KZN trainers Gavin van Zyl, Frank Robinson, Robbie Hill, Paul Lafferty and Tony Rivalland are gearing up for big races around the country.
Van Zyl has the most big race firepower in KZN at present.
He is bullish about the chances of Blackball in Sunday’s Listed Michaelmas Handicap over 1900m.
This Black Minnaloushe gelding last ran on June 8 in the KZN Winter Challenge 2000 at Greyville and was most unlucky.
He had to be snatched up when squeezed out on the rail just before the 300m mark and then after rallying back he had nowhere to go in the closing stages so had to be eased. Even then Blackball finished only 1,25 lengths behind the winner, The Sultan’s Bazaar, in sixth place.
The 105 merit rated five-year-old is potentially well handicapped on Sunday, as he might well have won that race, and he jumps from pole under national log leading-jockey Warren Kennedy.
Van Zyl’s four-year-old Pathfork gelding Marchingontogether will be raiding for the Grade 2 Peermont Emperor’s Palace Charity Mile on November 2. He will then being staying at Joe Soma’s yard ahead of his main target, the Gauteng Summer Cup.
Van Zyl said this four-year-old by Marchfield, who finished third in the Grade 1 SA Derby last year, had improved with gelding.
He said, “He is much calmer and more manageable now. He won his last start (over the too sharp 1400m at Scottsville) well.”
Van Zyl’s crack filly Gabor, who was named Equus Champion two-year-old filly last season, is down in Cape Town being taken care of by Dean Kannemeyer. Her chief target is the Grade 1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas on December 14. Van Zyl’s carefully laid out program will have her making her seasonal reappearance just 17 days before the Guineas in a Conditions Plate for fillies and mares on November 27 over 1400m at Kenilworth.
After the Guineas she might be targeted at the Grade 1 Majorca Stakes on Sun Met day.
Van Zyl’s promising Duke Of Marmalade filly Dancing Feather, who has won both of her last two starts by over four lengths, will be aimed at next year’s Grade 1 SA Fillies Classic and the SA Oaks, both at Turffontein.
Frank Robinson was happy with the comeback run of Roy Had Enough in a strong Pinnacle Stakes event over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday which was won by Soqrat. Roy Had Enough, an Australian-bred five-year-old entire by Pierro, stayed on from a handy position for a five length fourth.
Robinson said, “He needed it, he was very flat.”
He is staying up in Johannesburg and will now go for either the Charity Mile or the Victory Moon Stakes.
Robinson expected either one of those races to put him “spot on” for the Summer Cup.
His filly Roy’s Riviera might also go for the Charity Mile. However, she will more likely go for the Grade 3 Yellowwood Handicap over 1800m on the same day. He said she did not need as much racing as Roy Had Enough to reach her peak. He thought she would be a big runner if managing to get into the Summer Cup with a light weight. However, she would otherwise go for the Grade 2 Ipi Tombe Challenge over 1600m on the same day.
Robbie Hill said his five-year-old filly Camphoratus, who was named KZN Champion older filly/mare and KZN Champion Middle Distance horse last season, would raid for the Charity Mile, where she would not be at her peak, and then stay in Johannesburg for her chief target, the Summer Cup. He said she had badly needed her recent comeback run in KZN. She will be taken care of by Geoff Woodruff in the lead up to the Summer Cup.
Paul Lafferty is targeting Dark Moon Rising at the Summer Cup and believed he would definitely get in to the race.
He is excited about his three-year-old Australian-bred Zoffany colt Share Holder. He attained a hoof injury lasts season and was still feeling it in his last start when second over 1200m at Greyville. He will be back to his best once the hoof has fully gown out. Lafferty said Piere Strydom had got off after that last run and said, “This is a top horse,” so wherever he goes this season winning big races will be his aim.
Tony Rivalland would like to run recent winner Tristful in the Charity Mile but was not sure the talented four-year-old Trippi gelding would make the cut. He also has the six-year-old Kahal gelding Wynkelder entered and pointed out that although he was last season’s KZN Champion Sprinter he ran an excellent close up third in the KZN Breeders Million Mile.
By David Thiselton