Tarry does not take a horse to the Western Cape unless he believes it will earn his keep and Liege was among the crew that travelled to race at Kenilworth during the summer. Things did not go his way at the coast with his only good performance coming in the Grade 3 Politician Stakes over 1800m in which he finished a 0.80-length third behind Black Arthur.
However, another horse who followed the same route a few years back was Heavy Metal and he came back as a four-year-old to win both the Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge and the Vodacom Durban July so you write off Liege at your peril.
The three-year-old son of Dynasty is currently in KwaZulu-Natal for the season and makes his first appearance on the Greyville Polytrack tonight in Race 5, a Graduation Plate over 1800m. Since his return from Cape Town Liege has run three times, twice against Abashiri – in the Gauteng Guineas and SA Classic in which he finished unplaced – and then in a Graduation Plate over 1800m on the Turffontein Inside track which he won by six lengths.
Liege is weighted to win this and has a 2kg advantage over What A Poet and 2.5kg over Ole Gunnar.
Anthony Delpech has been given the ride for the first time and is in deadly form in KZN. The only question is how Liege will handle the Polytrack but he would have worked on the surface at Randjesfontein so Tarry will know what to expect.
What A Poet looks the likely danger. The three-year-old son of Dylan Thomas was bred in Australia and he will get 3.5kg from Liege. He has not won on the Polytrack but has finished close up in both of his starts on the surface.
In his last start Charles Laird’s charge was fitted with blinkers and showed a lot of pace over 1400m on the course before finishing a 2.20-length fifth behind Never Settle. The winner has franked that form with another victory at Scottsville during the week.
That was What A Poet’s first run in a little more than four months and he should come on from that, especially over the additional distance. Anton Marcus takes the ride.
Ole Gunnar will be having his first start on the Polytrack but last time he finished a 3.25-length third behind Brooklyn Brawler who has been supplemented into the Durban July.