THE Highveld ranks in Saturday’s Gr1 Daily News over 2000m at Greyville have been depleted with the scratching of Like A Panther on Thursday morning, but Surcharge, Warrior’s Rest, Majestic Mambo and Alssakhra will ensure that the strong coastal contingent won’t have things their own way.

Surcharge (photo) is the best horse in South Africa not to have won a Gr1 race. As versatile as they come, he ran second in the three Triple Crown legs over 1600m, 1800m and 2450m respectively and is perfectly distance suited, though the track may pose a problem as he is a runner who takes his time to get into top gear.

Trainer Stuart Pettigrew told Turf Talk: “The track is a minor concern. At Greyville they start racing hard before they come to the home bend, there is often a gradual build-up from the 900m mark and sometimes the track throws the runners out wide. It’s an unusual track to run on for every horse, but if things go our way, Surcharge will be right there.

“If you look at the replay of the Secretariat Stakes, he was last with 350m to run and won going away. We’re hoping there’s a good pace and that he’ll get to his top speed in time and then they must watch out because he has been doing phenomenally well in work. He has not been affected by his Triple Crown campaign and he is fit and very well.”

Pettigrew said that Surcharge would be leaving Randjesfontein for Durban tomorrow morning.

Trainer Paul Peter’s runner Alssakhra is a speedy type who is likely to ensure that there is a pace on, which will suit Surcharge and indeed Majestic Mambo, the other talented Peter runner.

Peter commented: “Alssakhra is a strong front-running type and the course will suit him. There is not a lot I can say about Majestic Mambo because we all know he has the ability but whether he puts it in only time will tell. This will be his first race on a track other than Turffontein. What I can say is that he is as well as ever and that Callan Murray has come to work him. Now it’s up to them in the race.”

 Sean Tarry sends out Warrior’s Rest, perhaps the dark horse of the race because we don’t seem to have seen the best of him yet.

Warrior’s Rest has only had two runs since his third place in the 2017 Premier’s Champion Stakes to Eyes Wide Open, a run that showed his inherent ability. He will be racing beyond a mile for the first time.

Tarry said: “Yes, we do believe he has the ability but he’s had an in-and-out time of it so far. His preparation for this race has been good, however, he shows us he needs the extra ground but whether he will actually stay is not a given.

“Warrior’s Rest is by Western Winter from a Badger Land mare who has produced predominantly speed, though his half-sister Viva Maria won the Woolavington when she got away at Greyville and on that we can take our chances.”