Viv Greybe: Top-flight jockey Anton Marcus, who made six visits to the winner’s enclosure in his last two meetings at Greyville, has a bright chance to improve on that tally on Friday night on the Polytrack with an outstanding book of rides on an eight-event card.
He looks poised to strike in Race 1 on the Gauteng raider El Sereno out of Johan Janse van Vuuren’s stable in a 1400m Maiden Plate. This three-year-old comes off a promising second in a big field with Calvin Habib aboard over 1450m at Turffontein. The gelding rates the best bet on the card with the advantage of pole position.
Marcus will be tough to beat on Alistair Gordon-trained two-time winner Antony Hotspur who steps out in Race 2, a 1400m MR 82 Handicap. Marcus was aboard five runs back when a decisive maiden winner over 1200m at Greyville. The gelding followed up with a gutsy win over the course and distance and confirmed his current well-being with a head fourth over 1200m at Scottsville.
Van Vuuren has called on the services of Marcus for Torrey Pines who looks the part in Race 4 a 1200m Maiden (F&M) contest. The four-year-old was twice a runner-up over the course and distance. She can be excused for finishing third in her most recent outing at the Vaal as there was a report that she was not striding out freely.
Dean Kannemeyer-trained Savea (Marcus) could prove too good in Race 5, a 1000m MR 72 Handicap. The gelding comes off two promising close thirds after being gelded and with the advantage of a good inside draw this three-year-old should crack his second career win.
Van Vuuren-trained Mademoiselle (Marcus) looks a stand-out bet in Race 6, a 1000m MR 68 Handicap (F&M). This three-time winner was a gallant short-head second last time when attempting a hat-trick over 1000m at Turffontein. The four-year-old is unlikely to miss this time when having a favourable inside draw.
Dennis Drier-trained Illuminate (Marcus) should justify favouritism in Race 8, a 1900m MR 72 Handicap. This two-time winner followed up two inspiring thirds over the course and distance with a resounding four-length win under 61kg over the same course and distance.
A suggested TAB Double for this meeting is 5 El Sereno (Race 1) with 1 Torrey Pines (Race 4).