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Bad draws can be overcome with a quick start and assertive riding tactics, just as the advantage of a seemingly favourable inside barrier in contests around the turn can be negated by a tardy jump and timid jockeyship. Charlene, Brett Crawford’s entry in Race 3 at Hollywodbets Durbanville is hung out at 10 in a 1250m sprint, far from ideal the way the track has been playing to pace-pressers, but she may be swift enough to get across and still dominate from the front.


Last time over 1400 at this course she only got nabbed late by promising filly, Windrunner and now turns back to a slightly shorter trip. Her penultimate was also encouraging when 3rd to Mia’s Harper – form which stands out against Maiden rivals.

Her main danger is well-drawn, older filly Look Forward who should get a good trip racing handy, though Charlene, quoted at 16/10, has the edge on pure ability.


A Thousand Kisses comes out of the same Maiden behind Mia’s Harper, and she can further frank that form-line in Race 2. The grey Master of My Fate filly raced upfront for much of the journey, only succumbing late in a neat debut. With natural improvement she will be hard to topple – hence an opening price of around even money. Grant van Niekerk rides; Justin Snaith is the conditioner.


Natyam is a live contender in race 7, slated for horses with net ratings of 94 and below. Gareth van Zyl is busily setting up a new base in the Cape and he’ll be hoping his Noble Tune gelding can continue a winning roll after scoring at his last two starts on the Greyville poly.


It’s a competitive 1800m event with a surfeit of handy types (Future Turn, Coronation Time, Impetuous & Quartermain), but Natyam was impressive when sauntering in over 1600m in mid-July and if he can transfer Durban poly form to the Durbanville turf course, then he rates a big runner under Richard Fourie.


Not only will Natyam have to stalk, then get past those front runners, but he will also need to stave off deep closers, Mucho Dinero and Royal Watch in what should be an intriguing tactical race.