Stay close to champs at Fairview

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Stay close to champs at Fairview

JIKA

Viv Greybe: Small tricky fields are the order of the day at the Fairview Polytrack on Friday, but the Port Elizabeth champion trainer-jockey combination of Alan Greeff and Greg Cheyne should get punters away to a winning start with Piazza Del Campo in Race 1, a Maiden Plate (F&M) over 1200m.

This three-year-old was unplaced in her first two outings when lacking experience at the start and badly away. However, when Cheyne was called on for the filly’s subsequent run, she was away on level terms and was a fast-finishing second in a field of 15 at the Polytrack over 1200m. With confidence gained from that run, she is unlikely to miss this time.

Race 2 could go to Yvette Bremner-trained In The Navy with national champion Lyle Hewitson aboard in a 1300m Maiden Plate. The three-year-old has improved with each run – especially last time when fitted with blinkers and narrowly beaten over the course and distance. With a good inside draw, the gelding will be tough to beat.

Ultra-consistent two-time winner Jika (Cheyne) looks the part in Race 4, a 1300m Graduation Plate. This former Gauteng five-year-old was a close second in his two runs at the Polytrack with Cheyne up and the combination should recoup the losses this time.

Greeff has a bright chance to strike in Race 5 with one-time winner Al’s Bells who teams up with 4kg claiming apprentice Tejash Juglall in a MR 66 Handicap (F&M) over 1000m. The four-year-old has made steady improvement recently and last time, ridden by Juglall, ran on stoutly to finish a head second at the Polytrack.

Cheyne could have punters in the payout queue in Race 8, the final event, when teamed up with Greeff-trained Studio Blues in a MR 70 Handicap (F&M) over 1600m. Cheyne was aboard in the filly’s last two outings when she completed a 1200m double at the Polytrack with strong finishes. The extra distance this time should see her too good once more.

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