and Ruby Slippers has been knocking at the door for Doug Campbell.

Better value could be the 6-1 about La Duchesse. Paul Gadsby filly has improved since racing in blinkers although her last run is best ignored as she was run into from behind and eased out of the race. She has the best of the draw and goes well on the poly.

Caliente is a weak favourite for the fourth and makes a return to home turf in the fourth after a largely disappointing spell in Cape Town. However, he was up against stronger when fourth behind Grand Silvano and he will have his supporters.

Hewitson teams up with the Duncan Howells runner Jet Stream who is having his second run after a break and looks fair value at 7-1 in the market. He made most of the running before behind run down late over the Scottsville 1950m and a switch to the poly over a shorter trip should make him a big runner.

The fifth is something of a punter’s nightmare with any number of runners in with winning chances. However, Philae is long overdue another visit to the winner’s enclosure after running up a string of places, mostly against stronger opposition than what she meets tonight. The handicappers have been reluctant to drop her in the ratings because of her consistency but she has plenty in her favour here. Marcus has stuck with Nattie Kotzen’s filly Master Keys after her convincing win last time out and the stable is in form with Cumulus carrying the same colours to victory at Scottsville on Sunday.

Wayne Badenhorst is quietly making a name for himself and Isovar steps out under is care for the first time in the sixth, the filly acquired off the Chris Gerber dispersal and previously trained by Alec Laird. She has some patchy form but two of her most recent outings have been in Assessment Plates where anything can happen.

Candice Bass will be looking to Hopeful to open her winter season account after a smart last outing at Durbanville but she does appear to be a better proposition over a mile and further.

The last two races look nigh impossible to peg down with any confidence but Mambo Lyric was a close-up second to the well-fancied Mocha Rose last time out and could fit the bill in the seventh while Louis Goosen has three runners in the last with Yaas and Bravo Zulu the likely pick but with bookmakers offering 9-2 the field, punters should know what they are up against.

By Andrew Harrison