As is so often the case at this time of the year with the better horses in KwaZulu-Natal for the season, the fields for this meeting on the inside track are competitive and finding winners will not be easy. One has to take a chance somewhere and who better to go with than champion trainer Mike de Kock.
The stable sends out Cio-Cio in Race 9, a MR 85 Handicap over 1450m for fillies and mares. The Argentinian-bred filly made her debut at Scottsville in November last year and was backed in to 7-10 to have a victorious first run. The result was never in doubt. Cio-Cio was up with the pace the whole journey and then got away to win easily by 2.25 lengths.
She has not raced since so she is coming back from a 203-day break. She will have been allowed to strengthen up a little and should be ideally suited to this 1450m. If the reserve runners come out she will jump from barrier No 6.
Weichong Marwing returns to ride for his old boss so you can sure of every bit of assistance from the saddle.
Although poorly drawn, the main danger could be stable companion Celtic Legend. She has a win and two second placings in her last three runs and runs well for Tshwaro Appie, who will have to negotiate her through any hurdles created from having to jump from barrier No 11.
A runner who could trouble both De Kock fillies is Dirtydealin Mamma, especially as she will be ridden by Piere Strydom. The last time the Gavin van Zyl-trained runner ran over the course and distance she went down a neck to Moggytwoshoes.
She returned from a two-month rest at the end of April and, racing over 1600m on the standside track, finished a five-length third behind Featherfoot. The four-year-old daughter of Miesque’s Approval should have benefited from that run and should be a lot fitter on this occasion.