Highveld trainer Clinton Binda has sojourned very successfully in KwaZulu-Natal in recent months. From 10 runners on the Greyville Polytrack in the past 28 days, he’s chalked up four winners and three places.
From R1 win bets on each of those runners, a punter would have collected R15.30. A profit’s a profit, as they say, and it’s a return rate that beats most other trainers.
Binda steps out two horses at Wednesday’s Polytrack meeting at the inner-city course and could round off proceedings with a quick double in Races 7 and 8.
Binda’s Kings Road has had two recent runs over the course and the 1000m distance of the seventh, for a win and a second – with bumpy passages both times – so clearly enjoys the conditions. Between those two efforts, the four-year-old was a close-up third over 1000m at Scottsville, behind Shinnecock, who he opposes again here.
Shinnecock has yet to try the Poly, but showed good speed in that Scottsville win – and in an earlier second at the Maritzburg venue – and had consistent form in Cape Town prior to relocating to trainer Justin Snaith’s Summerveld satellite yard.
These two are the main protagonists of this MR82 Handicap, with Kings Road possibly having a slight advantage thanks to the 4kg allowance he gets from promising apprentice jockey Gabriell Pieterse, who has been the gelding’s regular partner of late.
In the eighth, the lucky last, a 1000m FM76 Handicap, Binda saddles another speedster in the form of three-year-old filly Diamonds ’N Dust, who has won her last two in open company over course and distance.
Back against her own sex she is an obvious strong candidate, though won’t have it all her own way. In her favour is the assistance of champion jockey and hometown hero Warren Kennedy.
Glitter And Gold, from the Lezanne Forbes stable, is another Polytrack sprint specialist, having notched a hat-trick and a second place on the trot late last year. She lacked a finish in her comeback effort after a rest, but should have come on from that and will bear watching.
Alyson Wright-trained Purple Merchant won her first two races in October and November last year and must come into the reckoning if fit again after a 132-day rest.
Others with chances in this race include Wildly In Love, Bella Bellarina, Suzie Woo and Her Royal Majesty.
So, two close sprint contests beckon, but the Binda Polytrack factor could prove the difference.
1 Greenhill, 6 Love Lies, 3 Dawn Raider, 8 Mr Cat
2 My Big Vision, 1 Sabrina Fairchild, 6 Indigo Moon, 3 Cape Diamond
2 Soller, 3 Amplify, 4 Global Appeal, 10 Royal Couture
4 Aalsmeer, 3 Eager Duchess, 1 Arianos Spinner, 11 Hot Money
8 Rock Flight, 6 Bells And Whistles, 4 Suntrax, 7 Offsides
9 Magical Midlands, 4 Tromso, 2 Hey Bill, 7 Love The View
2 Kings Road, 3 Shinnecock, 1 Ace Of Spades, 8 Di Mazzio
7 Diamonds ’N Dust, 2 Glitter And Gold, 8 Purple Merchant, 9 Bella Bellarina
2,3 x 1,3,4,11 x 6,8 x 2,4,9 x 1,2,3,7,8 x 2,7,8 (R720)
2 x 2,3 x 1,3,4 x 8 x 4,9 x 2,3 x 2 (R24)