The Hollywoodbets Greyville eight race polytrack meeting yesterday had a mixed bag of results with three upsets in the first three races balanced by quite favourable results thereafter, although it did appear clear as the meeting went on that the outside strip was the place to be down the straight.
The first over 1600m saw Keiko, the Frank Robinson-trained Wynnholme Stud-bred three-year-old Mogok gelding, flying through on the outside for an eye catching 0,30 length win at odds of 25/1 under Luke Ferraris. He had also found a strong finish on debut over 1000m so was probably good value at those odds considering he was going to relish the step up in trip on pedigree with King Julian on second. The favourite Do Or Dare chose to go down the inside and was beaten 0,60 lengths into third.
In the second race over 1600m the action was on the outside again. The rangy Dennis Bosch-trained reserve runner Lady Secret led from start to finish under a fine ride by Eric Ngwane after being backed in to 11/1. This three-year-old filly is by Philanthropist and was bred by Klawervlei Stud. The favourite Arrabiata was doing good work late and was beaten 1,10 lengths into second. She will enjoy further and will win soon.
In the third race, a MR 78 Handicap over 1600m, it was another horse running down the outside who won. The Doug Campbell-trained home-bred six-year-old Mogok gelding Plymouth Rock ran on steadily to just get the better of Nicklaus. The fancied What A Blast, who was seeking a hattrick, was stuck behind the winner on the outside rail for quite some time but was eating up the ground late and can continue to be followed.
In the fourth race, a Maiden over 2000m, Mark Khan had the Lezeanne Forbes-trained four-year-old Querari filly one wide with cover one off the lead and was able to switch to the favourable outside going at the top of the straight. The Maine Chance Farms-bred filly found extra when challenged by the perennial bridesmaid La Duchesse, who was favourite, and won by a comfortable 1,70 lengths.
In the fifth race over 1400m it was Luke Ferraris on Vartanium who had the one wide-one back position and had soon bounded clear in the straight. The four-year-old Sean Tarry-trained Backworth Stud-bred Var gelding won by 0,75 at odds of 113/20 from a fast closing Galway.
In the sixth race over 1400m Tony Rivalland’s four-year-old Oratorio filly Star Vega, bred by Dr IR Heyns, looked likely to relish the step up in trip after finishing strongly over 1200m last time and after Jarred Samuel managed to squeeze her through a narrow gap on the outside she flew home to beat the favourite Spam Alert by 1,30 lengths.
The seventh was a MR 92 handicap for fillies and mares over 1200m and the Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained Ancient Spirit found the one wide and one back position under Keagan de Melo and duly waltzed clear to win by 3,50 lengths. The Australian-bred five-year-old mare by Fastnet Rock converted 16/10 favouritism.
Frank Robinson scored a double, a MR 80 handicap over 1200m, when the favourite Leslies Pathtofame found the outside rail and roared home to win by 0,75 lengths from the fancied Extravargant. The five-year-old Pathfork gelding was bred by Normandy Stud.
By David Thiselton