The Snaith powerhouse goes into battle with the favourite or joint favourite in four of the five maidens at Kenilworth today – but it could pay punters to be discerning rather than blindly following the lead of the bookmakers.
Peaceful Day has everything going for him in the first. A Drakenstein-bred Captain Al, he had the third six lengths back when making all except the last 100m to take a half-length second to Call Me Al on debut and the performance was even better than it looked because he lost a front shoe. He is bound to have come on from that and gets the vote but he has drifted from 22-10 to 7-2 as the money has come for Quintay.
The Adam Marcus runner, backed from 6-1 to 7-2, is the form horse on his first two runs but he was most disappointing when odds-on and upped a furlong last time. It is significant that he is dropped back in trip and he rates a massive danger. Alaskan Night had a very promising first run and should also come into calculations.
The Justin Snaith-Richard Fourie combination can follow up in race two with Phil’s Dancer, a 50-1 shot when fourth to Calypso Beat on debut but 18-10 favourite here. Stable companion Cyber Blossom is the pick on form but Fourie has not got where he is today by going for the wrong one.
Veratrum has already been backed to make it three in a row for the huge stable in the Tabonline.co.za Maiden but Lasata is preferred despite the no-no warning signs – she is drawn wide (normally a disaster over this 1 400m) and she has had too many chances already.
But her talented in-form rider is good value for his 1.5kg, her running is consistently good and at 33-10 there is a bit of value about her. That said, Veratrum did not have a clear run last time so his form is better than it looks. His stable companion Imperial Rage also has claims despite being off since mid-May.
The Brett Crawford-trained Khopesh opened favourite for the 1 800m maiden (race four) but weight of money has taken Black Knap to the head of the market and this colt can give Vaughan Marshall a quick double. M.J. Byleveld’s mount lost a fair bit of ground at the start on debut in what looked a good maiden and he will know more about it this time.
Snaith’s Halliberry is a worthy favourite in the finale – her last two runs are probably better than any of the others have achieved – but Mayfern’s most recent outing is better than it might appear and she is taken to win.
By Michael Clower
Image: RED EIGHT at the Vaughan Marshall yard all set for race six at Kenilworth today.
Image Credit: Vaughan Marshall