Viv Greybe: The on-off running of the Listed KwaZulu-Natal Stakes could finally be decided on Wednesday at the Greyville Polytrack – after a change of venue and surface.
And while the changes might present challenges to horses, jockeys and trainers things will not be much better for punters.
They will have consider the effect of the Greyville course layout and surface and to wade through a mountain of scratchings. Scratchings will be accepted until 7.30am in the morning, so a last check is a must.
Then there’s the matter of ensuring you have the right information. Today’s racing is the remainder of the Scottsville card from Sunday – and not the Greyville Wednesday Polytrack meeting – that has been moved to Friday night.
So far the most important scratchings for the KZN Stakes appear to be Sommerlied and Vision To Kill with the Justin Snaith-trained Jo’s Bond still our main hope.
She is long overdue a ninth win and her last win was in this feature event last year when she scored fluently despite a slow start and being hindered by a slipped saddle.
She was not disgraced in her subsequent five runs when carrying big weights in Graded events – the best of which was a fast-finishing 2.75-length fourth to champion Carry On Alice in the 1200m SA Fillies Sprint (Grade 1) at Scottsville which she followed up with three unplaced runs at Kenilworth.
However, expect a bold bid from consistent three-time winner Neptune’s Rain (Anton Marcus) out of Duncan Howells stable. This three-year-old has yet to finish out of the money at this course in six runs – two of which were wins.
She was a smart winner in her penultimate outing at Greyville and then followed up with a fast-finishing third in a minor feature event over 1000m at Scottsville. The booking of top-flight Marcus would infer the filly is ready after a three-month layoff.
Also to be included in Pick 6 and Jackpot bets is Drier-trained Vine Street Star with apprentice Diego de Gouveia aboard. This four-year-old posted a fine 1000m double at the Greyville Polytrack but can be excused for being unplaced next time as she was in need of the outing after a rest.
This she confirmed in her subsequent outing when coming from last to run a head second over the same course and distance with De Gouveia up again.
Next best are Statute and Captain’s Girl.