It has been a long time between drinks for the filly Railtrip, almost a year to the day since her last win, but that could change at Hollywoodbets Scottsville today where she lines up in the Track & Ball Gaming Handicap over 2400m.
However, the race is just a taste of what punters can expect with trainers having lined up in numbers with nine races on a packed programme. Seven runners are quoted between 4-1 and 8-1 in a 10-horse field which should give punters some indication of what they are up against.
Weak 4-1 favourite Twice Golden was a comfortable winner first up out of the maidens but hit a wall when stepping up in class, fading out to finish over 10 lengths back to Blackball in a competitive handicap. However, today he does have the benefit of a 4kg claimer aboard and is proven over the course and distance which adds to his appeal.
While Twice Golden’s handicap rating has been on the up, Railtrip’s has been on the decline and from a career high of 100, she steps out as a 90 today. That said, she will not have it easy as only stable companion Just Cruised In carries more pudding over a distance that the filly tries for the first time. Warren Kennedy has opted for Railtrip in preference to Just Cruised In, and that choice could prove significant.
Merlin From Berlin is in good form since being tried in blinkers and can go in again but there should be little between him and stable companion Paybackthemoney with a neck separating them the last time they met.
There are no obvious exotic bet bankers on the card but if Keep On Dancing takes to the turf she could get the Pick 6 off to a good start. Wendy Whitehead’s filly improved markedly on her debut and from a good draw should at least be competitive. Justadoreher showed up well last start and appears to have come to hand and the extra furlong should suit. Fateful Mistress and To The Max also make appeal.
Jet Lignite, runner up at his last two, most recently over course and distance, and Double Gemini could possibly prove the pick in the Greyville Convention Centre Maiden over 2400m. The form in maiden races over ground is generally weak and these two stand out in a modest field.
The seventh is the proverbial minefield. First Sighting was a narrowly beaten favourite last run and with a four-claiming apprentice up she has a light weight. Coyote Girl seldom runs a bad race and over her best trip she has a strong chance again. Bella Ballerina was much improved in blinkers last run and that form has held up while Miss Marmalade won well on debut. She is a half-sister to Halfway To Heaven, dam of Rainbow Bridge, Hawaam and Saturday’s Derby winner Golden Ducat, so may need a touch further.
It often pays to take note of horses on the drop as far as merit ratings go and Highveld raider Chipofftheoldblok could pay to follow in the eighth. He has been up against stronger on the Highveld but his rating has dropped ten points in his last four starts and he now looks competitive off his new mark. Sea Sponge is consistent and goes well over this trip and he may be the horse to beat.
The ninth is another coin-toss but Master Tobe was a recent maiden winner but has made steady improvement. He meets a weak field here and the step up in trip could see further improvement. Storm Ruler is a five-time winner that has dropped to a more competitive mark and was much improved last run. He needs to repeat. Rasputin’s Remedy had his consistency rewarded with his maiden win last time out. He can feature prominently in this field.
By Andrew Harrison