Some horses love it, some horses hate it, most are not fazed by it. That question will be foremost in many punter’s minds when trying to sort the form for the fifth at Hollywoodbets Greyville today.
Caliente, Guru’s Pride and Duc D’Orange have scored all their success on the synthetic surface. Trip To Africa’s last two wins have been on the poly while Mount Anderson boast a three from four wins on the surface.
Dean Kannemeyer has never been one to shy away from running his horses on the poly and leading up to his recent Christmas Handicap victory, all three of Mount Anderson’s wins were on the poly.
He has only once finished out of the money in seven outings on the inner track and although he takes on a few seemingly confirmed poly specialists he can more than hold his own jumping from his inside gate on a surface that clearly does not faze him.
Early in his career Mount Anderson looked to have a three-year-old feature somewhere in his locker but it took the Christmas Handicap win for him to earn some long-expected black type. He was at the bottom of the weights for that race but put in a sustained finish to get the better of another light-weight Mr Fitz who has since gone on to frank that form.
Mount Anderson currently stacks up as a solid handicapper and he will be fully tested this afternoon.
Regular pilot Keagan de Melo is back from his month-long stint in Cape lockdown and is back riding on home ‘poly’.
Caliente claimed the scalp of Mount Anderson when last they met, up with the pace throughout and holding Mount Anderson’s challenge. Mount Anderson is marginally better off at the weights this time around but there should not be much between the two.
Caliente has since twice been undone by Trip To Africa who he meets again today. Duncan Howells has always had a high opinion of Trip To Africa but it has not all been smooth sailing with the gelding. However, he now appears to be fulfilling his promise and front-running tactics and the poly seems to be his preference.
He only faded late in the recent Michael Roberts Handicap over 1750m, but his previous two successes were over today’s course and distance.
Apprentice Thabiso Gumede appears to get on well with the gelding and the pair are again expected to call the tune.
All four of Guru’s Pride’s win have been on the poly and recent showings suggest that he if finding his better form. The blinkers come off and he is 3.5kg better off with Trip To Africa on their last meeting.
The blinkers go on Kapen Pride, another poly specialist, but riding arrangements point to Mount Anderson as the stable elect although Stuart Randolph is riding with a lot of confidence of late.
Al’s My Daddy lost the fight to stave off the attentions of the vet and has his first run as a gelding for a new stable. He had shown some potential when in the care of Adam Marcus at Milnerton and came off a long break after winning first up out of the maidens. In his final start for Marcus he was sent to the front over 1950m and faded late.
He has not been out since November but jumps straight into a ten-furlong contest on a quick surface so the indications are that Gareth van Zyl has his charge firing.
However, he is not one to bank on and the consistent Run To Denmark, Jack Of Hearts, Teichman and Arrow’s Mark are all worth closer scrutiny.
Pick 6 bankers on today’s card are like hen’s teeth but a quick double with Alwaysonmymind and Irish Belle in the first two races could help boost the wallet.
Alwaysonmymind was narrowly beaten in two starts since being fitted with blinkers and Donovan Dillion seems to have chosen her ahead of what looks to be her most likely danger, Good Girl.
Irish Belle ran up a string of seconds before shedding her maiden against males last time out. She is quick and if she holds form in her poly debut, she could prove difficult to catch.
goldcircle.co.za – Andrew Harrison