Picture: RUSSEL ROBERTS
Picture: RUSSEL ROBERTS

Every sport needs its straightshooter, a person not afraid to voice their opinion on any topic. In racing, trainer Dennis Bosch definitely falls into that category.

Bosch has made a successful transition from the jockey ranks to those of a trainer and his forthright attitude has resulted him attracting a good band of owners. This season his strike rate of runners to winners is 13%, the same as leading trainer, Sean Tarry.

In an interview in 2018, Bosch said: "I've been in the game for 49 years, so am too experienced not to always respect my opposition."

Consequently, the Summerveld-based trainer will know his sprinter Chantyman faces some useful speed merchants in Saturday's Grade 3 Tommy Hotspur Handicap at Turffontein.

Even so, the KZN raider — 8-1 in the ante-post market — has a lot going for him. He has won three of his last four starts in his home province, he has a low weight of 52 kg and will be ridden by in-form jockey, Warren Kennedy.

Most importantly, one of Chantyman's placings this term came in yielding going and — if the Turffontein meeting isn't washed out like the one at the Vaal — the ground looks certain to be heavy.

Another KZN horse making the trip to the Highveld is Red Chestnut Road with trainer Robbie Hill bringing his five year-old back to a sprint distance. Piere Strydom has been booked for the ride on the son of Pathfork.

Rivarine, now two kilos better off with Rebel's Champ compared to their clash at the city track in December, has been priced up the 4-1 favourite to win the R156250 first cheque for the Azzie stable.

Although he did win the Golden Loom Sprint in November with Gavin Lerena in the saddle, Rivarine looks not certainty to beat Sean Tarry's speedy mare, Exquisite Touch, who carries the same weight.

Lurking down the bottom of the handicap is a runner who could spring a surprise at big odds. Valbonne has his first run for trainer, Roy Magner. Previously with Brett Crawford in the Cape, this Var colt's form includes a third behind the talented Undercover Agent. Ryan Munger, who needs only eight more winners to bring up his century for the season, rides Valbonne for the first time.

A total of 10 races are due to be run and punters might consider taking a double coupling Atrevete in the third race and Candice Dawson's three year-old, Ideal Day, in the ninth.

Atrevete, who is out of the talented mare Control Freak, made an eye-catching debut at the Vaal before Christmas while Ideal Day was noted making significant late progress when finishing fourth on his second outing.

Protea Paradise was due to run at the Vaal yesterday so it was a good move by Mike De Kock to also enter the son of Dynasty for tomorrow's eighth race at Turffontein. This lightly-raced three year-old has plenty of scope to go on to better things and can beat home Senor Lizard and Bank Robber.

De Kock introduces a well-bred newcomer in Gin Fizz, a daughter of Soft Falling Rain, in the first race and the market will also be worth a check for Alec Laird's, Malteza, and Paul Peter's Fly Away.

SELECTIONS

1st Race: No Selection

2nd Race: (3) Vontreo (2) Condor Gulch (1) Big Voice Jack (5) Greener Pastures

3rd Race: (10) Atrevete (14) Varquera (1) Hartleyfive (3) Captains Love

4th Race: (7) Old Man Tyme (6) Basilius (4) Oravar (9) Greasepaint

5th Race: (4) Captain And Master (3) Tilbury Fort (5) Infamous Fox (2) Captain Aldo

6th Race: (7) Mazari (11) State Star (6) Gimme Hope Johanna (3) Regal Graduation

7th Race: (11) Chantyman (14) Valbonne (3) Rivarine (4) Red Chestnut Road

8th Race: (3) Protea Paradise (1) Senor Lizard (4) Bank Robber (5) Indy Ice

9th Race: (11) Ideal Day (12) Sir Geoffrey (3) Senor's Guest (1) Lasair

10th Race: (1) Minona (4) Super Fine (9) Ever Fair (10) Jive Express