An interesting aspect of the meeting at Greyville today at Greyville is that the first three races will be handicaps on the Polytrack and the remaining six will be raced on the turf track.
Race 1 is a very competitive Mr 78 Handicap over 1400m where Sovereign Reign gets the narrow vote. The Luiz Cunha-trained four-year-old clearly was not as his best last time out when beaten into sixth place behind Nicklaus over 1600m at this track in October. He was slowly away and coughing, and as top South African jockey Anton Marcus has stuck with him that hint is worth following.
This 1400m on the Polytrack clearly suits Sovereign Reign and the 61-day break could allow the Dynasty gelding to race fresh.
No one really needs reminding that trainer Dean Kannemeyer has done well on the Polytrack this year so would no doubt want to end the year on the same note and his runner Ferdinand The Bull has to be respected. This Toreador gelding was unlucky not to win last time out.
Shap Shap gets blinkers for the first time and will have his first start under the care of Gavin van Zyl and his form prior to a 171-day rest was pretty good.
In Tribute and Copper’s Pride are others who can pop up.
Lobelia tried to make all last time out and was only caught very late by Off Ramp and the drop back in trip coupled with the return to the Polytrack should make her the one to beat in Race 2, a FM 76 Handicap over 1400m.