GLEN Kotzen has three chances of winning a R1-million race at Scottsville on Sunday and does not look to be without a hope of doing so.
In the BloodStock SA Million Sprint over 1200m he runs South Side and Shizam and in the BloodStock SA Million Mile he runs Royal Agree (headline photo).
South Side is a filly by Pathfork out of a Jallad twice-winning sprinter.
South Side won on debut over 1000m at Kenilworth back in March.
However, she pulled up sore and wasn’t ready in time for the KZN Yearling Sales Million on Vodacom Durban July day.
However, she has been doing well at Summerveld and Kotzen said she had put up a good gallop at Summerveld this week.
Five winners have come out of South Side’s maiden victory and considering Cape Town is the strongest racing centre in the country she must have a shout with Stuart Randolph up from what is by trends a plum draw of five.
Kotzen fancied Shizam for the KZN Yearling Sale Million, but she had to be scratched after attaining a cut leaving the parade ring. It turned out to be superficial and she was then fancied again for the Gr 2 Gold Circle Debutante over 1200m on eLan Gold Cup day after running a fair fifth to older horses two weeks earlier over the same course and distance. However, she faded tamely in the Debutante after being sent to the front on a day when the going was testing and horses were coming from off the pace.
Kotzen said, “She pinged the gates and then she over raced. I didn’t expect her to grab hold of the bit like that. We won’t let her go to the front this time.”
Kotzen expected a better effort with her settling behind horses and also believed she would prefer going down the straight.
She had excellent 1200m form in Cape Town and on a formline through China Pearl there is little between her and South Side. Derryl Daniels, who has a long association with the Kotzen yard and is one of the most underrated jockeys in the country, rides from a favourable draw of two.
Shizam has been accorded a merit rating of 82 by the handicapper, while South Side is the lowest rated horse in the race on 76. Officially they have a lot to do, but the crop has still got a long way to go before the true pecking order is established.
Royal Agree is a Scott Brothers-bred Mogok filly and one point in her favour is a clear liking for the track because second time out she found a strong finish from off the pace to win a Maiden Juvenile Plate for fillies over 1400m.
Kotzen said, “She is quite smart and improving but she has a terrible draw. She will have to be given a chance and will be running on.”
The Mile is not quite as strong as the Sprint on paper but off a 79 merit rating she does officially have a lot to do.