AFTER a lengthy break to prepare for Champions Season, its back to Hollywoodbets Scottsville today. The switch to the turf and the country’s defining season on the horizon always sees the reappearance of some of the better horses.

Better horses generally lead to good racing but not always easier for punters who face a demanding card.

The seventh heads the card and the 1100m dash has attracted a useful field where battle honours will be fully earned. Glen Kotzen’s gelding Light That Loose is on the up and both recent wins have come on this course with some cut in the ground. He romped home last start over the trip and as there has been some rain about he should be well suited to the going.

Spydas Corner was not at his best without the blinkers last run and Duncan Howells was disappointed with that effort. The blinkers are back on today and he should give a better showing.  Filippo has come good in blinkers and was a comfortable winner in good company last time out when breaking the course record. He should be thereabouts again. Kayson has started favourite in his last four, disappointing in his last two. The straight course could see him back to best form.

But the list of possible winners does not stop there. Captain Oupie has been rested and gelded and may need this outing but is smart on his day. Wayward and Good Rhythm are others to consider.

Shane Humby is no fan of the poly so will have timed the preparation of his runners to coincide with the opening of the Scottsville track. But he has not made it easy.

Mr Fitz and Socrates are standout runner in the sixth and with top riders on both it’s a bit of a toss-up for punters.

The talented Mr Fitz gets the services of Lyle Hewitson but has the worst of the draw. However, has been close-up in his last two and should feature in a competitive handicap. Stable companion Socrates, Anton Marcus calling for the ride, seldom runs a bad race and was and was a touch unlucky to be narrowly beaten by the highly rated Guru’s Pride last outing. Stable jockey Keagan de Melo has shunned the ride on Williams Land, who gets blinkers for the first time, and rides Sir Michael who makes his local debut but has been racing over further. He is one to watch. 

Fanie Bronkhorst makes his first foray into KZN as a trainer and Coming In Hot could be an omen in the first but he will have to get past Gallic Chief who found market support on debut and was only caught late. That run should hold him in good stead. There are a number of first timers in the race so the betting is worth taking note off and Quiz Master has a blue-blood pedigree and with Marcus in the irons any market support must be respected.

Serino Moodley has picked up the ride on Civil Rights in the second after carded rider Ashton Arries took a heavy fall at Summerveld on Monday. Civil Rights won well second time of asking and looks to have some scope. Rock On Philly won well on debut and was well supported in the market while Aisling beat Civil Rights when the latter was making her debut and may not be able to confirm that form. Sea Of Tranquillity was on the moon on debut and is one to keep an eye on.

The third is a tricky race. Trumpet Voluntary ran well below expected last start but meets a weaker field here and should have a strong chance. Casimiro, Shamoosi and Grey Ocean are others to consider.

In the fifth Full Blast won well first run out of the maidens beating a useful field. He looks to have plenty of scope but will need to be at his best to beat a field packed with form. Al’s My Daddy is quick and showed signs of coming to hand when blinkered for the first time. With a four-claimer up he should be competitive. The fillies Diamonds And Pearls and Dancing Feather are both smart on their day and can put one over their male rivals.

In the sixth, Twice To Sydney has been close-up at her last two from wide draws. She is better off at the weights with the recently much improved Keep On Dancing and can turn the tables. Silver Maria comes off some useful Cape form that could prove a little stronger than currently rated.

In the last, Golden Trip makes her local debut in the seventh. She improved nicely second time out albeit in a work riders’ race. She meets little on note here. Diamond Girl makes her debut with stable rider Sean Veale jumping off Duchess Of Sussex. – Andrew Harrison