Nicci Garner: Mr Winsome was a late entry for the Vodacom Durban July next month and will need to win the Track And Ball Derby (Grade 3) over 2400m on Sunday in order to secure a berth in the country’s most famous race.
Trainer Dean Kannemeyer paid the Durban July entry fee for the four-year-old gelding early this week on the back of a good comeback run in the Betting World 1900 at Greyville last month.
Mr Winsome, who has his issues at the start, did not get away cleanly and was stone last entering the bend but started circling horses and then finished like an express train for third, two lengths behind Ten Gun Salute.
His most recent of five career wins came over this course and distance in his penultimate start, when beating Serissa by an impressive five lengths in a Pinnacle race in March.
Helderberg Blue, second in his last two races, over 2800m and 1800m respectively, and topweight Ovidio might be the right ones for Trifectas.
Witchcraft, winner of the Track And Ball Oaks last year, bids to follow in the hoofprints of Dylan’s Promise, who won the race two years running, in 2013 and 2014.
Witchcraft made all the running to win the 2400m Grade 3 race by 1.50 lengths last year and has only run twice since. A week later, she won a 1900m feature over 1900m at Greyville and was not seen out until 20 May this year.
She shortened in the betting for that 1600m race on the Inside track at Turffontein, but just needed the run over a distance too short and faded from disputing the lead to eighth.
She might just need one more run to peak.
That could leave Highveld raiders Girl On The Run and Patchit Up Baby fighting it out for top honours.
Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained Girl On The Run, who is drawn at No 9, is hugely consistent and was only caught late by Polyphonic in her comeback from a rest in the Gerald Rosenberg Stakes over 2000m at Turffontein last month. Six of these rivals were behind her and, although she meets them on worse terms at the weights, she has masses of scope for improvement.
Patchit Up Baby, who is trained by Ormond Ferraris, stayed on well when second to Silver Stripe, to whom she gave 8kg, in the Spool Express Handicap over 2450m at Turffontein. She is also not that well drawn.