King Of The Corn and Sister Soozie can both take advantage of significant drops in rating accompanied by a drop in class when they line up for the fifth at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Sunday. The staying ranks generally populated by moderate horses but King Of The Corn has five wins to his credit so is obviously capable.
His form since moving to join Garth Puller in KZN is hardly inspiring, finishing closer to last than first, but all three runs have been on the poly, the last two in MR90 Handicaps. On Sunday he is down two divisions and five pounds in the handicap.
Prior to his move north he had been showing consistent Cape Town form. Being an older horse, first time blinkers could sharpen him up and if he can run to anywhere near his best he will at least be competitive.
Sister Soozie’s two starts in KZN for Andre Nel have been better efforts but similarly she is down a division and four pounds in the handicap. She is further complimented by apprentice Jason Gates claiming another 1.5kg.
Although she has only win two races, Sister Soozie was good enough to finish third in the Settlers Trophy behind Magnificent Seven so is proven over Sunday’s 2400m trip.
Of the balance, Impact Zone was close-up in a hugely competitive Winter Challenge handicap behind the progressive The Sultans Bazaar while the lightly raced Spring Fling made a useful handicap debut behind Don Pierro and seems to be getting better the further he goes.
The first is the second of the workriders races and only for the needy and the greedy. However, Mac ‘N Scar, with accomplished rider Aron Xabendlini in the irons, has his third run after a break and has been up against useful fields of late. Petra is a smart filly and showed good improvement in blinkers last run and rider Callum Dixon finished runner-up in the first of the workrider races. Drunken Sailor and La Ferrari could also feature in an open race.
Marco van Rensburg was spitting mad after bearing the brunt of some careless riding in the Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion, High Voltage being ‘cleaned up’ at a crucial stage of the race. Prior to that Duncan Howells’s runner had pressed Saturdays KZN Million winner African Warrior to within a length in the Godolphin Barb Stakes. A repeat of that performance could see him hard to beat in the second although there look to be a number of improvers in the race.
Shane Humby has a couple of promising runners on the day, first up being Diamonds And Pearls in the opening leg of the Pick 6. The filly is lightly raced but has improved with each outing. She came from a long way back when runner-up to Tango Time and judged on that the extra furlong should well suit.
An obvious danger is Saucy Broad who has shown up well in her last two starts. Now fitted with a tongue-tie she can do even better. A further threat could be Snow Palace. The Tobie Spies yard has been in deadly form, especially with juveniles, and the grey filly was touched off over the distance at Turffontein last time out.
The second of Humby’s chances could come in the very next race with Winter Retreat. She found good market support last start and failed narrowly and should have no trouble with the extra ground. Isikhwami Sami and La Duchesse could be the biggest dangers.
On a difficult card, a likely banker could come in the form of Perfect Air. Dennis Drier’s filly ran a cracker in a feature last time out. She is in good form and rates the one to beat. Dangers are Pumpkin Queen in spite of her big weight and a wide draw as was in need of her last start and is very capable in this company. Of the balance, Master Keys was a beaten favourite last outing and has the best of the draw while Connect Me is as game as they come. She got up narrowly at her last two and could do even better over this trip.
The seventh is another tricky handicap but Gimme Peace makes her local debut off some fair Cape form while Letaba showed up well first time out of the maidens and is lightly raced.
Finally, Cosmic Cutter is better than his last effort. He has shown some promise and is in a weak field. Forest Jump improved nicely at his second outing after a promising debut and should be at his peak while stable companion Alma Mater showed up smartly in his barrier trial so obviously has some ability.
By Andrew Harrison