Jockey partners trainer’s filly, Hold My Hand, in the Track & Ball Oaks at Scottsville
David Mollett (Business Day)
If — after her four lengths maiden win a year ago — someone had told trainer Glen Kotzen that his filly, Hold My Hand, would be beaten in her next nine starts, he’d have pointed them towards a psychiatrist.
That, however, is the story since Richard Fourie partnered the daughter of Gold Standard to her maiden win and he’ll be out to change her luck when he rides her for the second time in Saturday’s Track & Ball Oaks at Hollywoodbets Scottsville.
With Cousin Casey finishing last in the Gold Challenge and out of the Durban July, Glen Kotzen is also due a change of big race luck and Hold My Hand can do just that at the Maritzburg track.
The filly’s placed runs in the SA Fillies Guineas and Woolavington 2000 means she’s got a higher merit-rating than any of her eight rivals which include two Highveld-trained females in None Other and Light Of The Moon.
This column has been in None Other’s corner for most of the season, but her Woolavington run was disappointing and she finished behind Light Of The Moon. Perhaps she is feeling the effects of a busy season after contesting three big races on the highveld.
Justin Snaith runs Silverlinks whom Fourie has partnered to three wins. She can get involved for the places on her best form but her merit-rating is 18 points inferior to Hold My Hand.
Paul Peter will be delighted with the way his son, Tony, has kicked off his training career and the stable are sure to fancy their chances of winning the Track & Ball Derby with their five-year-old, Shangani.
Once again, it is Fourie who will be the one to beat as he reunites with Aragosta whom he partnered into third place in the Betway Summer Cup in November.
Aragosta’s close third behind Sea Master in the Lonsdale suggests that Mike de Kock has got the four-year-old back to his best and he gets the vote to win Saturday’s grade 3 contest.
Dean Kannemeyer saddles three of the seven Derby runners and presumably Runaway Song, the mount of Keagan De Melo, is the stable elect. The gelding has never raced further than 1,600m so — with a merit-rating of 92 — may have to settle for minor prize money.
SELECTIONS (Hollywoodbets Scottsville, Saturday)
TRACK AND BALL DERBY
1 (2) Aragosta
2 (4) Shangani
3 (3) Salvator Mundi
4 (5) Runaway Song
TRACK AND BALL OAKS
1 (2) Hold My Hand
2 (7) None Other
3 (10) Light Of The Moon
4 (8) Silverlinks