The MR system of handicapping pays no attention to number of wins but rather to a horse’s inherent ability. That said, it is still difficult to get around the fact that a five-time winner taking on a one-time winner is not really fair given that the one-time winner has to give weight to a horse that has earned more than three times the stake.
The sixth at Hollywoodbets Scottsville today is a case in point where Moshav, a five-time winner, lines up against a lot of one-time winners with little separating them at the weights.
That doesn’t make Moshav a ‘good thing’ but the six-year-old’s current form suggest that he could be in line for the sixth win of his career.
He made a winning debut for Nathan Kotzen after being re-located from Stuart Pettigrew’s Highveld yard, before losing form and was given a break. He has since come back showing signs of his old self, improving nicely to finish strongly behind Wolfgang last time out and has his third run after a break today that should see him strip at his peak. The blinkers are also back on which all points to a big effort.
One always needs to take note of runners up from the Western Cape having their first local outing and Hardfallingrain is one to take note of especially as Anton Marcus will be aboard Glen Kotzen’s runner.
Three years younger than Moshav, Hardfallingrain has taken on stronger company at recent starts and not finished too far back and the Cape form is often a touch stronger than local. Apprentice Joshwin Solomons took 4kg off his back when four lengths back in a MR90 handicap last time out and he drops a division this afternoon and must be included in all bets.
In August last year, Moshav got the better of Blaze Of Silk, running him down inside the last furlong. Corrine Bestel’s gelding franked that form by winning next time out. Blaze Of Silk is something of a course specialist and in his latest showing when returning from a break, stayed on gamely only to be touched off by Robberg Express, a talented sprinter with a myriad for problems.
Blaze Of Silk does have to give Moshav 3kg which could be the difference between these two.
Le Bella is the only filly in the race and her last three outings have been in yielding going in useful company where she has turned in some useful performances. She showed good pace when tried over 1400m last time out before weakening over the last bit and reported lame after the race.
Back in more suitable company and shrewd judge Garth Puller booking apprentice Jabu Jacobs to give her 4kg relief from the saddle, she could prove a handful for the lads.
Corne Spies has done more travelling than a long-distance lorry driver but wherever his horses pitch, it’s worth taking note.
Baby Let’s Mambo is under a cloud after making seemingly amazing improvement when torpedoing a field at 66-1 two runs back and the gelding’s couple of subsequent efforts have reverted to back-of-the-bus efforts. But he does take a drop in class and his 18-length no-show last time out could count for nothing although punters and the stipes may have a few things to say should he pop up.
A better Spies proposition looks to be Windy Flight, a narrow winner at Kimberley early last month, five days after winning over today’s course and distance. Stuart Randolph puts up 0.5kg over-weight and a four-time winner carrying 54.5kg must carry come water.
Solid Pick 6 bankers are in short supply but the lightly raced King Julian may fit the bill. Shane Humby does not run them often but when he does his charges are usually competitive and King Julian should at the very least be competitive in the seventh.
Not out of the first three in four starts, the blinkers go on and he should go close in what is a competitive maiden.
By Andrew Harrison