Wadi Rum looks good value at 7-1 when he returns to Kenilworth today for the Tabonline.co.za Maiden.
The Mike Robinson-trained gelding put up two good performances over 1 250m at the country course, going under by only three-quarters of a length each time, but he flopped when upped to 1 400m at Kenilworth a week ago.
The going had turned yielding – and he is likely to encounter ground every bit as soft this afternoon – and the start was delayed by his tongue tie having to be refitted, but Robinson (on the mark with Fateful in the last on Saturday) is convinced that the gelding simply didn’t get the trip.
“It was too far. He was given every chance but he didn’t see out that the last 200m,” says the Philippi trainer. “He shows a lot of pace at home, he is fit and well so I thought I would bring him back to 1 000m here.”
Joint favourite at 16-10 is the Justin Snaith Trippi newcomer Tambora but he is drawn on the outside and, as Snaith has often said himself, this course is not easy for first-timers. Winter Oasis (also 16-10) has had a run and it was here so he, together with the Brett Crawford 9-2 shot Golden Tippy, could prove the main threats to the selection.
Lyle Hewitson, now odds-on to retain his championship, flies down for six rides. Four are for Joey Ramsden and two for Brett Crawford, and the most obvious prospect is Capkuta in the Play Soccer 6 Juvenile (race two). The consistent Ramsden gelding has been either third or fourth in the last five of his six starts and ran well in good to soft to take third to Optimum at Kenilworth a week ago.
He is favourite at 11-10 and could have most to fear from Grey Ferrari who is running for the eighth time. This one has shown some useful form but has also run some disappointing races. What is significant on this occasion, though, is that he is blinkered for the first time. Craig Zackey’s mount is quoted at 9-2 and I prefer his chance to Richard Fourie’s mount Vivant (4-1) who ran a moderate race here last time. But Capkuta is the selection Fourie and Snaith have much better prospects with Honey Pie in the Betting World Maiden Juvenile Fillies (race four). She has eased from 18-10 to 22-10 as there has been a bit of money for Lady Of The Lake (Yeni’s only mount of the day) but a line through Linda Loves Lace suggests Honey Pie will beat her.
By Michael Clower