Brendan Gaillard – While it is usually trainer Alan Greeff who commands most attention when studying a Fairview racecard, it may pay to follow his chief rival, Gavin Smith, at today’s Valentine’s Day meeting, Friday 14 February.
Pomodoro colt Bhaltair represents Smith in Race 5 and with jockey Marco van Rensburg up, is weighted to win.
Bhaltair was a good winner on debut in soft going over 1400m at this course in April 2019. He was only out-run late in his next start by Foreign Source in a decent field where the form has held up well.
We never saw the three-year-old colt until last month when unplaced behind Purest Bliss but he is entitled to have needed that run.
An unplaced crack at the R5-million CTS 1600 in Cape Town followed and although never a danger, he finished only 6.95 lengths behind Count Jack.
That was not a bad run at all and back at home and in a Novice Plate, he could be hard to oppose. The step up to 1800m should suit him.
Smith could spring a surprise in Race 6 with the filly Tattooed Rocker. This daughter of Dynasty has been a disappointment in the Eastern Cape but hopefully will regain her form now she is back on the turf.
Her three runs on the Polytrack were clearly too bad to be true. The outcome of those three poor performances has seen her merit rating drop from 70 to 64 and she has had success off this mark last August when a 3.25 lengths winner.
It will not be an easy task for the Smith-trained filly Lady Of Choice to beat the Greeff charge Ascending Heights in Race 2, but we could get a dividend out of the Swinger.
Lady Of Choice makes her local debut and this Wylie Hall filly only tired late in her last run in the Western Cape. She faces weaker opposition this time.
Ascending Heights lost her penultimate race in the boardroom and a slipped saddle probably cost her victory last time out, so she is the one to beat.