Morse, only a bit player in his nine episodes so far, can star in the Tabonline.co.za Maiden at Kenilworth tomorrow.
The Eric Sands gelding has finished third in four of his last five starts, all over 1 800m or a mile, and has been showing better form than he did over this 1 400m trip previously – and this is the big doubt.
If he does prove as effective, though, he is a good price at 3-1 because he is rated only a point behind The Second Wave and a minimum of seven in front of any of the other runners. But the biggest thing in his favour is that he is ridden by Anton Marcus for the first time. A smart start should see him flying out of his nine pen and making the best of his way home.
The Second Wave has drifted slightly from 5-2 to 3-1 and recent form suggests that this could well be his trip. Over 1 800m last time, when he finished only a neck in front of Morse, he was hanging for much of the race.
Red Rock Canyon (33-10) also comes into the reckoning as he was only beaten a head over this trip on his most recent start, despite over-racing early, and had Morse’s 5-1 stable companion Mr Fergie a short head behind.
Many punters will be considering an accumulator on Marcus’s four rides after he won on all three here last Saturday and the supremo should start proceedings on the right note with Hello Tomorrow in the first. Sands has his horses in good form and this Ridgemont runner has losses to recoup after being beaten at 7-10 in a modest-looking maiden last time. She led until inside the last 100m and she should be able to hold off On Captain’s Side even though M.J. Byleveld’s mount is rated 1.5kg better.
The Vaughan Marshall-trained In Auro is not a Ridgemont horse but Marcus rode him when he started favourite in his last two starts. He was around even money yesterday but there has been support for Long Reign who finished three-quarters of a length in front of him over this 2 500m in December and may confirm the placings.
However Marcus can take the last on the Glen Kotzen-trained My Wicked Ways. She heads the market at 7-2 but punters should note that this is an extremely open-looking race. Also, don’t ignore 10-1 shot Croisette. She made a big impression when winning on debut and is almost certainly better than her two subsequent runs would suggest.
By Michael Clower