Conspiracy theories may have abounded at Greyville last Wednesday when the day’s banker bet refused to load and was withdrawn at the start – only to be substituted in the exotics with a half unlikely tote favourite, who, horror of horrors, failed to run into the money. The stressful nature of this wonderful game can lead to fertile imaginations and a search for wrongdoing at times, where only motive appears to exist.
Racing returns to the Durban city venue today and punters will still be scratching their heads about the seventh at Greyville last Wednesday.
The talented Tripandie is on the up and was fancied, despite the handicapper’s liberal rating, to register his fourth win on the trot.
But fate was to strike.
Dean Kannemeyer’s Trippi gelding refused point blank to load and was dismissed by the starter.
This is where things go pear shaped.
With four horses in the running for tote favourite, it was the Drier horse Thunderwood, going off at 13-2, who eventually overtook the lot and started the Tripandie sub.
Under replacement rider Muzi Yeni, the son of Horse Chestnut ran a dirty nowhere and took out thousands of exotic tickets in the process – there was five times more Bipot tickets on Tripandie than anything else combined.
It was left to two appropriately named fellows to fill the top two berths – Captain Chaos beating Psycho Syd. Seriously!
Did somebody take a position in those last three minutes and press the buttons on Thunderwood? The win pool was just over R100 000. And if the mystery punter did, was there any wrongdoing?
At our request, Saftote responded – ‘the only explanation to consider is that a very large percentage of bets were refunded due to the strong favourite being scratched. All runners therefore shortened as is seen in the last 3 minutes’.
But back to the present and topping the weights in Wednesday’s topliner, an MR 95 Handicap, is the Mike Azzie trained 2015 Supreme Cup winner, Deputy Jud.
The son of Judpot has done next to nothing since his glory day on the sand at the end of September 2015, and dropped right out last time when finishing 27 lengths behind Legal Eagle in the Premier’s Champions Challenge.
He has his first run on the polytrack and if he adapts to the surface and pulls up his socks, he could conceivably challenge for the money.
Dean Kannemeyer ‘s Canigao has won 5 of his last 6 starts and is one of the most improved 3yo’s around.
The son of Western Winter continues to defy the handicapper and must again rank a serious contender for top honours – even if it is getting tougher every time.
The grey Stormy Eclipse ran a rare blank race last time in the Listed Sledgehammer but has excellent poly form and looks the right one on his best past performances.
Anton Marcus is a bonus.
Qatar Springs and Work Ethic represent the Gavin Van Zyl yard.
Stable jockey Warren Kennedy no doubt had the choice and rides the only filly in the field in the Ideal World Work Ethic, who has plenty to do after running unplaced behind Gallica Rose in the Listed Scarlet Lady.
Her poly form is very decent against her own sex though and she could run a place .
A 4kg claimer rides stablemate Qatar Springs who will probably go out and make the pace as he enjoys doing.
Andre Nel’s French Revolution has his second run since relocating for the 2015 SA Champions Season and has decent earlier form against stronger.
He has his first run on the poly but has won on the Greyville turf.
The Australian-bred Mackdesi has improved slightly at his last two starts for third cheques, but should battle to win a race of this nature.
Thirtytwo Squadron finished 6,50 lengths behind Mackdesi last time but is 2,50 kgs better off, and should get closer – particularly in the light of his gutsy course and distance win at his penultimate in a lower handicap.
Kannemeyer and Delpech will be keen to get back on a winning midweek streak after last week’s quiet patch – and Canigao is just too honest and consistent to discard.
Deputy Jud is a serious runner if he handles the poly – Stormy Eclipse is a decent sort who loves the course and has run to stronger.
He is likely to get a decent pace and he will be running at them late.