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Bois de Var

Lethal Galloper. Bois De Var is a powerful frontrunner and gets the services of Piere Strydom

South African record breaking trainer Justin Snaith and his brilliant jockey Piere Strydom will be on a high after their outstanding performances of last weekend. They look the right combination to be with in Friday’s R90 000 NBT Arlington 1400, and could clean up again!

Snaith Racing set new SA records last weekend with their 7 winners at a single meeting and a record number of winners in one weekend racecard, with an incredible thirteen victories from their 38 runners.

Striker

Strydom rode seven of the winners, and he partners the powerful galloper Bois De Var from a good draw in the Arlington 1400.This Non Black Type feature sees fifteen runners going to post in a 3kg weight band, and thus official ratings and match fitness are probably the best guide elements to unravelling the outcome. Strydom rides Bois De Var for the first time and his shrewd judgement of pace should suit the Var gelding perfectly.

While oddly not a course and distance winner to date, Bois De Var has certainly been a model of consistency since relocating to PE from the Cape just over a year ago. His eleven runs have dished up five wins from 1200m to 1400m and he will have every chance from the 3 draw.

It is probably best to ignore any collateral from Bois De Var’s one bad run here, when finishing over ten engths behind Celtic Fire in the Memorial Mile. He patently doesn’t stay a mile, and will be a major contender on Friday.

Lady’s Trio

Yvette Bremner sends out two major contenders in the consistent 4yo Blaze Of Fire and the old soldier Celtic Fire. Blaze Of Fire enjoys much the same racing style as his adversary Bois De Var, but is drawn out at 14, and he will need to be on his toes early.

The son of Victory Moon has beaten Bois De Var at their last two clashes, but meets him on 2,5kgs and 6,5kgs worse terms for 0,55 and 1,75 lengths beatings respectively. There will not be much in it between the two and the draw and jockeyship (with all due respect to Warren Kennedy) could swing it Bois De Var’s way.

Gold Rush

Stone Pine

Surprise Package? Stone Pine won over 1200m on his PE debut and will prefer the extra 200m of this race

Gavin Smith sends out a trio of In A Rush, Stone Pine and the rested Dancing Kiwi. Much has been written about the extremely talented In A Rush , who left Smith’s stable after being crowned Eastern Cape Champion Juvenile, to pursue his career in more lucrative climates.

The son of Windrush had 9 runs away, which produced just one win in a handicap at Scottsville. He hopefully returns home none the worse for wear, and could yet fulfil some of that brilliant early promise. He is a Gr3 winner and has the scalp of Variety Club to his credit. That is enough ammunition to suggest that he should be included, if Gavin Smith has had the time to get him back on track.

Tall Tree

The former Glen Kotzen trained Stone Pine showed amazing pace at his opening PE start last week, when getting up to nab London Perfect in an MR90 Handicap over the Fairview 1200. Stone Pine was always highly thought of in the Cape, but registered his four wins from 1400m to 1800m, so it was something of a surprise to see him showing such toe.

If that is a sign of his wellbeing, he could well be even more at home over the extra 200m and while out at the weights, is one for the bigger permutations. Dancing Kiwi has been rested for 119 days after a dull spell, and he will need to improve dramatically to feature here.

Consistent

Mitch Wiese’s trio of Shujaa, Superfederation and the grey Kantaka will have Pick Six supporters. Shujaa seldom runs a bad race and comes in a fit course and distance winner, who jumps froma good draw with a strong claiming apprentice in the saddle.

The Australian bred son of Fusaichi Pegasus has been threatening to add to his tally of 7 wins from 31 starts and loves the Arlington track. The other two are way out at the weights, and would be shock winners.

Strydom Duo

Hekkie Strydom sends out the two good 4yo’s Russian Mig and Act Of Supremeacy. These two tend to race together generally, and have bumped heads at their last three outings.

Russian Mig appears to be the better of the two over this trip and the son of Qui Danzig ran two good late flying places, before a rather flat effort when fifth behind Stone Pine at his last start. That means he has 4,85 lengths to make up on the Smith runner, and meets him again at level weights.

As a course and distance winner he comes into the reckoning and Gareth Wright will need to work hard to overcome his poor draw. That said, there is plenty of speed on his inside, and the gaps will hopefully materialise. Act Of Supremeacy is also a course and distance winner, and the son of Badger’s Drift also ran a poor race behind Stone Pine last time.

In his favour, he meets the Smith horse on 7,5kgs better terms for a 10,95 length beating and that was not best game last time. An interesting jockey engagement is that of Hermant Ramlugaan, who, if our records are accurate, had his last ride here on 30 August 2006 for Hekkie Strydom.

Sham Team

The Shark

Lurking. The consistent The Shark looks overdue to win after a promising spell of fringe efforts

Dorrie Sham sends a three way coupling to post that include the consistent The Shark, the sprinter Bob ‘N Weave and the recent Guateng relocatee, House Of Wax. Zimbabwean bred The Shark has been threatening to win a race since relocating in a change of ownership from the Dean Kannemeyer yard at the beginning of the season.

He has run 9 places in his 11 PE starts and ran on well last Sunday when finishing 3,30 lengths behind M’lords Throat in an MR 102 Handicap over 1800 at Fairview.

The Shark would probably prefer Fairview, but ran a cracking second at level weights to Blaze Of Fire over the course and distance in January. He now meets the Bremner colt on 2kgs better terms for that 1,75 length beating. He is also better drawn, and the wily Wayne Agrella jumps aboard.

The Lecture gelding Bob ‘N Weave has pulled a nasty draw on the very outside of the field, and appears to have lost his form completely. We have often viewed him as first and foremost a sprinter, and he should battle here.

Tough Going

The third of the Sham attack is the former Geoff Woodruff trained House Of Wax is a winner of 5 of his 25, and has his first local run. The son of Count Dubois has not won in over a year since scoring in a Listed event over the Turffontein 1800m. In the interim he was shipped off to Zimbabwe for and has failed to feature on his return. He ran as recently as a month ago when finishing last in an MR 93 Handicap behind Yer Maan, and his fitness should not be in question. He is worth watching as his merit rating tumbles,and could be a nice quartet kicker in this field.

The Way West gelding Western Star is badly in under sufferance and while a strong front running sort and a winner over the course and distance, he should battle to assert himself on his best past performance.

No Donkey

The race should provide an interesting tactical contest, with a few likely to go up and do the donkey work. With the combination on a high and in such great form, it is difficult to imagine anything but Strydom getting his own way. If he is allowed to dictate matters on Bois De Var, the Snaith gelding could hang on to win. Stablemates Celtic Fire and Blaze Of Fire could be next best, with Russian Mig our value horse, if he gets lucky from his wide draw.

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