Trainer Brett Crawford’s high point this season will be the win by Zapatillas in the KwaZulu-Natal Guineas, but he will also be pleased with how his raiding team has fared on the highveld.
Zapatillas, who is yet to race further than the July’s 2,200m, is now in 15th place in the latest log released by Gold Circle for the Hollywoodbets Durban July.
Crawford has won a number of minor races in Gauteng and one of his best performers has been Another Thief, who is chasing a hat-trick when he takes on nine rivals in the fifth race at Turffontein on Thursday.
Jockey Kabelo Matsunyane has partnered Another Thief in his two highveld wins and will be in the saddle again at the track.
Matsunyane will be aware that one of his rivals is Rollwiththepunches, who has to be the top fancy for this 1,160m race judged on his close second to Supreme Warrior in April.
Supreme Warrior so nearly spoilt the party for Crawford when the horse failed by just a head against Zapatillas in the Guineas. That form suggests Roy Magner’s three-year-old can win the third race of his career.
Paul Peter has engaged Cape-based jockey Louis Mxothwa for four rides at the meeting and his mount Vegas Hi Rise rates an each-way chance along with Moya WA Laliga.
Crawford and Matsunyane team up again in the seventh race in which lightly raced three-year-old Tattenham Hill has to be included in all exotic bets.
A son of Pomodoro, Tattenham Hill won his second start and was slowly away when only seventh on his handicap debut.
Mxothwa’s best chance of a winner at the meeting may lie with Astrocyte, who has won two of his past three starts for the Peter stable. The gelding is on the shortlist for the winner’s cheque along with About To Storm and Candice Dawson’s three-year-old Captain Of Grit.
Crawford’s Futura colt, Xavion, needs monitoring in the betting market in the sixth race. The three-year-old has been taking on top company in the Cape.
Trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren has enjoyed an excellent season — he’s in 10th place in the national log — and his three-year-old filly Walala Wasala has plenty of appeal in the first leg of the jackpot.
Walala Wasala is looking like a bargain buy at just R10,000 and the daughter of United Stakes recouped that outlay when second to Bevoeterd last time out.
The Azzie team introduces a couple of well-bred fillies in Coldhardstare and Rose For Trippi, but they have told Winning Form that both will need the run.
Van Vuuren has backup in the form of Mayenne and it looks significant that Keagan de Melo has opted to ride this R350,000 daughter of Rafeef.
Apprentice Kaidan Brewer has impressed many pundits this term, and his allowance can help his mount Allez Les Bleu close in the final leg of the Pick Six.
Though Magner is probably disappointed that the Aussie-bred mare is only a one-time winner, this field is nothing special, with Imposing Angel, Double Magic and Raisetheredlantern all likely to have their supporters.
1st Race: No Selection
2nd Race: (8) National Star (1) Climate Control (5) Ships At Sea (3) Good Council
3rd Race: (6) Trentino (2) Ladygreensleeves (5) Summerland (7) Tried And True
4th Race: (4) Walala Wasala (3) Mayenne (2) Nazdarovya (6) Dame Twining
5th Race: (3) Rollwiththepunches (5) Another Thief (2) Vegas Hi Rise (6) Moya WA Laliga
6th Race: (9) Tuscan Winter (4) Burning Wings (5) Captain Morisco (2) Xavion
7th Race: (8) Tattenham Hill (4) Astrocyte (1) About To Storm (7) Captain Of Grit
8th Race: (13) Allez Les Bleu (2) Imposing Angel (3) Double Magic (7) Miss Magician
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