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Safari Blue (Pauline Herman Photography).
 
Henk Steenkamp (Nelson Mandela Bay Racing)
 
It will be tough for Safari Blue to get back to winning ways at Friday’s Fairview meeting on the Turf Track.
 
Last year’s East Cape Champion three-year-old gelding has not won since that eye-catching victory in the Listed EC Guineas in March 2022.
 
There is no doubt he is better than his last two starts indicate and it is interesting that the Gavin Smith stable will equip the four-year-old What A Winter-gelding with blinkers for the first time.
 
If at his best, Safari Blue will be a factor in a competitive MR 96 Handicap over 1600m (race 7 at 15:55) but all eyes will be on the two horses which are very much in form, Mhlabeni (Duncan McKenzie) and Celtillus (Alan Greeff).
 
Wings Of Fire (Sharon Kotzen) and Atkinson Grimshaw (Smith) are others to include in your wider bets for this race.
 
Win bonuses for Racehorse Owners Association members will be up for grabs in the first three races and that will make sure we are off to an exciting start.
 
The meeting starts at 12:25 and Minstrel Gallery can’t be left out in this first leg of the Bipot after her four consecutive second places.
 
The Cliffie Miller stable has two newcomers which can get into the winners’ enclosure straight away. Ygritte (race 3) and Winter Journey (race 4) are big runners.
 
Narcos (race 5) and Double Destiny (race 6) are horses which must be included in all bets.
 
Fans of top jockey Richard Fourie will be disappointed that he won’t be riding at Fairview (family responsibility). Aldo Domeyer takes over most of Fourie’s rides.