Despite all the rain over KwaZulu-Natal, pundits in Durban are optimistic today’s race meeting on the Polytrack at Hollywoodbets Greyville will go ahead as scheduled.
As is so often the case with midweek meetings on the surface, this card sets the usual conundrum for bettors.
However, Roy’s Command, who runs in Race 7, a MR 72 Handicap over 1600m, has been dominating his fields recently and stands out as a banker in all bets.
Ever since Roy’s Command has been allowed to linger at the back of the field until they turn for home, nothing has come close to stopping him over this sort of distance.
The Alyson Wright-trained gelding began the year with a merit rating of 57 and three months later he is racing off a rating of 77. In that time he has run five times for four wins and a third place, the latter coming when he was raced up with the pace and did not kick on.
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In all four wins, Keagan de Melo has been on his back, and he will resume the same role on this occasion.
The manner of his victories gives one the impression the handicapper has not been able to reel him in as yet.
Red Sole, who runs in Race 1, a Maiden Plate over 1400m, should be running in handicaps by now as some of the horses to whom he has run close are racing in the top divisions, including Safe Return who won a MR 96 Handicap a few weeks back.
He has also finished ahead of Conquer The Enemy and Bush Tracker who have also won good races since.
Red Sole has had excuses in his last four starts where he nevertheless ran creditably but it does seem as if 1400m is the right trip. He could not find a way through last time but having drawn well, should step up to the plate.
One Too Many, who runs in Race 4, a MR 75 Handicap over 1000m, had his introduction to the Polytrack over this distance last time. He showed good early pace but faded late and could have been suffering from the second-run-after-a-layoff syndrome.
The Michael Roberts-trained gelding will be a lot fitter this time, is perfectly drawn at No 2 and could provide punter with some decent value.
Apprentice Rachel Venniker takes 1.5kg off the gelding’s back.