Walmer – No Suburban Bliss!

Feature is the trap in the middle of the exotics

There is no stakes action on the national programme this week but the R110 000 Walmer Handicap on the polytrack at Fairview today is competitive and should provide plenty of entertainment to get the weekend off to a flying start.

Flashback to Walmer in 2017 – Dorrie Sham’s Christmas Carol held on well

Eleven fillies and mares of varying talent – they range from a 92 to a 65 – go to post in the 1800m contest won in such cracking style by Dorrie Sham’s Christmas Carol last term.

Queen Forever (on far side) carries top weight today

Allan Greeff saddles a trio headed by topweighted 4yo Queen Forever, who has her first run on the all-weather surface since losing her form in her last three stats. She ran a particularly ordinary race when 18 lengths behind Konkola in the Listed Jockey Club Stakes last month. If she takes to the surface – and the top team have no doubt tried her – she could be a serious threat and recapture her best early form.

On the flipside of the coin, Justin Snaith – he also saddles Weston – tries with the improved Twice Over filly Libra, who has found her niche on the all-weather surface in the Eastern Cape, winning two of her last four starts. Libra takes a step up in distance but has show signs that she could get the ground – despite her dam being an out-and-out speedster.

Snaith’s Libra is very consistent (Pic – Pauline Herman Photography)

Tara Laing’s Raven Girl stayed on for a fair fourth in the Listed Jockey Club Stakes last time. That was her first run here on the coast after winning three of her five starts in Zimbabwe. The daughter of Philanthropist looks very talented – but the Zim form is weaker.

The second of the Laing runners, the Visionaire mare Minds Eye has drawn wide and been well beaten at her last few starts.

The Elusive Fort mare Smokey Affair has done the rounds but, despite three runner-up cheques, has failed to set the world alight since relocating to the Eastern Cape. On her best form- she has twice run close to now retired local star Beataboutthebush – she could challenge for the places and has always looked much better than a two-time winner.

Alan Greeff (Photo: Coastal Photos)

Alan Greeff – strong hand

Second of the Allan Greeff trio is the Main Aim mare, Another Night. She is another who has lost her better earlier form and her last two starts inspire no confidence. She is well drawn and if she improves with the blinkers fitted could find her better earlier zest.

Weston has pulled the best of the draw and has her first run here after battling to find the money in the Cape. The well-bred mare’s best form is over shorter and this looks a dip in the dark to find a new winning recipe. She would need to improve dramatically to have a chance.

So Enchanting is the third of the Greeff trio. Her last win was on the poly but she was comprehensively outclassed in the Listed Jockey Club Stakes when failing to show after her typical tardy start and running 14 lengths off the winner.

Gavin Smith’s hardknocking Rock Of Rochelle filly Rocksette has been threatening to register her third win. She runs with a handy galloping weight and looks likely to be thereabouts again.

Yvette Bremner – saddles Altitude

The pacy Captain Al mare Altitude carries the Yvette Bremner Dippin’ Blu flag and could surprise under the in-form Ryan Munger from the 4 draw. A dangerous front-runner on her best day, she is yet to win on the poly.

Multiple past SA Champion Jockey Piere Strydom is part owner of the rather in-and-out Oasis Queen. The 5yo daughter of Golden Sword has her 43rd start and could rattle into the back end of quartets if things go her way.

So a typically tough handicap all round! It may pay to look at past best form and red hot stables. That points at Queen Forever or the Snaith’s improving Libra. But it’s not an open and shut case.

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