Esther to trouble the colts

Based on her last race Greeff's charge is very well weighted.

Esther is one of those runners who is equally at home on both turf and Polytrack which will stand her in good stead at Fairview on Tuesday.

After three consecutive runs on the turf, in which she finished runner-up in all three, the daughter of Querari will return to the Polytrack in Race 6, a MR 82 Handicap over 1000m.

But overall, her best performances have come on the Polytrack as three of her four wins have been on that surface.

This speedy filly, trained by Alan Greeff, was beaten in some low-grade handicaps earlier in her career but has worked her way up in the ratings and after her four wins and recent runner-up performances she sits on a merit rating of 84.

Her last run was particularly impressive as she took hot favourite Three Rocks to the wire in the Listed Lady’s Pendant over 1200m on the turf. That was a weight-forage event and she had to give 3kg to the winner.

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However, in terms of the rules, the runner-up cannot be penalised for that effort and Esther remains on 84. Three Rocks runs to a rating of 109 which means based on that performance, Esther should be rated some 20 points higher. That puts her in a powerful position when she reverts to a handicap this time and she comes into the event particularly well weighted, even though she will be taking on the colts.

The return to 1000m on the Polytrack is also in her favour as her record over the course and distance reads two wins and a fourth place from four starts, and she will have stable jockey Richard Fourie aboard her.

The one certain thing about racing in the Eastern Cape is that when Greeff sends out a favourite, rival trainer Gavin Smith will be doing his best to beat him and he has some geldings ready to take on that filly.

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Vegas Gold is proven over the course and distance and Pompei Warning does look a promising sprinter in the making. Smith and Greeff could also fight out Race 7, a MR 86 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1300m, where Greeff and Fourie partner up on Summer Odyssey, while Smith and Louie Mxothwa are likely to provide a tough challenge with three-year-old Idita.

This filly has ability but did not show it in her last start which was on the turf but Idita was an impressive winner when last seen on the Polytrack. Summer Odyssey is much improved of late but has finished behind Idita. However, the weights now favour Greeff’s charge, but not by much.

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