Class could be the deciding factor when Hoodoo Magic takes on some salted opposition in the Dormehl Phalane Property Group Handicap that heads the card at Scottsville on Sunday.
Brett Crawford’s Australian import has been up against the cream so far this season and given that this season’s crop of sophomore males is widely regarded as being above average, that form is likely to hold up.
Last Friday’s G2 KRA Guineas winner Twist Of Fate and Gr1 Cape Derby winner Atyaab are both close-up in Hoodoo Magic’s formline and he is sure to improve on his Byerley Turk effort behind Tristful in his KZN debut.
It was his first outing in over three months and Crawford’s runners are starting to click into top gear.
But he does face a hard-knocker in Sea Urchin. The seven-year-old’s form is not the stuff of feature races but Garth Puller has nursed him through his career and the gelding has come into his own of late with five of his nine wins coming this term, more significantly those wins came in his last seven starts.
Sea Urchin goes particularly well for apprentice Jason Gates who is full value for his 2.5kg claim and from an inside gate, Corne Orffer will need to be wary of a few prickles.
Fellow three-year-old Mastergambit is drawn on the paint inside of Sea Urchin, and although his form does not match that of Hoodoo Magic, he comes from a yard that is firing winning salvos and Mastagambit can make amends for his recent defeat when sent out favourite on the Greyville poly.
Silva’s Bullet did his supporters no favours when down the field in The Sledgehammer (Listed) on the Greyville poly, a race moved from Scottsville because of a sodden track, but Dean Kannemeyer’s runner did not travel well to the start and looked equally uncomfortable on the way home on the synthetic surface.
He is Kannemeyer’s sole entry for this year’s Vodacom Durban July and if he doesn’t feature in this conditions race where he has the weights in his favour, then any thoughts of participation in the VDJ would probably be out of the window.
An interesting runner is Dyno Man, Garth Puller looking to win the race that he is sponsoring. The grey has his third run after a break and pressed the progressive Mr Fitz to half-a-length last time out. The winner is well regarded although Shane Humby has shunned the Classics stating that his charge needs time to mature.
Be that as it may, it was a sterling effort from Dyno Man and he should strip at his peak come Sunday.
Dennis Drier has an enviable client base and the results show as he is well on his way to a consecutive KZN Champion Trainer title. He has another strong hand come Sunday although Ideal Duel may be a little down the list of his possible winners on the day.
The mare has steadily come to hand at recent outings and although all that form has been on the poly, the switch to turf should not trouble her in the Khayelihle Funeral Services Handicap.
It’s a difficult race to call with any certainty but Ideal Duel was running at them hard behind favourite Moon In June last time out but it would be foolish to ignore the chances of top weights Kilmokea and Philae.
Kilmokea was all at sea in the Scottsville mud in The Scarlet Lady (Listed) but her previous form was solid albeit against more measured opposition. Her recent form shows smart efforts behind Heart Of A Legend and stable companion and subsequent Gr1 Empress Club winner Camphoratus in the Gr3 Flamboyant Stakes so she has earned her weight.
Philae’s form line is not quite as impressive given the opposition but Andre Nel’s mare has been close-up in her last five and the extended trip from a good draw should see her contest the finish.
By Andrew Harrison
Racecard for Sunday’s Scottsville meeting on May 12 embedded below.