HOLLYWOODBETS GREYVILLE Monday poly meetings with reduced stakes were introduced to give displaced Kimberley trainers time to find their feet and to assess where their horses fitted into the new environment.
They started off well enough with Cliffie Miller and Tinie Prinsloo coming good and starting to hold their own but two KZN casualties have been Jarett Rug and Sarel Von Willingh Smit.
Rug pointed out that most of his string were already KZN ‘chuck-outs’ and were not competitive. Added to that was the current state of racing and the country in general, so new owners were hard to come by. Rug has since pulled up his grub stake, cut his losses and moved to Port Elizabeth.
Justin Snaith has no such problems and Silver Palace can get punters off to a good start at today’s meeting.
Silver Palace has been coming along nicely and although he has not been out since November last year the form of his last race has panned out. With the best of the draw he must have a strong chance. Alfredo is struggling to win but has good recent form over course and distance. He is quick on his day and can make all.
The second sees a seriously moderate line-up but Stone Of Destiny has only had three starts and appears to be coming along the right way. Given further improvement he should make a bold bid in this company. Morse finished just behind Stone Of Destiny when they last met. He battled in the Cape but this is his third run for Garth Puller.
Emerald Palace and Diamonds And Toads look the principal runners in the third. Emerald Palace has been costly to follow but she has been running consistently. Nathan Kotzen has booked a 2.5kg claimer in Thabiso Gumede and she gets another chance. Mike Miller is having a good run of late and Diamonds And Toads has only twice not earned a cheque. The blinkers go on for the first time and she rates the biggest threat to Emerald Palace.
Santa Vittoria is long overdue and Glen Kotzen’s mare should make a bold bid in the fourth. She meets a modest field that includes the luckless Bell Jar. She appears handicapped by her diminutive size but now has the best of the draw and a useful claimer up. Veterans Pina Colada and Skyfire both have chances in this company if anywhere near their best form.
The fifth has a rematch between Dream Destiny and Ontopoftheworld. Dream Destiny was run out of it late by Ontopoftheworld when starting favourite but the former is 3.5kg better off including her apprentice allowance. The latter surprised but appears to have come to form and has a chance again. Mrs Hotline has been up against stronger at recent outings and goes well this course and distance.
The sixth has ‘upset’ written all over it. Paul and Beth Gadsby’s runner Rain Dance did not feature on the turf last run but had put in two improved efforts on the poly before that. A Whole New World appears to be finding his feet and was close-up from a wide draw last time and should have a decent chance in this company. Racing in first-time blinkers, Proud Warrior made no show over much further last start. His two best recent efforts have been on the poly and the blinkers stay on. Perfectly Putt is another to consider after finding marker support last run when dropping in class. He goes the extra furlong here.
In the seventh, Hot Money does not have the best of draws but has been in good form of late and enjoys the poly. To The Max was a narrow winner last start but the drop in trip should suit while Gingerspathtoglory only has 48kh to shoulder form a good draw. She had a tough gate last run. Not Now Pussycat is better than her last run. She goes well on the poly and has improved with her new stable.
The last is another minefield. Bravo Zulu has been a soldier for Louis Goosen and is always game but while one can dice, slice and dissect the form of this race, the betting could prove your most reliable guide.