Dominic Zaki’s consistent four-year-old runs in Race 3, the R120,000 Racing. It’s A Rush Pinnacle Stakes over 1000m, and will certainly give his supporters a good run for their money.
This four-time winner from 11 career starts has a win, two seconds and a fourth to show from as many starts this season.
One of those second placings came in the Golden Loom Handicap over this course and distance on Charity Mile Day when he finished strongly and beat every horse bar 1.25-length winner Doing It For Dan.
He was disappointing next time when 16-10 favourite but finishing a head second to Captured Wind over 1000m at the Vaal. The form of that race has not worked out and you can almost guarantee Bad Boy Buddy Boy just had an off day. However, there is a slight worry that he had reached his optimal mark in the handicap – and, sadly, his merit rating was upped a point after that race.
It’s been quite a while since Mike de Kock-trained Moofeed won a race and many experts will think this Australian-bred runner is better over slightly further. However, he has won over this course and distance before and will enjoy this pipe-opener over the minimum distance after a 73-day rest. He could finish in the frame.
Bottom weight Seventh Symphony, a three-time winning filly from the Louis Goosen stable, finished a good third to Little Genie in the Gardenia Handicap last month and is the joint second-best rated runner in the race, alongside Moofeed. With this weight, she should stay on and could give her male rivals a big fright.
Uncle Tommy, the best-weighted runner in the race, needs to show he can transfer his good sand and Polytrack form to the turf. However, he has run eight times on this track without scoring.
Bankable Teddy is not well drawn in Race 4, a Maiden Plate over 2000m, but could finally open his account at the sixth time of asking.
He has finished second in his last three starts and will be partnered by in-form Andrew Fortune, who will be looking to get score on the board before taking a break due to a suspension. Bankable Teddy should stay this longer distance, which he tries for the first time.
The race could be determined by jockey tactics because another jockey in red-hot form, Weichong Marwing, rides Penteliko, a promising fourth behind Counting Silver over this course and distance last month and Bankable Teddy’s biggest threat.
Others who could run into the money include Road To Indy, who will sport blinkers for the first time and races over further now, Secunde’s Victor, third to Talbec over 2600m last Thursday, El Bombero, who has placed in his last three starts over slightly shorter, and Paratus, who showed improvement last time out when allowed to lead and who could steal a march on the others if they let him. Connaught Hotel might find it difficult to overcome a wide draw, in spite of the services of champion jockey Gavin Lerena.
Meanwhile, in Cape Town
Brandon May’s 4kg apprentice allowance could give Blarney Bay the edge in the R83,000 Racing. It’s A Rush MR 99 Handicap that heads up today’s Kenilworth programme.
Michael Robinson’s charge is getting long in the tooth, aged seven, but did manage to beat subsequent Green Point Stakes winner Captain America in a 1400m Pinnacle Stakes at Kenilworth last time out and if he can repeat that run with the handy galloping weight of 56kg, he will be unstoppable.
He started at 20-1 that day, so the win was completely unexpected, and he was beaten 1.75 lengths by a horse he meets here, Blackmore, over the Durbanville 1300m in September, which means he is miles above form last time out.
Blackmore has run two poor races since and will need to improve to confirm the form.
Sheer Trouble, from the Mike Bass stable, has won three of his last four starts, his only defeat coming at 25-1 in the Matchem Stakes at Durbanville in October. He had Ochoncar – 5kg better off – and Half Moon Hotel – 1kg better off – behind him when beating In The Cruise over this course and distance last month. His opposition that day was nowhere near Captain America’s class, but his confidence is on a high and he looks sure to fight out the finish.
The other runners have modest recent form and any of them could have Trifecta and Quartet chances.
The best bet comes in Race 1 over 1000m in the form of Like Janis, who has run close-up to some good sorts in her last two starts and had a horse who has subsequently won three times, Dixie Express, behind her when fourth to Septima over this course and distance.
There are a few horses in the field who ran well last time out and Like Janis could start at a tempting price.