MIKE de Kock holds the aces in the Grade 2 Post Merchants over 1200m at Greyville on Friday night with Welwitschia (headline photo, red and black) and Merhee respectively and his Summerveld assistant trainer Nathan Kotzen is confident of their chances, reports DAVID THISELTON on Gold Circle’s website.
Welwitschia has been priced up as 33-10 favourite by Betting World and Merhee is second favourite at 9-2, but Kotzen said that if he really had to stick his neck out he would opt for the latter. He said, “They are both big runners and hard to separate. Welwitschia is a good filly on her day and is well at the moment. Merhee ran a cracker last time from a wide draw. If I had to separate them I would say Merhee. But I could be wrong.”
Welwitschia has good cruising speed and a tremendous turn of foot, which should make her an ideal Greyville type, although this will be her first start at the city course.
The five-year-old British-bred mare is 2,5kg better off than any other horse in the race and is drawn in pole position. It is not surprising to see De Kock’s stable jockey Anthony Delpech aboard her, while Sean Veale rides Merhee.
Merhee, an Australian-bred four-year-old colt by Elusive Quality, has always been held in good regard and appears to
be coming into his own, having run on well for third in the Grade 1 Golden Horse Sprint from an unfavourable high draw.
Kotzen said, “He’s a nice horse. He’s had his soundness problems, but is sound and well at the moment.”
Merhee is 3,5kg under sufferance with Welwitschia but could be better than rated as he looks to be progressing. He is drawn perfectly for a big field over this distance in barrier six.