Viv Greybe: Dennis Bosch-trained Sir Bernadini has the credentials to claim top honours on the Greyville Polytrack on Wednesday when he steps out with Anton Marcus in Race 5, a Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m.
This four-year-old has the distinction of three wins and five places in just eight starts – two of which were wins at the Polytrack. Marcus was aboard the Australian import only once and that was on debut – when the horse was trained by Gareth van Zyl and was a smart maiden winner on the Polytrack over 1400m. Anthony Delpech had the ride next time when the gelding completed the course and distance double.
He held form well in his subsequent runs, winning once and placed five times. Then, rested for three months, he returned with an encouraging 2.75-length win in a barrier trial. Coming off a similar break, the ultra-consistent gelding will be raring to go and looks on target for his fourth career win.
Expect a strong challenge from four-time winner Gunner out of Paul Gadsby’s stable with apprentice Eric Ngwane up. The combination deserves the utmost respect in attempting a course and distance hat-trick.
Another four-time winner who is in with claims is Duncan Howells-trained Legend with Mark Khan in the saddle. The five-year-old has been sliding down the merit-rating scale, and any further improvement on his last run when he was third in a 1600m Pinnacle Stakes should have him in the final call.
Also worthy of consideration is five-time winner Kahula (Warren Kennedy) who will have her first run since joining Paul Lafferty’s stable. Two runs back, this mare was a decisive winner of the KwaZulu-Natal Breeders Series over this course and distance. She was not up to scratch next time when sent off favourite again and finishing well down the field. She has scope for vast improvement this time, coming off a three-month break.
Marcus could also come to light in the minor events aboard two bright prospects out of Brett Crawford’s yard.
The first of these is three-year-old Ultra Magnus in Race 2, a Novice Plate over 1200m. This three-year-old colt was a resounding winner on debut over the course and distance and the combination should make it two in a row.
The same team have a good chance to follow up with Cruz Giovanni in Race 4, a Maiden Plate for three-year-olds over 1600m.
This gelding went off friendless in the betting on debut but ran on stoutly from the worst draw to finish a promising second – and that was despite a report that he had lacked experience in the running. With Marcus called on and having the advantage of a good inside draw, it all points to a visit to the winner’s enclosure.