Bonginkosi Nkosi: Gokhan Terzi-trained Oden is running over his favourite distance and looks the runner to beat at Turffontein on Tuesday.
Oden takes his name of that of a Japanese fishcake stew, and while he has not been the most appetising – or consistent -runner for punters since relocating from Zimbabwe, Oden was on an impressive four-run winning streak between March and November 2019.
His most emphatic victory was undoubtedly his debut on the Highveld circuit, when surprisingly showing no signs of ring-rust following a five-month layoff, beat State Trooper by 1.25 lengths over 1200m at the Vaal.
This son of Oratorio disappointed in his next three appearances, but class is permanent.
He proved this to be true when – after losing a length out the starting stalls – he produced a baffling turn of foot in latter stages to finish second behind a very good horse in All Of Me, beaten just 0.25 lengths.
All Of Me went on frank that form line, which only strengthens Oden’s chance of winning Race 6, a MR 96 Handicap over 1200m on the Turffontein Inside track.
Oden is clearly most lethal over this distance. His last four efforts over it boast four victories and a second.
If jockey Gavin Lerena can get Terzi’s charge to reproduce any of those performances, he will show main danger Battleoftrafalgar a clean pair of heels.
Wide draws can be detrimental at this venue so Oden will benefit greatly from the fact he is smartly drawn at No 5 in this 10-horse field as opposed to his main danger’s No 9.
Conditioner Paul Peter sends out a two-pronged attack – Promise and Florida Quays – in Race 7, a FM 96 Handicap over 1450m.
Both can win but jockey arrangements suggest Promise is the stable elect because Peter’s right-hand man, Warren Kennedy has opted to ride this daughter of Pathfork.
She simply does not know how to run a poor race, especially under Kennedy. In their last five starts together, they have bagged four wins and a second.
Considering Promise was returning from a short break last time out, it is best you forgive and forget that fourth-place finish. Now a fitter horse and carrying 3kg less than her stable companion, she should resume winning ways.
This is Florida Quays’ first run after a 66-day stint off the racetrack so just like Promise did in her penultimate effort, Florida Quays may fall victim to ring-rust.
A great Eachway bet on the card is Miss Khalifa in Race 8, a FM Divided Handicap over 1450m.
Although this three-time winner can prove costly at times, she always tries hard and has only run unplaced once in her last eight starts.
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