After The Fire

Racing Association MR 86 Handicap at Fairview on Monday

Queen's Club

Lightly Raced. The promising Queen’s Club returns from a five month rest and could prove competitive from a good draw in his first run for his new yard

The heady high of the Vodacom Durban July festivities will be behind us for another year as we commence a week of our staple diet of the ordinarily entertaining. The Monday eight race programme at Fairview should provide plenty of fun and games, although we won’t hold our breath when it comes to the crowds or the fashion.

As usual there is nothing posh or fancy down in the Windy City, where an interesting card is headed by an MR 86 Handicap. The sixteen horse field is bound to attract varied opinion and an upset result looks very likely.

Twilight Zone

Port Elizabeth has long been the drop off zone and adoptive home for the sick, lame and lazy from the other provinces. These horses may have battled to earn and found things tough going after a brief moment in the sun.

The danger with those sorts is that while their enthusiasm may not always be in evidence, their ability is never lost and they can come up and bite us if we choose to ignore them and they just happen to wake up on the right side of the bed.

Inspiring

There are four runners that fit that label to varying degrees, and who may be worth including beyond the obvious fancies. Formerly with Mike De Kock, the Kahal gelding Havasha is a five time winner from his 45 starts.

The 6yo powerful pacemaker is multiple Group stakes placed and in fact ran second to the brilliant Noordhoek Flyer in the KRA Guineas of his year. He has run to a highest lifetime 106 rating and off his current 88, must be some sort of runner.

That said, his recent form is not highly inspiring and he has not won for almost a year to the day. He dropped out and tired badly at his last outing when finishing 8,30 lengths behind Parceval in a Pinnacle Plate at Arlington.

Haunted House

Formerly with Geoff Woodruff, the Count Dubois gelding House Of Wax has won 5 of his 28 starts and run to a highest MR of 102. This Listed winner has beaten the likes of July runner Seal and including a brief stop in Zimbabwe, has been around the block. He showed nothing at his first two PE starts, but made some eyecatching late headway last time and from a 2 draw may be worth including.

True Reflection

Surprise Package. The Silvano gelding Gianduja has a nice turn of foot and should be included as a value proposition

Surprise Package. The Silvano gelding Gianduja has a nice turn of foot and should be included as a value proposition

Formerly with Paddy Kruyer, the Silvano gelding Gianduja has won 3 of 27 starts. This fellow has lost form terribly at his first two PE starts, but has a sustained turn of foot if things go his way and his three wins are probably not a true reflection of his genuine ability. He should enjoy the Fairview track and the astute Jacques Strydom would have been working on his fitness.

Formerly with Glen Kotzen, the Australian bred Queen’s Club was rumoured to be something quite special when winning his maiden at his third start. He is lightly raced relative to the others and may have plenty of upward scope.

Bruce Ferreira’s Argentinian bred son of Interprete has won two of his six starts and bounces off a five month rest, which may not be in his favour. It is interesting to note though that form jockey Grant Van Niekerk flies in to ride him.

Quartet

Beyond that quartet, the winner is likely to come from the likes of Burlaine Forest, Two Gun Kid, Silverano, Spellcaster or even the Mike Bass trained Peregrine Power. Yvette Bremner’s Derby Plate winner Burlaine Forest drops in class and is a talented winner of 4 of his 9 outings.

The son of Tamburlaine was rated as one of the best 3yo’s of the year in the Eastern Cape and plain bad luck has dogged his progress at times. He ran a fair 2,80 lengths behind local legend Celtic Fire in an MR 96 Handicap last time, and this may be an easier war.

It will also be interesting to see the riding tactics adopted, as he really appears to be a horse who is far more effective running at them late off a fast pace. He should certainly get that luxury here.

Cowboy

The Jet Master gelding Spellcaster is a six time winner and is in the form of his life having won two of his last three starts. He has drawn at 13, but normally races from off the pace and warrants inclusion.

Formerly with Mike De Kock, the Toreador gelding Two Gun Kid won readily at his second start when he stormed clear to beat Polo Warrior in a MR 78 Handicap last time. He had Silverano beaten six lengths into third and has to now overcome a 4kg weight turnaround with the Gavin Smith 4yo.

Interestingly top local jockey Wayne Agrella jumps off Two Gun Kid and opts to ride Havasha.We make the assumption that he had the choice! As observed, the talented Silverano may have the edge on Two Gun Kid. The course and distance winner is drawn rather poorly at 17 though, but has the ability to be dropped in for a late effort.

Cooking

Peregrine Power

Versatile. The Mike Bass trained Peregrine Power has not won for ages but is capable of surprising

Gavin Blake has the Mike Bass yard cooking and he sends out the Consolidator gelding Peregrine Power from a good draw. The talented claiming apprentice Luyola Mxothwa has the ride .

The 5yo is a versatile sort who has won from 1000mto 2000m, and while no star (unlike the earlier mentioned he has run to a maximum MR of 83 at best), he is capable of surprising at his fifth start down here. Blake is an astute horseman who may pull something out of the bag.

Difficult

This event has all the ingredients for an upset. Very talented but out of form sorts, coupled with a few younger upstarts from the local ranks make for a lethal mix. If he gets luck in running, we feel that Burlaine Forest has the class and ability to win it.

If he fluffs his lines, the likes of Two Gun Kid, Gianduja or even the talented Queen’s Club (if fit) could challenge for top honours. Silverano would be a natural inclusion, but his draw of 17 is a major downside to his prospects.

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