DIEGO DE GOUVEIA
Bonginkosi Nkosi: Jockey Diego de Gouveia recently rode his first Grade 1 winner and is most likely going to boost his 9.52% win strike rate when he reunites with Pick 6 banker Oona for Highveld conditioner Stuart Pettigrew in Sunday’s Race 5, a Maiden Plate over 1600m on the Greyville Polytrack.
She was slow out the gates in her first performance in KwaZulu-Natal and was two-from-last passing the 400m marker.
But the filly then produced the most impressive turn of foot very late to go down as the unluckiest of losers, beaten a rapidly diminishing 0.10 lengths into second place by Genereight over 1400m at this track.
And it did not help that she was poorly drawn at No 9 in an 11-horse field.
The manner in which Oona finished off her race suggests she’ll relish the extra 200m of this contest – plus it appears this Duke Of Marmalade three-year-old has all in her favour – a plum No 1 draw and she will benefit from the fact she tops the best-weighted column, shouldering bottom-weight of 57kg.
That is 3kg less than her main danger Solsbury Hill from the Alyson Wright stable.
He sparked noteworthy improvement in his most recent offering when finishing a commendable second behind Trust In Gold, and much like Oona should prove most effective over this distance so perhaps take a boxed Swinger or Exacta featuring the pair.
Following two consecutive close-up seconds, beaten the whisker margin of 0.05 lengths both times under Warren Kennedy, it appears the Gareth van Zyl-trained Valeriana is a worthy BiPot banker when she lines up in Race 1, a Maiden Plate over 1000m.
Prior to those performances she finished third in three consecutive starts so you’re almost guaranteed an honest showing, win or lose.
The jockey-trainer combination of Mark Khan and Duncan Howells are in sparkling form and should pose the main danger with Cosmic Cutter, who ran an absolute cracker when nabbed on the line by News Stream at Scottsville over 1200m last time. This Lateral colt is also weighted to win so warrants the utmost respect.
Champion jockey Lyle Hewitson should be seen in the winner’s enclosure with Making Waves following the running of Race 3, a FM 87 Handicap over 1000m.
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