Viv Greybe: Port Elizabeth-based trainer Jacques Strydom holds a winning hand with two raiders, Desert Wisdom (Karl Zechner) and Frikkie (Marco Van Rensburg), in Race 7 and top event, the R110,000 Northern Cape Stayers Handicap at Flamingo Park on Monday.
A one-time winner in Cape Town, four-year-old Desert Wisdom has shown remarkable improvement in five runs since arriving in Port Elizabeth.
Racing exclusively over 2200m on the Polytrack at Fairview, this gelded son of Querari followed up a close second with a smart double victory. Then he was narrowly defeated by Frikkie, who gave him 0.5kg, in a MR 72 Handicap.
However, in Desert Wisdom’s next outing, teamed up with Zechner for the first time and clashing with Frikkie at level weights, he was a decisive winner of the Lakeside Handicap. Frikkie was three lengths back in third place.
It points to a win for Desert Wisdom as he is 2.5kg better off with Frikkie. But do not dismiss five-time winner Frikkie, who will try to win this race for the second year running.
In the Lakeside Handicap he checked 1000m out and lost position, but was doing his best work late. With better luck, the consistent five-year-old will be dangerous and must be included in Pick 6 and Jackpot bets.
Others to be considered in Trifecta and Quartet bets are Saint Marco and Manouche, as both have been holding form well. Next best are Lebeoana and Two Gunsy.