Dandolo, not easy to catch right at the best of times, is the longest priced runner in the Conditional Graduation Plate that heads a tricky card on the poly at Hollywoodbets Greyville today.
The race is a minefield, Interbet offering 12-1 about Dandolo, but ante-post favourite Tarantino hardly inspires confidence at 2-1.
Tony Rivalland saddles Dandolo who has shown a touch of class but has not been easy to follow. His form is patchy at best but on his day he shows a touch of class. He did show signs of life when making late progress behind the speedy Kings Road last time out. Given his late progress the extra two furlongs should suit and he could have the measure of this field.
Proud Master (3-1) was not far back in his comeback run after a break. He is lightly raced but does appear to have some scope. Tarantino is likely favourite. He has hardly put a foot wrong, having earned in 14 of his 15 starts so he should at least contest the finish. Captain Seagar (4-1) faces stronger but has a handy weight and is over what looks to be his optimum distance while Danse Milord is another to consider.
There are plenty in with chances in the card opener. Although Vision Of Will looks held on current form she has ability and first-time blinkers could make all the difference. She is 2-1 favourite in the ante-post market. Winter Journey has good form in blinkers and has done well over course and distance and is bracketed on 33-10 with La Fille who has never been far back over course and distance. She has the best of the draw and must have a strong chance.
In the second Nkalanzini (1-1) will never have a better chance of shedding her maiden. The only unknown is the first timer River Club who has been priced up 7-2 second choice by Interbet.
The third is a tricky maiden. Fearless Kitty was narrowly beaten in her last two and stays the trip well. She was a beaten favourite last run and can go one better. Cashew went down a short head when tried in blinkers and looks the obvious danger. These two top the boards.
Victory Vision has been making steady improvement and could be a threat while View The Roses is another that has been improving all the while. Keep a close eye on the betting here.
In the fourth, Victory Twist has a fair weight to shoulder but does get some relief with apprentice Rachel Venniker still claiming 1.5kg.
Arumugam (3-1) has a bit of class but has not been out since October last year. If fresh he must be a big contender. Justfortheepenny (8-1) has flattered to deceive on occasion and is battling for his next win but should have a chance in this line-up. Straight Up (8-1) won well last start and is useful on his day.
It’s all hands on deck for the fifth with almost every one of the eight contenders in with a decent chance. Winter Flight (3-1) has crept up the handicap and will not have it all his own way here. However, he’s in smart form over course and distance and has a chance again. Herecomestherain (6-1) can do better than his last run when casting a shoe. He was close-up at his penultimate start and has a light weight. Majorca Palace is the marginal 2-1 ante-post favourite and should have the better of Herecomestherain on their last effort. He has smart form over course and distance and a light weight to help his chances. Princekresh (4-1) is a strong front runner and another that should be right up there. Load up in this leg of the exotics.
In the sixth, Green Dream, bracketed with Hatta on 4-1, has been close-up at recent outings and is due a change of luck. She has an in-form 4kg claiming apprentice up. Poppy Of Bayeux (10-1) won her maiden well on the poly and has improved in blinkers. Hatta showed up well first run out of the maidens and from a good draw should be competitive.
The last is an impossible handicap. Interbet have taken Highveld form into consideration and Valencia, who surprised at Turffontein last start, is short at 14-10. His apprentice rider is in good form and he can follow up. The balance at 6-1 and better. Sovereign Soldier (10-1) can be difficult but is useful on his day. Fiery Duke (8-1) improved back on the poly while Quest For The Best (16-1) has a wide draw but is way better than his last run. He will go close if producing his penultimate effort.