Jack Milner: Once again, the R1-million Computaform Sprint looks a tough test for punters. This 1000m dash up the Turffontein straight is highly competitive and over this distance a slow start, any error in judgment and a forced switch could cost any horse his chances.
It comes as no surprise that Betting World have priced up at 5-1 the field. Topping their boards is Sean Tarry-trained Trip To Heaven, with stable companion Chimichuri Run next best at 6-1. Trip To Heaven has been a wonderful servant to his connections and it would be a very poignant moment if he were to win his first Grade 1 race on Saturday. He has a tendency to lose ground at the start and that has proved costly for the seven-year-old gelding.
The concern for jockey Lyle Hewitson has to be the draw. In recent weeks, the inside draw up the Turffontein straight has not left runners in the best going and Trip To Heaven jumps from barrier No 2.
With no rain predicted, perhaps the dryer conditions will help those with low-number draws. If the going does turn out to be better on the outside there is a strong possibility that Joey Ramsden’s charge, Attenborough, could pull off the double. This five-year-old son of Western Winter won this race last year and Ramsden sent him up early to prepare him. He finished a 1.30-lengths second to Trip To Heaven in a warm up event but if the outside draws do prove better, Attenborough is nicely placed in No 16 draw. S’manga Khumalo rides.
Speedpoint, stable companion to Attenborough, finished a 2.20-length third last year as a three-year-old and as a four-year-old could perform even better this year. Ramsden’s engagement of Richard Fourie shows intent and he gives a third option to punters as he is drawn in the middle of the track at No 11.
He also had a warm-up race but finished fifth, 2.90 lengths behind Trip To Heaven. Muzi Yeni, who rode the Var colt in that race, felt Speedpoint needed the run and he should improve further, especially as he is now 1.5kg better off with both Trip To Heaven and Attenborough.
It is interesting that Mardi Gras will be running at Greyville tonight instead of this race but Prince Of Kahal, runner-up to Mardi Gras in the Grade 2 Senor Santa, will be taking his place.
Like Mardi Gras, he is probably better over a little further but Yeni, who is leading the jockeys’ race at the moment, is riding like a demon and this gelding could contest the finish.
Others with chances include Van Halen, who trainer Tobie Spies says is very well but he is concerned the 1000m is too short, Search Party, Pacific Trader and the runner who got in as first reserve, Clever Guy.
To take a bet go to www.tabonline.co.za or www.bettingworld.co.za