Justin Snaith can kick off what should be a good day by taking the opening Itsarush.co.za Maiden at Kenilworth tomorrow with Linda Loves Lace.
The probable favourite threw away her chance in her last two Kenilworth starts by coming out of the pens like a grandmother – but at Durbanville last time her tuition clearly paid off because she reverted to the useful form that saw her finish either second or third in three consecutive outings last season.
The obvious danger is Festive Girl who finished nearly six lengths in front of her early last month in a race in which Piet Steyn had three of the first four. Morne Winnaar’s mount certainly has the form to take advantage if the Snaith filly fluffs the start again but Steyn is cautious.
He said yesterday: “I am expecting a good effort – she is doing well and working well – but I gave her a bit of a break and I haven’t galloped her since that last race so she might need the run.”
Bernard Fayd’Herbe returns on the Andre Nel newcomer Lady Lu who was 33-10 third favourite yesterday morning. The bookmakers are also cautious about 5-1 fellow first-timers Silver Maria and Blue Duchess. Keep an eye on the betting because money for any of the three would be significant.
Pinkerton is not much of a price at 5-10 in the Cape Town Summer Of Champions Maiden 40 minutes later but Richard Fourie’s mount was considered good enough to go to Durban and, while no match for convincing winner Kilindini three weeks ago, he had the useful 84-rated Gold Medal over five lengths back third.
Second favourite at 9-2 is Ronaldo who steps up in trip after a good run over 1 250m but he will need to have come on a fair bit to trouble Pinkerton.
Matchless Captain (6-1) made the running when four lengths-fifth to Quintay over this trip at Durbanville 11 days ago but was reported hanging out in the straight. This is his eighth run and he looks a bit unlikely.
Race three, though, may see the Snaith bandwagon brought to a temporary halt by Lit trained by the in-form Glen Kotzen. Winnaar’s mount has finished second in the last two of his three starts and both were over the distance of this race. He is justifiably favourite at 13-10.
Fourie rides 5-2 second favourite Myhopesanddreams in preference to 15-1 shot Peter Paul Rubens who has been showing promise but the main danger to the selection could well be 7-2 chance Gold Medal. Fayd’Herbe’s mount is rated the equal of Lit and has some promising form but the negative is his poor draw.
By Michael Clower