Mike de Kock could get the punters off to a winning start when he saddles Aficionado in Race 3, a Maiden Plate over 1400m on the Polytrack. The three-year-old Visionaire gelding has only raced once, and ran on well to finish third, beaten 1.50 lengths by Texican.
Aficionado was treated like a leper in the betting market, finding absolutely no support and drifting from 4-1 to 8-1 at the jump.
This time he will be a lot fitter and the experience will have done him the world of good. Anthony Delpech takes the ride.
One race later Charles Laird sends out Top Form who will be ridden by Anton Marcus. The three-year-old son of Kahal was a facile winner over 1200m on the Polytrack on debut and then lined up in the Grade 2 Umkhomazi Stakes over 1200m on the turf at Greyville.
He was sent off bookmakers’ favourite at 22-10 and after showing up early in the race faded late to finish sixth, 4.85 lengths behind King’s Knight.
He has not raced since then but will enjoy the return to the Polytrack and looks a cut above the rest of his rivals. He also has the benefit of No 1 draw.