Peach On The Poly

A tricky race on a tricky Friday card!

Bernard Fayd’herbe – chance to break the ice on his return from Dubai

The second leg of the East Cape Poly Challenge takes pride of place on a low-key Easter long weekend racing programme.

The Fairview non black-type feature gives recently returned globetrotting jockey Bernard Fayd’herbe an excellent opportunity to get back to winning ways.

Fayd’herbe, who has been living out of a suitcase for 9 months on the road, with stints in Mauritius and Dubai, partners the high-quality Jet Master gelding Jet Explorer for Justin Snaith.

The class in the race, the former major centre Gr2 winner Jet Explorer comes out marginally atop the mare Peach Delight in the SP ratings and looks very ready to win again – that is if he turns up sound.

The class Jet Explorer – but he is 8 years old!

Now an 8yo, he is no spring chicken and was reported not string out when slightly below par on the turf at his last run.

While his peak ratings have been achieved on the turf, he has shown an adaptability and liking for the poly and this could be the race to give him his ninth career success.

The weights in this event are framed on merit rating ranges and Yvette Bremner’s consistent Greys Inn mare Peach Delight gets a useful 3kg sex allowance, which brings her strongly into contention.

The smart Greys Inn mare Peach Delight is well in

The former Dean Kannemeyer charge scored a well-deserved first local win last time against her own sex, but was not disgraced when mixing it with the boys and running a decent 1,50 lengths off Ochoncar over the course and distance in November.

She is a half kilo better off with the Greeff runner here – which on paper suggests she could be held again – but that was her first run in this province and she is now more settled – and a lot fitter.

Sir Duke – always tries his best

The evergreen Tara Laing galloper Sir Duke has won ten races, and is always thereabouts – irrespective of surface and distance.

While well beaten by Juan Two Three in the first leg of this series, he was running on steadily and at the age of 6 may have lost a margin of his pace.

The son of Trippi gets the services of Callan Murray and looks fit and ready to win again over the 200m extra.

Former Cape-based soldier Blarney Bay has his fourth run here for Sharon Kotzen and is the type of horse that can never be left out.

Relentless galloper Blarney Bay – extra will suit

The son of Nysaean received a kilo when beating Jet Explorer on the turf at his opener in the Eastern Cape.

The two meet at level weights here and with Blarney Bay’s only poly outing (an 8,25 length finish to Juan Two Three) telling us little over a distance short of his best, it would make no sense to discard him as an unlikely challenger.

He needs to be included.

Course and distance winner Ochoncar has drawn wide and may have found the 1200m of the first leg on the short side when finishing 7,25 lengths off Juan Two Three.

He looks easily held by the versatile Sir Duke on that run, but if we go back to November, it is worth noting for upset consideration that Ochoncar conquered poly king Gogetthesheriff over Friday’s trip.

Yvette Bremner – yard in form

The second of the Bremner runners, Cruzcampo appears to be struggling for his fourth win.

That said, he pulls a pole draw here and has been close enough – without really threatening – at his last few outings to suggest that he could burgle a prize if the dice rolls his way.

The enigmatic Kiss Me Hardy appears to have lost interest in racing since beating Sir Duke on this surface over 100m shorter six months ago.

He cannot be fancied on his recent performance – and his career peak MR of 113 (versus his present mark of 82) looks a lifetime away right now.

Dorrie Sham’s Notting Hill drops in distance after finding his feet over some ground.

The son of Horse Chestnut is very effective on the surface – as he showed when beating the very decent Master James on the poly mile at his penultimate – and could be staying on late for minor money.

The former KZN-based Charles Laird charge Thirtytwo Squadron has his first run in PE.

The son of A P Arrow has won some fair races but his recent form is not inspiring and he would ideally be looking for slightly further.

Rebel House is the second of the Tara Laing duo.

This well-drawn Rebel King gelding caught the eye at his last run when beating the stakes performed Kingvoldt on the turf 1400m in a quality line-up.

The 6yo can go on this surface too and will strip fit with place prospects at best.

Shine Like A Star – lost his sparkle

Shine Like A Star has failed to build on his early promise and while it is difficult discarding the Smith-van der Merwe combination, we would like to see a little more commitment from the Miesque’s Approval gelding.

The potentially awkwardly named For Luck Sake is very moderate and even with a paperweight of 48kgs looks hard-pressed to assert himself in this company.

His one and only win was achieved a few months short of two years ago. Uninspiring is the only word that comes to mind.

A tricky race on a tricky Friday card!

Class and reliability suggest that Jet Explorer, Peach Delight and the gutsy Sir Duke are the three to side with.

There should be little to choose between the three, with a slight preference for the mare.


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