TWO runners to have come out of the Cape Guineas and taken on older horses since arriving in KZN have come up short. Russian Rock and Rascallion have both run below expectations and although there may be excuses for both, their efforts could also be warning signs.
Cape sophomore form comes under the spotlight again at Hollywoodbets Greyville today where Lions Head and Look For Hounds face off against older runners in the Online Form Handicap, seventh race on the eight-race programme.
Rascallion ran no sort of race at Hollywoodbets Scottsville last Sunday and Vaughan Marshall will be looking for a better effort from Look For Hounds. Recently gelded, Look For Hounds finished with only one behind him in the Guineas but had the worst of the draw and was only seven lengths adrift of the winner, Russian Rock.
He steps up on the poly for the second time from the widest draw but took to the poly when finishing second on the Fairview surface at his previous start.
Outside of his Guineas effort his form was solid enough to suggest that he should be competitive but he has not been out since mid-December last year.
Lions Head has yet to run a bad race and also comes off a break. He did not contest the Guineas and in three starts beyond 1400m he came up short. This was probably behind his gelding and he has not been out since December.
However, he followed up his second on the Greyville poly with a facile maiden win on the turf next time out. That day he gave the impression that he was a colt with a bright future and he may still live up to that.
The year older Maitland Magic goes best over course and distance and can do better than his last effort on the turf, his first run back from a break. His poly form is excellent and he could prove the best of the older brigade that includes Via Salaria and Quattro Passi.
Let’s Not Linger looks a fairly safe banker in the first leg of the PA as she has some useful sprint form from tough draws. Although up in trip she has a better marble and the extra should not be a factor. Indomavel, who enjoyed the step up in trip last run and looks to be coming to hand, and Diamonds And Toads look the principal dangers.
The opening leg of the Pick 6 could prove tricky but Mystic Master has not missed a beat since being sent over a bit of ground and looks the part. Decorated has the worst of the draw but came in for long-shot betting support last run and failed narrowly. He looks the biggest threat to the selection. Seattle Beat and Koura look pick of the balance.
In the fourth, Quickstep Lady and Perfect Princess look the pick. Quickstep Lady has some useful Cape form and was close-up to a good sort in her local debut. Vaughan Marshall has two top contenders in Perfect Princess and Go Lightly but both have drawn wide and make their poly debuts.
In the fifth, Maussane takes a five-point drop in the ratings and although she still has a big weight she does have the best draw. Anmer Hall has been racing over further but she drops in trip with first time blinkers and on her best showing can feature. Heartseas is a juvenile taking on older fillies but did well over the trip last run and has a handy weight. Aalsmeer has a wide draw but has been knocking at the door and needs to be included in all exotics.
The sixth is a difficult race and it may pay to go wide in exotics. Ice Imperial looks a cut above this field and although top weight could prove good enough. Hereinafter met stronger last run but Marcus has stuck with the ride and she can feature prominently in this weaker company. Maria Carolina has shown signs of coming to hand and can feature from a good draw. Hot Money is never far back and should have a strong chance of finishing in the money again.
Plenty in with chances in the last. Window To Africa returns from a lengthy break but has put in two smart efforts on the poly against stronger and can feature prominently again. Beat It found her best form last run and gets another chance as she was due for stud after that last run. Arctic Princess has the worst of the draw but goes well this course and distance. Ignore her last run when dropping her rider at her last start. Suzi Woo was desperately unlucky last run when battling for a gap. Don’t leave her out of anything.