Tap O’ Noth might only have a merit rating of 96, making him 13 points inferior to top-rated contemporary Mustaaqeem, but he might well have fallen under the radar and looks to have a feature win in his future.
The Vaughan Marshall-trained son of Captain Al is two from two, last time out drifting from 2-1 to 7-2 in the face of strong support for next-time winner Silver Coin in the Listed Langerman over 1500m. He won that race with some ease, beating Big Pleasure by four lengths.
The runner-up failed in a Fairview feature next time out, but third place went to a horse called Speed Point, who had run second in two juvenile features before that.
The Langerman was Tap O’ Noth’s first run following a break of over 2½ months, so the fact that he has not been seen out since that 24 June race should not worry his supporters unduly.
There is depth in the field, so he could start at a tempting price and he looks worth a wager.
With the scratching of Kampala Campari, second place could go the way of Cot Campbell, who has promising form and was backed in his first post-maiden run over 1400m. The Justin Snaith-trained three-year-old hurt his mouth in that MR 72 Handicap but ran on well for fourth behind Apollo Star.
Trifecta players should take Our Mate Art for third. The Candice Bass-Robinson-trained gelding is coming in off three good runs in the Winter Series and, although he would probably prefer further, he has enough class to earn a place on the podium.
The main race at the meeting is a Pinnacle Stakes over 1200m. Two of the top three best-weighted runners are likely to find the distance much too short, with Goodtime Gal having recorded her last win in the Victress Stakes over 1800m and Whose That Girl coming in off a success in the Winter Oaks over 2200m.
Both are classy so cannot be ruled out but they might find Captain’s Flame just that little bit too speedy. She has recorded two of her five career wins over this course and distance and could make light of topweight.
Nel’s charge did not enjoy the greatest of campaigns in KwaZulu-Natal but her better form includes a 0.40-length second to Just Sensual in a 1400m feature, in which she was only reeled in late.
Red Light Girl has been out of action since Met Day on 28 January but her two wins came start to finish with jockey Richard Fourie in the saddle. He climbs back aboard again.