Royal Kitty should provide punters with a solid exotic bet banker in the seventh on the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly today. Alyson Wright’s filly takes on a modest maiden field and given the exposed form of her nine rivals, defeat would come as a shock.
Bookmakers concur with Track & Ball offering 4-10 about the favourite in the ante-post market.
A possible upset could come in the form of Queen Of Beauty. Dean Kannemeyer’s stable has come good after all the compulsory vaccinations and although the Argentinian-import made no show on her sprint debut, she was not far behind in her barrier trial. She is certain to be more effective over today’s 1600m trip and could give the short-priced favourite a run for her money.
Escape Club has been a touch disappointing since returning from a lengthy break. She had smart form before the lay-off but is now showing signs of a return to her best although Dennis Drier has resorted to blinkers and a tongue-tie when she lines up in a competitive handicap, sixth on the card. Form guide Computaform have marked all nine runners with a cross in the Greyville Convention Centre Handicap which is an indication of what punters are up against but from a good draw and having her third run after the break, Escape Club may be worth one more chance.
Philae has had to play second fiddle to both Connect Me and Komeshans Flight at her last two starts, both in opposition again today, and looks an obvious threat.
Garth Puller is currently the leading trainer in KZN at present and he saddles Noemi in the fifth. The Durban View Restaurant Handicap is another tricky affair where Noemi takes a jump in class. This has been compensated by apprentice Yuzae Ramzan’s 4kg claim and Noemi will only shoulder 49kg over this five-furlong dash.
But there are a few other serious contenders in the race. Top weight Candy Galore put in one of her best performances when switched to the poly at her penultimate start, running the promising Travelling Light to within a length. She has drawn poly and apprentice Khanya Sakayi takes 1.5kg off of her back.
Coyote Girl, a winner last Sunday, got a 2kg penalty for that effort which will make Keagan de Melo’s life a little easier as he was carded to put up 0.5kg overweight. Coyote Girl will now shoulder 56kg but she has still found some early market support.
Sakayi and Ramzan’s academy colleague Gabriel Pieterse is still hunting his first winner but has gone close aboard Glen Kotzen’s mare Queen Of Alamo, touched off by Wildly In Love two runs back.
Queen Of Alamo has some fair form in stronger company of late and Pieterse may be able to celebrate come 2.30pm this afternoon.
Drunken Sailor and Williams Land will have their supporters in the opening leg of the PA in spite of both going the extra furlong for the first time. Drunken Sailor has the more exposed form but Williams Land took to the poly in his KZN debut and romped home in his maiden. With only 52.5kg on his back he will be a big runner.
Kingston Rock fell victim to William Land last time out and can go one better in the first leg of the Pick 6 although Duke Of York, a beaten favourite at his last two starts, and Tuscan Kiss, back in blinkers and having his third run after a break, should be competitive.
The Gold Circle Podcast Handicap looks wide open by Starlight has been consistent and goes well on the poly while Lady Sharon has her third run after a lay-off and did show some improvement last start. These two could fight it out.
Finally, Uncle Frank has not been far back to stronger since coming out of the maidens and his only win has been over course and distance. He could round off the day for Gavin van Zyl and log-leading rider Warren Kennedy.
By Andrew Harrison