Could it be an omen with Andre Nel saddling three runners on the poly at Hollywoodbets Greyville today, all with a floral connotation and spring in the air? A treble of Pink Rose, Blue Flower into Vase in the seventh are tempting odds as all three are not without hope.
Pink Rose is currently an 8-1 shot with Track & Ball and the lightly raced daughter of Duke Of Marmalade has only had a couple of starts. She showed pace in her 1000m barrier trial – given her pedigree a distance that she was always going to find on the sharp side – and then caught the eye in her local debut on the poly behind the smart Marsanne over 1400m. Today’s 1700m trip should be more within her compass and given that she has only had two official starts, she should have improvement to come. Gareth Wright, who scored a double at Scottsville last Sunday, has the ride.
Heading the market is Sacred Ibis but 9-10 about Garth Puller’s filly looks a little skinny. She was caught late over the Hollywoodbets Scottsville mile last time out and although she too stretches to this trip for the first time, she has had her chances.
All three of Nel’s runners will be saddled by his KZN assistant Byron Forster and he will leg up apprentice Jabu Jacobs in the fourth in an apprentice handicap. Jacobs rode an excellent race aboard Jack Of Hearts last Sunday and his 4kg claim from a good draw should benefit his mount. Blue Flower was decidedly unlucky behind Lady Abigail at her most recent outing after being caught in traffic and there is little doubt that she would have finished a lot closer given a clear passage.
She also found good market support that day, her odds slashed in half from an opening call of 16-1, so the 14-1 currently on offer look tempting.
Ahead of Blue Flower that day was Julie Dittmer’s filly Chatty Cathy and she shares the top of the boards with Roy’s Novice and Bold Beauty, all bracketed on 4-1.
Finally, Vase in the seventh, has shown her best form on the poly and was possibly just in need of her last run, that her second after a fairly lengthy break. She has drawn well in a competitive field and although going an extra furlong for the first time, she has the best of the draw.
The trio of Electric Surge, Karatage and Liquid Irish are bracketed on 4-1 joint favourites but a bigger threat to Vase could come in the form of Bequia. Puller’s filly has been consistent and has been dropping steadily in the handicap. She goes very well over this trip and with apprentice Yuzae Ramsen claiming his full 4kg, Bequia only has 48.5kg to shoulder.
The sixth is another tricky apprentice handicap but Gentleman’s Way could prove the pick. He does have temperament issues but won well at long odds when shedding his maiden. He does seem capable of further improvement and Dennis Bosch has talented apprentice Nathan Klink as a bonus.
Xola Jacobs gets a chance on Lowan Denysschen’s gelding Captain Cobalt who was touched off late by Prince Of Venice last time out. His form is a little patchy but on his day he will go close. Lotsa Silver returns from a break but Tony Rivalland’s charge had fair poly form over the trip before that while although Tripple Explosion was a narrow winner over course and distance last time out he has made steady recent improvement and can feature again.
By Andrew Harrison