Ken Nicol: This is Port Elizabeth’s biggest weekend of the year with two days of excellent racing on Friday and Saturday.
The Saturday meeting features a Pick 6 megapool, with a R300,000 carryover and an estimated total of R1.4 million.
The Listed World Sports Betting East Cape Derby worth R350,000 on the turf over 2400m on Saturday is one of Port Elizabeth’s showpiece races – and offers up a good Eachway value bet in the form of Justin Snaith’s Sabbatical.
The gelding has done little wrong since moving to PE and stayed on pleasingly for second in the Derby Plate over 400m shorter a few weeks ago.
He should get the extra distance and is weighted to turn it around with winner Kimberley Star. The main local challenge may come from the two fillies at the bottom of the weights, Widow’s Lamp and Queen Forever.
If official merit ratings are to be believed they should come home many lengths clear of the balance.
As always, Cape Town raiders have to be respected, and if he stays the trip Andre Nel’s Run Red could be a danger.
Brett Crawford’s American Landing has no stamina doubts and went close on his post-maiden appearance, while the other Snaith runner, Streetfighting Man, rises sharply in class after taking nine runs to break his maiden.
Another listed race is the Sun Boardwalk Dahlia Plate over 1200m, also on Saturday.
Madame Speaker looks a potential nap bet as she crushed the colts in the East Cape Nursery a fortnight ago over this course and distance and is weighted to beat them all again.
Born A Bully would stand out as her main threat, as he had excuses last time and should get a lot closer.
In term of best Win bets, another Snaith runner, Young Hopeful, stands out in Race 4. She produced two good places on turf after arriving in PE, before a disappointing Polytrack effort last time after missing the break.
She went off at 9-20 on that occasion and is likely to be short once again, but her followers should recoup their losses as she meets a very poor bunch.
Another likely favourite with strong claims is Starburst Galaxy in Race 9. She trounced most of her main rivals here last time and meets them on identical weight terms under these Pinnacle Plate conditions.
The drop to 1000m could bring Pepper Oak into it, while further down the weights San’s Dancer was an impressive winner first time out and is obviously rated as she goes straight into this class.