JASON DEDEKIND
2 minute read
11 Aug 2013
8:38 am

Drier to get a Top Mark at Clairwood

JASON DEDEKIND

Dennis Drier is widely regarded as one of South Africa’s most astute trainers and his charge, Top Mark, could land another winner’s cheque for the stable today at Clairwood.

Drier enjoyed a good season last year, his standout performer being Beach Beauty, but Top Mark is no slouch either and must be respected in Race 7, a MR 96 Divided Handicap over 1800m in which only eight runners are carded to go to the gates.

Top Mark moved to the Drier stable in September 2011 and has won three races for the Summerveld-based yard.

His last win came in June in his penultimate start, when he fought on gamely to beat Mainspring by a short head. That was also a small field but he dug deep and showed courage for the first time in a long while.

The son of Mark Of Esteem was a shade unlucky last time out in the Schweppes 2200, the Vodacom Durban July consolation race, because he was forced to ease early and lost important momentum. He got going again well enough but failed to kick on when it counted and only managed to finish sixth, 3.90 lengths behind Master Plan.

Sean Cormack will be reunited with the seven-year-old gelding, who is well drawn at No 2. The seven-year-old will carry 60kg but has earned that weight. He runs well at Clairwood and looks to have a bright chance of landing the spoils.

Most of the runners have form to recommend but lightly raced Candy Moon looks progressive and could give Top Mark the most cheek.

The Paul Gadsby-trained four-year-old gelding has finished in the money in five of his six career starts, winning twice. He is drawn in pole position and will be partnered by regular rider Ian Sturgeon. This trip should suit Candy Moon. He has, however, developed the habit of starting slowly.

Concatenation returns from an 84-day rest but should finish in the money if fully wound up, while Serissa and Desert Raptor are not out of it on their best form.