Seasoned horseman and trainer Joey Soma is a firm believer in the use of a tongue-tie for races. “I believe in tongue ties, 99% of my horses wear them,” he told colleague David Thiselton after Got The Greenlight’s win in the Grade 1 SA Classic last Saturday.
Not only does a tongue-tie prevent a horse from getting its tongue over the bit, it also keeps the air passages open and something that may help Horoscope Harry to find his best form on the poly at Hollywoodbets Greyville today.
A string of promising performances culminated in a disappointing last effort when seemingly running out of gas over the final furlong after being up with the pace for much of the race.
It was later reported that he had ‘choked up’ in the running which will have accounted for his below par performance.
Gareth van Zyl has declared a tongue-tie for the first time and if it has the desired effect, Horoscope Harry can find himself back on the winning trail.
Matchless Captain and Treading Water are two that can make a race of it. Matchless Captain making all the running under apprentice Jabu Jacobs to shed his maiden while Treading Water is lightly raced but does appear to have potential and any market support could be prophetic.
Of the older runners, Cuvara steps out onto the poly for the first time and the synthetic surface can often see older horses finding their better form.
Anton Marcus has been conspicuous by his absence as he serves out a suspension but he has a chance of making a winning comeback on Garth Puller’s filly Astute Vision in the card opener. She has shown improved form at her last two starts and was ridden by Marcus last time out. The blinkers go on for the first time, probably under instruction from Marcus, and Astute Vision could get the better of Chanel Allure and Noble Freedom.
If Marcus doesn’t make it on Astute Vision, Perspicuous looks to be one of the better bets on the card. Johan Janse van Vuuren’s filly made marked improvement when making her poly debut, going down narrowly to favourite Retail Therapy. She does have a history off shoe troubles that may have accounted for her modest previous showings and her improved effort on the poly track. Also back in action after his enforced six-month lay-off is Muzi Yeni who rides Wild Earth for Nathan Kotzen.
Al Jazeera could be good news for punters in the opening leg of the PA. Gavin van Zyl’s gelding has been knocking at the door and although he was well beaten by the smart-looking African Sunrise last time out, he did have a tough draw to contend with. He had good form over this course and distance before that. Ulterior Motive and The Westerner look pick of the balance.
The fourth may turn into a match race between Guadeloupe and To The Max in a small field. The former made a promising poly debut in her first run in KZN. Craig Zackey stays with the mount and the blinkers go on. To The Max is coming along the right way and should go well over this trip.
Apprentice Handicaps are always tricky but Joshwin Solomons has been booked for two good rides, the first Lasata for Dennis Bosch. The gelding makes his debut for the stable but his recent Cape form was up against stronger opposition than what he meets here. However, this is not a race to go light in, in the exotics with any number of horses in with chances. The betting could prove your best guide.
Solomons partners Paper Ballerina for Mark Dixon in the last – another difficult race. Paper Ballerina has put in two good efforts since her maiden win and meets some modest opposition this time around. Class Of Eight finished ahead of Paper Ballerina when last they met but is now 4.5kg worse off while Starlight, Ms Rosa Parks and Mythical Magic are all live runners.
The seventh is also wide open affair. Linear is not the easiest but is smart on her day as she showed when a good third behind the promising Mr Fitz last Wednesday. She takes on her own sex here. Made In Hollywood is struggling for her second win but is never far off. She has also dropped in the handicap and should be competitive off her new mark.
By Andrew Harrison