Passage out the maidens

PUBLISHED: 10 January 2017

Greg Cheyne (Liesl King)

Brett Crawford, who has a big chance of landing the third Met of his career, can start Kenilworth punters off on a winning note tomorrow.

Whisky Baron’s trainer has a third of the field in the noon maiden and Kingston Passage showed enough first time to suggest he has what it takes to land this 1 000m race.

Greg Cheyne’s mount was little fancied when racing green but taking second to comfortable winner Head Honcho on debut three weeks ago and needs to make only normal improvement to beat these. Indeed he opened odds-on (15-20) with World Sports Betting yesterday. Stable companion Pop The Question has not raced for nearly four months but the 4-1 chance has some decent form and looks the most obvious danger.

Greg Cheyne (Liesl King)

Greg Cheyne (Liesl King)

Joey Ramsden has weeded out most of the less competitive members of his string and as a result his team is down from 145 to 90, of which half are two-year-olds. It is significant that he has elected to persevere with Dance At Dawn who is still a maiden at the age of four. True, she is a full sister to Real Princess and closely related to Victory Moon so worth going on with if at all possible.

She beat all except the winner in her last two races before running inexplicably badly on Christmas Eve. Donovan Dillon came back convinced something was wrong and the racecourse vet wrote down “poor recovery.”

She tries again in race two and at 4-1 she looks worth backing. Lady Diddeo (11-2) ran below form last time (it was a work riders’ race) butappears held by Gypsy Beauty (4-1) while Ready Set Go (also 4-1) was not disgraced after being nibbled at (33-1 to 18-1) on debut. The sahorseracing computer has Gypsy Beauty, Dance At Dawn and Lady Diddeo in a multiple dead-heat. Talk about hedging your bets! Surely the machine can do better than that?

Loadshedder, thought to be crying out for a mile, seemed to have a touch of the slows when he finally got it but maidens are frequently won by horses you have given up on and he is going to get it together soon, maybe even tomorrow. He is 5-2 second favourite for the Racing Association race and the choice of the computer.

Gadget Man, beaten only a neck by Icon King last time, heads the market at 18-10 but the one that makes most appeal is 3-1 chance Redeemer, not least because he is a full brother to Captain America. He finished three lengths off Gadget Man on debut but didn’t get a clear run.

Grant van Niekerk rides Sabina’s Dynasty for Justin Snaith in race four rather than the Bass-Robinson runner Leaves Of Grass. But the 12-10 favourite is drawn even worse than Marinaresco and Richard Fourie’s mount makes more appeal at 5-2. Watch out for the Andre Nel-trained Guilty Pleasure (6-1) because he had to ease off the heels of the fourth-placed horse 50m out on debut, and 10-1 chance Come On Inn because that is the computer tip.

By Michael Clower