Topping the bill is Race 4, a MR 89 Handicap over 1600m. This looks quite an open affair but as a result there should be some good value available.
One horse who fits all the criteria is Isosha. Roy Magner’s charge is proven on the sand, carries just 53kg and jumps from barrier No 1, always a massive advantage over this course and distance. He is also well weighted against the likes of Sundari, which mixes in well with the collateral form.
In his last start Isosha finished a 2.80-length third behind Mike Azzie’s runner and is now 5kg better off. Sundari looks narrowly held by The Royal Rumba who beat the four-year-old son of Fort Wood by 0.50 lengths and is now 0.5kg better off, although that race was on turf.
When The Royal Rumba finished second behind Stavinsky, Olympic Bolt was third and one length back. There is now a 1kg turnaround in favour of Mike de Kock’s charge so that puts the pair very close together.
Therefore, if the form holds up, Isosha has to be a big runner. Randall Simons is carded to ride.
Olympic Bolt took forever to get going last time on the sand and he could be the one to chase Isosha home. He was tried over 2000m on the turf in his last start but, unless the interference he suffered just 200m after the start played any significant part, the son of Asiatic Boy was one-paced for most of the journey.
He will no doubt prefer this drop to 1600m and has the services of Johnny Geroudis.
S’manga Khumalo takes the ride on The Royal Rumba and, with the Weiho Marwing yard in great form, the three-year-old gelding has to be respected.
The two top weights are interesting runners. De Kock also saddles Guy From Dubai who has only had one run on the sand but ran out a very easy winner, beating Henry Higgins by 2.50 lengths. He has been sparingly raced since and this will be his first run since finishing a 6.50-length 11th behind Sun On Africa over 1800m on the Turffontein inside track last month.
Tshwaro Appie takes the ride, and if anywhere close to be fully wound up Guy From Dubai should go into bigger Pick 6 and Jackpot perms.
Form Up was only introduced to the sand track in his last start and finished a 0.50-length second behind Taptap Makhatini over 1450m. He was carried out so was a bit unlucky but this time he has 62.5kg on his back and St John Gray’s runner could battle.