Viv Greybe: Four-year-old Notacademicatall, out of Sarel von Willingh Smit’s stable, was a beaten favourite last time but should recoup losses at Flamingo Park today when teamed up with maximum-claiming apprentice Daylon Lerena in Race 6 and top event, a Pinnacle Stakes over 1400m.
His last win was four runs back when he streaked home an eight-length winner in a MR 88 Handicap over the course and distance. This gelding held form in his next two outings when up in class and a runner-up in Pinnacle contests over 1600m.
However, he can be excused for having finished a 1.6-length third in his subsequent run when carrying 60kg in a Pinnacle Stakes, as he found 1800m a bit too far and also had the disadvantage of very wide draw. This four-time winner will be tough to beat this time when Lerena’s 4kg claim reduces his carded weight to 52.5kg and having a good inside draw.
Notacademicatall’s principal rival is Stephanie Miller-trained 13-time winner Red Special with Ryan Munger aboard. Their last clash saw Red Special beat Notacademicatall into second place by 7.25 lengths. Red Special will have decidedly more to do this time as he had won twice since and will now be 5.5kg worse off with Notacademicatall.
Next best is three-time winner Ahead Of Traffic (Muzi Yeni) and six-time winner Chief Sioux (Mathew Thackeray) – both out of Corrie Lensley’s stable.
Ahead Of Traffic was a 1.5-length runner-up in his most recent outing in a 1800m Pinnacle Stakes, narrowly ahead of third-placed Notacademicatall.
Chief Sioux, who has the advantage of the best draw, was in the money in his last five starts – two of which were wins.
Turning to the minor events, Corrie Lensley-trained Space Agent (Muzi Yeni) could get punters away to winning start in Race 1, a Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1400m. This former KwaZulu-Natal colt showed encouraging progress in his two runs at Flamingo Park, and with the advantage of pole position looks ready to strike.
Making most appeal of the others are Villa Royale, Vixen, Max Mocha and Gus.
Another who could have punters in the payout queue is Yadav Singh-trained The Matador who steps out with Tristan Godden aboard in Race 2, a Maiden Plate (F&M) over 1400m. This three-year-old Australian-bred filly has shown strong pace in KZN and could carry that through to victory on sand for the first time.
The pick of the remainder are Riems Cathedral, Ante Meridiem, Kanishiwa, Kehila and U For Me.