Racing in KZN is taking flak from some quarters, mainly due of the large number of recent Pick 6 carryovers and other big dividends. Accusations range from race fixing to crooked jockeys and trainers and other unsavoury practices.

Anyone familiar with the intricacies of the sport knows that these accusations are mostly hogwash. Racing in KZN is highly competitive at the best of times but the modest quality of horses racing in this province at this time of the season is probably the root cause of the many shock results.

These horses are mostly not competitive during the high season, some due to a plain case of the slows, others with recurring niggles that in some cases lead to inconsistent performances.

Some advice to exasperated exotic bet punters is to structure your bets. Be wary of false favourites. Dissect the form of the so-call ‘good things’ and if it doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny and is also ‘light’ in the betting, pasop.

A banker or two always helps ease the financial outlay but also the occasional ‘field’ option in what is perceived as a difficult race, guarantees survival in that leg – and 10% of a million-rand pot is not a bad return.

In short, give it some thought.

Racing at Hollywoodbets Greyville today is another that will test punter’s skills.

It may be a case of take the plunge and know your fate early or load up in the opening leg of the Pick 6 where Policy Target will never get an easier chance to shed his maiden. Andre Nel’s runner has finished runner-up in all three of his local outings and should get it right this time around. Dangers! Zero Rated was not far back at his penultimate start, finishing a length behind Policy Target, and the experiment with blinkers failed next time out. Blinkers come off.  Golden Duck switches to the poly but has been consistent and stays the trip well. He is a possible threat along with Liaoluo Bay who was a distant third last run but can feature in this line-up.

Shastina has put in two promising efforts since her maiden success for Gavin van Zyl and although she does not have the best of draws, she should be competitive in the opening leg of the first jackpot. The draw is a concern but she does have a 4kg claimer up and two who look to be among her biggest rivals are drawn just inside. Sacred Ibis appears to be regaining her best form while Fire Faerie was two lengths behind Shastina at their last meeting. However, Shastina is 3.5kg better off at the weights given the apprentice allowance and both were drawn wide in that race.

Another open affair faces punters in the fifth. Justfortheepenny has come to hand again and was close-up in a useful field last outing. With a claiming apprentice aboard should make another bold showing. Purple Powahouse will have his supporters as he has been in mustard form of late. He got a six-point rise in the handicap for his last win but steps up in trip and could go in again.

Lowly fillies and mare’s handicaps are always tricky and the seventh is no different. Lady Legend made major improvement when fitted with a tongue-tie and did well to go all the way to hold off the well thought of Vihaan’s Pie. A 2.5kg claimer up sees her face this field on similar weight terms and from a good draw she can go in again. Marsanne has the worst of the draw but does come from off the pace so this should not trouble her. She was only a length off Lady Legend last start and can turn the tables. Maiden’s Prayer has been a little disappointing but was only three lengths back to Lady Legend. She now tries blinkers which could see her fight this one out.

Clinton Binda makes the trip from the Highveld with King’s Road whose last two wins have been on this track, the last on the turf, the previous on the poly. He has patchy form but nearly made all in his last Vaal start and has a 4kg claimer up to help. Valiente, Bernie’s Dream and Hampton Court are others to consider but that may be a ‘field’ option for the Pick 6.

Gary Rich does wonder with his small string and Arctic Princess can round off the meeting. She has come good for her new stable and is unbeaten back in blinkers. She was a comfortable winner last start and can go in again. Casadoro was a recent easy maiden winner from the worst of the draw while Foxy Lady has another poor draw to contend with but was running on nicely behind Arctic Princess at her last outing and can feature again.