Glen Kotzen was pleased Eyes Wide Open had been dropped three points by the handicapper for his 8,65 length fourth in the Listed Sledgehammer over 1800m on the poly as this has put him at the top of one of the merit rated bands for the WSB 1900 on Saturday.
He is carrying topweight of 60kg but according to official merit ratings is the best weighted male horse in the race, although he is 2kg under sufferance with the best weighted female Fresnaye.
Kotzen said the four-year-old Dynasty colt had come on from that last run.
He said Eyes Wide Open would need to win to get into the Vodacom Durban July and he was expecting a big run.
Eyes Wide Open was just outside the top 20 on the first July log. The former Grade 1 Cape Derby winner was found to have been haemo-concentrating during his disappointing Cape Summer campaign.
However, this issue has been addressed and Kotzen believes he will now be back to his best.
He was certainly looking well at Summerveld yesterday. He has a tricky draw of nine and in form Warren Kennedy is aboard. Kotzen runs three fillies in the Listed East Coast Cup over 2000m.
He pointed out how good Snapscan’s form was looking after Just Chaos, whom she beat by 3,25 in the Listed East Cape Oaks over 2000m, had come out and finished third against the boys in Saturday’s Listed East Cape Derby over 2400m.
Kotzen described Expedite as a “smart filly” and she proved it when finishing a close third in the Listed Jamaica Handicap over 2000m back in January. He said she had not enjoyed the rain effected going in her last start in the Scarlet Lady at Scottsville, so a line could be drawn through that run.
His other runner Luna Child will be ridden by the Mauritzfontein Stud-retained Gavin Lerena and Kotzen said this was always an advantage. She was eighth in the Grade 1 Woolavington 2000, beaten seven lengths, when last trying this course and distance. However, she is certainly bred to go the trip being by Ideal World out of Rambo Dancer mare Cast A Spell, who won twice over 1800m. Furthermore, the progeny of Ideal World improve continuously so she should be coming into her own. She finished a 7,2 length fifth in the Scarlet Lady over 1750m in her last start and should have benefited from the outing, her first for two months.
By David Thiselton