A nine-race programme on the Greyville turf on Monday – with many races featuring over-subscribed fields – is proof the game in KwaZulu-Natal is in good shape ahead of the winter season.
Visiting strings of horses are descending on the East Coast in force, as shown by the results at Scottsville on Sunday when Western Cape raiders annexed all three features on the card.
However, the home team is in good shape to hit back at Greyville on Easter Monday.
KZN “young gun” trainer Gareth van Zyl has a good chance of making a statement about local strength when he sends out the filly She’s A Keeper in Race 6, a FM74 Handicap over 1400m.
This daughter of Gotthegreenlight took time to mature and made her debut only as a four-year-old in December 2020, but she showed the value of patience as she arrived in peak fitness and justified betting support with a facile victory.
She followed up with a third, less than a length behind more experienced winner Big Sky Country at the tricky Scottsville track, before easily overturning that adversary at Greyville.
All three of those efforts were over 1200m, but She’s A Keeper will have no problem with the extra 1400m when jumping from the No 4 stall with champion jockey Warren Kennedy in tow.
The biggest challenge comes from Cape trainer Justin Snaith, but with a runner based at his KZN yard – the very local-sounding Umzinduzi.
This three-year-old filly – by sire of the moment Act Of War – has shown an appetite for racing since her debut in August last year, notching up two wins and three seconds, with two of those coming on this turf track.
Snaith is contemplating a good day in Durban and has flown up his stable jockey Richard Fourie for the meeting.
Apart from Umzinduzi, Fourie will be aiming for the winner’s circle in Race 1 with Umkhomazi and Race 7 with Mach Four.
Race 1: 4 Umkhomazi, 5 Bells And Whistles, 3 Love Is Blind, 1 Lady Of Lutetia
Race 2: 3 Essence, 4 Route Sixty Six, 7 Two For Tea, 13 Let’s Not Linger
Race 3: 5 Decorated, 2 Seattle Beat, 10 Cape Foulwind, 8 Diamond Master
Race 4: 15 Great Affair, 11 Origami, 6 The Appeal, 5 Jackinapot
Race 5: 3 To The Max, 2 Bell Jar, 1 Not Now Pussycat, 4 Tupelo Honey
Race 6: 4 She’s A Keeper, 1 Umzinduzi, 7 Hereinafter, 5 Casadoro
Race 7: 1 Mach Four, 3 Go Man Go, 10 Cavalieri, 7 Greenlighttoheaven
Race 8: 3 Big Sky Country, 9 Gayleactic Star, 1 Meet At The George, 4 Irish Belle
Race 9: 5 Star Choice, 1 Clock Stopper, 4 Someone Exciting, 11 Soiree
Pick 6: 3,5,6,11,15 x 2,3 x 1,4 x 1,3,10 x 1,3,4,9 x 1,4,5,11 (R960)
PA: 2,5 x 6,11,15 x 3 x 4 x 1,3 x 1,3,9 x 5 (R36)