PUNTERS are unlikely to have it easy at Hollywoodbets Scottsville today where they are faced with a seriously tricky card. At first glance there appear to be a few obvious contenders but on closer dissection of the form, that is not always the case.

In the card opener Crested Eagle has improved with every outing and was unlucky to have an objection on his behalf go against him. Many seasoned observers were puzzled at the decision but that’s now water in the sea. This is a new race but with many first timers in the line-up the betting will probably be your best guide.

Vaal-based Ashley Fortune sends out Silvery Blue to his second start and the gelding found solid market support on debut where he finished a modest fourth. The experience is likely to have brought him on lengths.   Royal Virtue is another to have found solid market support when third behind Crested Eagle and hotly favoured stable companion Edgartown so can also improve. Of the unraced, all of Waterberry Lane, Lord Varsy, Good Traveller and Spina Zonke should all be on the radar.

Sugar And Spice looks the obvious choice in the second as he has gone close over course and distance and also goes well for this apprentice. One is likely to get a decent price on Sihamba Sonke who gave his apprentice rider a difficult time with first time blinkers. She pulled hard and never got in from a wide draw and can make big improvement down the straight over this shorter trip.

Masango Machine steps up in trip for the third and has made steady improvement leading into this race. He was running on nicely last time out and the extra furlong should suit. In a tricky maiden with little solid form to go on, Bourbon Beat is one to keep an eye on. He made good improvement second time out and comes from an in-form yard. Coromandle has the worst of the draw but meets a particularly weak field. This is his first local run for a new stable and is the first ride back in KZN for Anton Marcus who only has two rides carded!

In the fourth, Komodosan has had two horrific draws in his first two starts and now has the best gate. He was much improved at his second outing and should still have a few more lengths to come. Radames was a beaten even money chance last run. He is consistent and lightly raced and looks the biggest threat to the selection. Techno Savvy has shown some improvement and can find the frame while Uplifted returns from a lengthy break but has shown that he stays the trip and the blinkers should help.

In the fifth, three-on-the-bounce is no easy task from a wide draw but Sea Venture has come to hand of late and won well at her last two. She gets a 4kg claimer up to nullify her two-point rise in the handicap. On the flip side of the coin, Silva Magic was beaten less than a length by Sea Venture when last they met but the apprentice claim could nullify the 0.5kg reverse in the weights. Of the others, Mrs Hotline ran no sort of race last time out and beat Sea Venture in her last win. Polygonshopping was not far off in her handicap debut and gets first time blinkers.

The sixth is wide open. Washington Square may just have needed his last outing and he has good form over this course and distance. At best should have a big say. Charlie-Fox is quick and goes well on this course. He only has 48kg to shoulder and has drawn on the ‘right’ side of the track. The opposition will have to go and fetch him to win. Calvino, down in class, and Alphamikefoxtrot are others to consider.

Global Ash arrived in KZN with a reputation but took time to acclimatise. However, he showed his worth when bolting home last time out and although up against stronger here he looks to have plenty of scope. Spirit Of My Fate has put in two promising runs since his maiden win and looks capable of further improvement while Arctic Tune won well first up out of the maidens and looks useful. However, he does face a better field here and the draw is a concern.

In the last, Shape Of You has improved with every outing and was narrowly beaten from a difficult draw last start. From pole position she should have every chance of going one better. Emerald Isla was running on well from the worst of the draw last outing. She has a much better draw here and with a much in form apprentice up with a 2.5kg claim she could be the pick of the stable pair in spite of the stable rider being aboard Peanut Butter who has been rested and has her first outing for the stable. Flymefree was a beaten favourite last run but the blinkers come off and she can make amends while Princess Maxi has a difficult draw but improved nicely at her second outing and should be running at them late.

goldcircle.co.za – Andrew Harrison