We have a super weekend of racing ahead as the KZN Champions Season gets into full gear at Greyville on Saturday, with a nice back-up meeting scheduled for Turffontein’s Standside track on Sunday. Comments brought to you by BETWAY.
Mike de Kock will have a small string based at Summerveld like he did last year, when his season culminated in a Durban July win. He is looking forward to his prospects this season, with a good mix of competitive older and younger horses and eight representatives at Saturday’s big-season opener.
Mike furnished notes for both meetings, starting with Greyville:
Race 1: “Iphiko needs a gallop so we decided to run her in this 400m dash. She is very fast, she looks magnificent and she’s had a good rest, should be competitive although these dashes have produced some upsets in the past.”
Race 6: “What can I say about Desert Miracle? She is well drawn and racing here over 1400m – she was a facile winner over this course and distance before. I think she has come on from her good last win, she must be a big runner. Forever Mine has a lot to do from her draw, and the same goes for Humdinger. They’re two smart and competitive horses, Humdinger has a distance win over Desert Miracle to her credit and she is better off at the weights for that run. I’ve always wanted to see how they go at Greyville, it’s a pity they are poorly drawn. It’s a case of right course, wrong draws.”
Race 6: “Safe Passage was injured in Cape Town, he will need this first run back. We’re looking for a run just behind them, and to come on from the run to give us some confidence. He is coming back to himself, we are happy with him and this is the start of his Durban July campaign.”
Race 8: “Dave The King seems well held on paper, but I was very impressed with his win for us last time. I like what I’ve seen from him. I believe the mile is no problem and he has a good draw that helps. This is a top class race, a really good field and certainly one of the races of the season. It’s a good test for our horse, we have some of South Africa’s finest three-year-olds in the contest.
“East Coast was sick all season in Johannesburg. He was beaten just five lengths in the Classic last time but he was a sick horse afterwards. He is well over that now. He has come on nicely and while he has missed some work getting over his virus, he is a quality horse. The 1600m is a bit sharp, but he won’t be far off them. We’re happy to have Richard Fourie on. He’s a horse that can be followed over further.”
Race 10: “Sequoia is a handicapper, he should be well suited to the course and distance, has Quartet prospects.”
Race 1: “Lion’s Eye is by Silvano and he’s a colt that shows us ability. He will need further, but should be kicking on nicely so don’t leave him out of anything.”
Race 2: “Calantha makes her debut for our Ladies Syndicate put together by Diane de Kock. I think there are 51 ladies involved and this is exciting for them. She is a nice type of filly, has shown us some good work. Not mad about her inside draw, but there could be a scratching or two and it’s not a big field. We’re expecting a good run.”
Race 6: “Cleaver Greene returns from a long break, he had a knee injury. His work is good, we’ve done a lot of work on the sand, but not much galloping, to keep him sound. He’s a nice horse and will improve with the run.
“Shoemaker, like East Coast, struggled with a virus all season in Johannesburg, but he too is over that now. This is too short, but he is a good horse and we hope to see him finishing the race off strongly.”