It’s the quiet before the proverbial storm this weekend as the main action takes place at Kenilworth, writes Gary Lemke for GGGaming.
This past week has all been about the Vodacom Durban July, with the draws being announced followed by Thursday’s gallops at Greyville. Now, form followers are left with just one task – finding the winners on next week’s card. As usual, the entire Greyville meeting is one where giant pools can result in life-changing wins.
We will be doing our best to unscramble things next week and try to get you to the front of the payout queue and boost that betting balance of yours. The midnight candle will be burning next week, but for now we must turn our attention to this weekend, where Kenilworth takes centre stage.
The final legs of the Cape Winter Series are run at Kenilworth on Saturday and the word from Bass Racing, which is sponsored by GGGaming, is that Marina, a full sister to 2017 July winner Marinaresco, is their best bet on the card. “We are quietly confident,” said racing manager Mark Bass. “She had a slight viral setback in her prep, but we are hoping that she is back to her best. She is a to filly in the making and will be the horse to beat.”
The bookmakers agree and have priced Marina up at odds-on as she looks to win for a second time in the three-leg Winter Series. Last time she trounced Rain In Newmarket by over three lengths in the 1800m race, having finished third, beaten less than a length, in the male 1600m first leg. She is so highly thought of by the stable that they gave her a tilt against the boys and she very nearly came out on top.
Here again amongst her own sex, she looks the proverbial good thing and the extra distance of 2400m won’t be a problem. After all, her brother won the July which is over 2200m.
The male third leg of the series is also over 2400m and Justin Snaith sends out thre strong choices in Hoedspruit – winner of the second leg – Somerset Maugham and One Way Traffic. Earlier in the season Hoedspruit was rated amongst his better three-year-olds, but the other two have come on in the last few months, enough to be considered as potential winners here.
Some might look at the riding arrangements and think that One Way Traffic (jockey Richard Fourie) and Somerset Maugham (Grant van Niekerk) are the stable’s main fancies, but Luyolo Mxothwa was aboard Hoedspruit when he upset his stable companion Warrior alst time and retains the ride.
Interestingly, Gqeberha trainer Gavin Smith makes the trip to Cape Town with Jaeger Moon, who has won seven of his 11 starts. He very rarely raids Cape Town, so this could be one for the quartets.
There are some small fields at Kenilworth on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean that the racing is easy.
The early races are also stacked with quality and Snaith as certainly stacked races with his runners. In the first race he has two of the seven runners, in the second race – the Grade 3 Langerman – he has two of six runners, in the third race he has three of the eight runners, in race four he has three of six, and so it goes on.
Often, as punters will tell you, the Snaith stable comes with “the wrong one”, but this is more to the testament that he normally sends out his runners fit and he is transparent in his pre-race assessments.
However, Candice Bass-Robinson, of Bass Racing, will give the Snaith stable plenty to think about on the day. Although she’s fired blanks in the last two race meetings, she’s approaching 100 winners for the season and could have a couple of winners.
Marina looks one of them, but Waiting For Summer, Barzalona, Santa Maria and Amanzimtoti all have strong prospects earlier in the day. In the fifth race she also sends out Marmalisa and Iris and while the former is the stable elect, Iris is a small filly with a big heart and could spring an upset.