Mike Moon: Veteran Cape Town trainer Harold Crawford is on a high after one of the best wins of his career – the recent triumph of his gelding Perovskia in the Drill Hall Stakes at Greyville.
Form and confidence count for a lot in racing, so the “other” Crawford stable should be watched.
As the trainer mulls his one-horse KwaZulu-Natal winter campaign, he saddles up another gelding, Spectra Force, at tomorrow’s Kenilworth meeting.
Race 7, a MR 76 Handicap over 1400m, tops the eight-race card and has attracted a competitive field, with good arguments to be made for several runners. But Spectra Force looks like the one most due a victory after two very close seconds in his last two outings.
Those results came after blinkers were fitted. Prior to that he had won just one of 13 starts and had shown ability without having the cutting edge needed to go in again. However, the equipment tweak has given this son of Royal Air Force some focus and, under Greg Cheyne and jumping from No 7 gate, will surely have a say in the finish.
Others who should be there, too, are Hotel Cipriani and Silver Master.
The former, from the powerful Justin Snaith stable, is a two-time winner from nine starts and a course-and-distance winner and second. He has barely run a bad race and his fifth last time out can be put down to the unfamiliar surroundings of Durbanville.
Silver Master is another consistent performer and comes off a win over tomorrow’s distance. Jumping from No 1 stall, he should go close for trainer Candice Bass-Robinson and jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe.
The likes of River Cam and King Of Aces are dangers. A “lurker” to toss into bigger Trifectas and Quartets is Paddy Kruyer-trained Mtoroshanga. He is a speedy fellow and the opening 16-1 looks a very generous price.
For the punter seeking value, Giant Flag in Race 8 is a good option.
Horses with the best form in this Maiden Plate have wide draws. Blue Roller, Grand Silvano and Carlas Mambo top the boards but they start from the 16, 15 and 14 gates respectively.
Giant Flag, priced up at 8-1 in the opening betting, lines up in the seventh stall at the 1400m start. His form is not shabby and jockey Greg Cheyne knows his way around that Kenilworth bend, not to mention a thing or two about dictating pace in a race.