Greyville night racing reverts to a more sedentary pace this Friday evening after the frenetic bustle of the 20/20 Quickfire stress of a week ago. We have all learnt to value a half hour between races and with the R150 000 Listed Michaelmas Handicap heading the nine race programme, a profitable evening’s racing is in prospect – but it’s tricky.
The Quickfire meetings give new meaning to the Racing – It’s A Rush concept and are definitely not everybody’s cup of tea. And when a false start was called in the first race last Friday, things were bound to be pressured.
But back to the present.
Sometimes these mixed bag handicaps can appear more trickier than they really are, and after the 8 to 10 shot Bold Inspiration won the 2014 renewal of the Michaelmas Handicap, one may be inclined to go narrow, with a few complicated races to unravel elsewhere on the programme.
A maximum field of twelve runners go to post for the 1900m contest, and if form yards are the yardstick, then Dean Kannemeyer’s talented coupling may be a good starting point.
Both Listed Sledgehammer winner Solar Star and his year younger stablemate Master James have poly experience and it is the latter who may have the greater scope. The son of Jet Master was returning from a three month break last time, when backed to win, but just failing to stay on. He ran a 3,75 length fourth to Bold Inspiration but will prefer the extra 300m here. Solar Star makes his seasonal debut but may need a run after a 16 week break from racing.
Alistair Gordon and Alec Forbes have enjoyed some good form of late and they team up with topweighted 7yo Joshuas Crown, a recent course and distance winner. The son of Joshua Dancer has not had much opportunity on this surface, but has put his best foot forward when he has. He ran on steadily in a Scottsville turf mile last time, but this will be more his game.
His stablemate Assegai reverts to the poly and as a course and distance winner is worth considering. His last two runs are best ignored – he was outclassed in the Consolation July and may have found his last mile race sharp after a break.
The Sean Tarry Golden High and 7yo Baracah are both capable of a decent effort. Golden High was hampered when going off favourite before running unplaced last time. He is better than that. Baracah finished just ahead there after being slow away. He has drawn wide and that will not be in his favour.
Mike De Kock’s Dynasty gelding Alghadeer has not had any luck with the draw. He showed good pace when only going down narrowly to the improving Counterstroke last time out – and earlier beat Sean Tarry’s Algoa Cup hope Orchestrated.
Weiho Marwing’s pair of The Royal Rumba and the only filly in the race in Mamasita have proven poly ability. The Royal Rumba returns from a Vaal sand campaign and he could be very dangerous from an inside draw with a galloping weight at this track.
Mamasita has been consistent against her own sex and won a good race when finishing with a flourish last time over a mile.
Duncan Howells’ Crime Victim and the well drawn Penhaligon are capable of producing an upset if performing to their best.
Master James looks an improving sort and could be the one to lead the way, ahead of Joshua’s Crown and Alghadeer. Solar Star and Mamasita look best of the rest – and watch The Royal Rumba who could try and steal it from the front.