The smart Kahal gelding Romany Prince bids to win the R150 000 Listed Drum Star Handicap at Turffontein on Saturday for the second year running.
He looks to have improved marginally but it remains a tricky little handicap.
The field of ten on the Turffontein 1800m inside track includes a few staying types stretching their legs, and that includes the SP top-rated The Elmo Effect, who may find himself run off his feet over this trip.
Romany Prince enjoys the services of the back-from-suspension Gavin Lerena and the Gr3 London News Stakes winner is a very capable sort at best.
He probably found things a bit sharp over the 1400m of the Hawaii Stakes when failing to quicken and just under five lengths behind Rafeef.
His penultimate start, when hanging on for third in the Listed Wolf Power 1600 behind Irish Pride and the progressive Rafeef , was a very decent effort.
The Sean Tarry spearhead Samurai Blade has won 2 of his last 3 starts and was beaten just under 2 lengths by Romany Prince in the London News.
He is 2,5kgs better off with the Ferraris runner and rates a decent shout with Piere Strydom up from a good draw.
His stablemate Stonehenge will be up with the pace and has failed to show in two runs since a blank in the Sansui Summer Cup.
Mike Azzie’s Arctica steps up in class after winning a mile handicap last time out.
He failed to fire in the Wolf Power 1600 but then ran a very decent race lumping 61kgs for a 2,75 length third to Brazuca at his penultimate start.
With the best of the draw and Tarry jockey S’manga Khumalo opting for him ahead of the stable pair, Arctica makes some appeal.
Gary Alexander’s Top Shot gave subsequent Wolf Power winner Irish Pride a half length beating in receipt of 4,5kgs at his penultimate outing after suffering interference late. A meritorious effort.
He then faded to fourth in a lower division handicap next time out.
Geoff Woodruff’s Master Switch is a high-class individual who returns from a 16 week break following his excellent third behind Master Sabina in the Summer Cup.
He has the credentials to win this but fitness must be a factor against some sharper opposition.
The Lucky Houdalakis trained Man’s Inn seems a bit in-and-out these days, but can gallop when in the mood as his record of 7 wins from 29 starts suggests.
He looks well held by Arctica on his dismal 17 length finish last time and, together with Stonehenge, looks the likely pacesetter.
The grey 7yo Stavinsky has his 84th run and looks to have a tough task.
The son of Stage Call has progressed through his long career from winning 1200m races on the Vaal sand to his most recent success – Turffontein 1800m inside track score back in June last year.
He unsurprisingly failed to stay the 2450m last time and must have an outside place chance if he gets lucky here.
The topweighted Cool Chardonnay carries topweight and would definitely need more ground to show his best.
Exotic punters may be looking to load up and the race looks wide open.
Romany Prince is a fit and decent sort who could hold the edge of Samurai Blade and the high-class Master Switch.
Arctica found winning form last time and he could be the danger.