Trainer Brett Crawford looks the man to follow in the two Grade 3 features at Durbanville today, the Matchem Stakes and the Diana Stakes for fillies and mares, both over 1400m.
Crawford saddles Captain America in the Matchem and Alexis in the Diana and both have been chalked up favourites in their respective races.
Captain America makes his debut for the season and has been priced up at 14-10, despite not having previously raced at Durbanville, while Alexis is at 33-10 and has won her only starts at the course.
Captain America is well handicapped although it is his stable companion, Sail South, who holds the top spot in that regard. However, he is a top-class performer and one would expect Crawford to have him fit enough to win a race of this nature. Corne Orffer takes the ride and they jump from barrier No 8.
Sail South looks the main threat as he has won his last two starts, both at Greyville, with ease. He also has won both his races at Durbanville. Unfortunately he has not run since his victory in the Listed Thukela Handicap on Durban July Day so could well be in need of a run. Donovan Dillon takes the ride and they jump from barrier No 2.
The same applies to Heartland who has not run since mid-July in KwaZulu-Natal. He is not always the most reliable of runners but Justin Snaith is in form and runners from his yard need to be taken seriously.
Alexis has Captain’s Flame and A Time To Dream to beat. Crawford’s charge had a wonderful run in KZN, winning two races including the Grade 2 Tibouchina Stakes.