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After finishing in 13th place in the national log in the 2020/2021 season, Brett Crawford will be glad to be back in the top 10 this term. However, he probably feels — had he been dealt a better hand — it could have been a more successful campaign.

Harare-born Crawford felt he had a real chance of Durban July glory with his KZN Guineas winner Zapatillas, but the colt sustained an injury on the Thursday before the race and had to be withdrawn.

This writer happened to be at the same lunch venue as the 50-year-old on the eve of the July and the consternation on his face showed his disappointment at losing the chance of making racing history.

Nevertheless, July day had a saviour for the stable in the form of three-year-old Xavion, with the Futura gelding winning the Compendium Insurance Brokers Handicap.

Crawford sets punters a poser at the Vaal on Tuesday by running stablemates Chasing Mavericks and Global Approach in the final leg of the Pick Six. S’manga Khumalo has been booked for Chasing Mavericks and the gelding is overdue to leave the maiden ranks after finishing second or third in each of his last six starts.

Kabelo Matsunyane has been the jockey of choice for most of Crawford’s highveld runners and it is possible he is on the right horse with Global Approach. He went down by a shorthead at Turffontein in his latest outing.

One of this duo should add to Crawford’s winning tally this season as the opposition is decidedly moderate. Perhaps Corné Spies’ juvenile, Summerland, will emerge as the main threat.

Earlier in the meeting Matsunyane rides the stable’s two-year-old filly, A Time To Flower, in the second race and the youngster boasts useful Cape form.

Once again, Khumalo poses the main threat with the July-winning jockey booked for Mike de Kock’s well-bred filly, Tayooba. The daughter of Var drops back to the minimum trip and is likely to start favourite.

Stephen Moffatt will be over the moon that his game mare, Rouge Allure, won on her 100th racecourse appearance last week and his runner, Silver Winter, has shown promise finishing second in each of her two starts.

Gavin Lerena rode four winners at the Free State track last week, but that won’t be happening this time as — surprisingly — he is booked for just three rides.

One of this trio is Back To Black who has a sound chance of following up his recent Turffontein win when he takes on eight rivals in the seventh race.

Leopold — 3kg better off with Back To Black compared to their clash at Turffontein — should get a lot closer this time and looks the right horse for the swinger with Roy Magner’s runner.

Stuart Pettigrew won with Feather Boa at Greyville on July day and is 1.5kg better off with Back To Black, so also warrants inclusion in exotic bets.

Craig Zackey stood in successfully when Khumalo was injured at Turffontein on Saturday and he is likely to fancy his chances of winning the third race on Tyrone Zackey’s R775,000 Silvano colt, Boisterous.


1st Race: (1) San Quentin (2) Flag Bearer (7) I Am Who I Am (3) Rishaan’s Boy

2nd Race: (8) Tayooba (1) A Time To Flower (6) Silver Winter (2) Above The World

3rd Race: (1) Boisterous (8) Tre Amici (4) Lebanese Pound (6) River Pirate

4th Race: (2) Droghiere (8) Who’s That Star (10) What A Tiger (9) Midnight Badger

5th Race: (4) Spin Doctor (5) Fifth Of July (1) Great Affair (3) Elusive Swann

6th Race: (6) Fast Love (1) Ocean Warrior (3) Sir Michael (5) Purple Panther

7th Race: (4) Back To Black (5) Leopold (3) Whafeef (1) Stormy Winter

8th Race: (2) Global Approach (1) Chasing Mavericks (6) Summerland (4) Streets Of Sienna


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