Viv Greybe: Alan Greeff-trained Fire In The Belly has a bright chance to claim top honours at Fairview on Friday when teamed up Greg Cheyne in Race 7 and main event, the Lakeside Handicap (Non-Black Type) over 2400m.
This five-year-old has been threatening a sixth-career win at this course where, three runs back he was a creditable sixth out of 14 in the 2000m Algoa Cup. He can be considered unlucky in the running next time when he carried 61kg and finished a two-length fifth in a 2400m Pinnacle Stakes, as he was slow and was also cramped for galloping room.
MJ Byleveld took over from Cheyne in the gelding’s subsequent outing when a game 0.75-length third to Go Direct in a 2000m Pinnacle Stakes. He should turn the tables on Go Direct as he will be 1kg better off this time. Cheyne also knows what is required as he was aboard in three of the five-year-old’s wins.
However, Tara Laing-trained six-time winner Go Direct (Chase Maujean) deserves the utmost respect as that win was not out of turn. With the advantage of pole position he will not go down without a fight.
Though up in class, expect a bold bid from three-time winner Evolver out of Gavin Smith’s stable with Muzi Yeni up. This four-year-old followed up three encouraging placed runs with a gutsy win under 59.5kg in a 2400m MR 72 Handicap at this course where he flashed up from last after a slow start.
Next best are Frikkie, Sheet Weaver and Plano.
Greeff and Cheyne could also score in Race 3 with Hidden Power who contests a 1400m Maiden Plate. This filly comes off a promising last run when switched from the Polytrack to this course and finishing third out of 15 over 1200m. This well-bred filly will relish stepping up the distance.
The combination rates a standout bet with Delia’s Delight in Race 4, a MR 80 Handicap (F&M) over 1400m. This three-time winner had Wayne Agrella up in her last two runs when posting a gutsy close victory over 1200m which was followed up with a resounding 8.75-length win in a 15-strong field over the course and distance. With Cheyne called on the four-year-old filly should complete the hat-trick.
Greeff and Cheyne could come to light in Race 5 with two-time winner Damaraland who steps out in a 1400m Graduation Plate. This mare justified favouritism with Cheyne up four runs back when a decisive winner over 1300m. Cheyne missed the ride in the five-year-old’s subsequent runs, but with him reunited the mare should be in the winner’s enclosure.
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