Skip to main content
  • Written by Mark van Deventer

Gentleman Joe is running consistently well without reward since returning to action in August, and he gets another chance to crack the code to Number 1 box in Race 5, a Cape C Stakes over 2000m at Hollywoodbets Durbanville. Jockey Corne Orffer has positional options on the Gimmethegreenlight gelding who can either race handy or come from off the pace. Given the way the Hollywoodbets Durbanville track is running, going handy seems a better tactical move in a short field where main rivals Epikleros, Exceeder and Avignon prefer to press the pace. Andre Nel’s entry is no star, but he fits just right at this class level. A repeat of any of his last three tries would see him go mighty close, so he’s the percentage call at early quotes of 2/1.


Another versatile sort that can get the run of the race is Icy Blast in Race 7, a Cape B Stakes dash over 1000m. Here Richard Fourie can work out a stalking trip on Vaughan Marshall’s promising three-year-old gelding, who could have a significant class edge over some speedy older rivals, hence skinny odds of 13/10 offered in early trade.


Icy Blast ran with credit at his penultimate start where he took on extremely talented contemporaries Outlaw King, Tail of the Comet and Ready to Charge. He showed sustained pace that day before succumbing by 1.2 lengths. He was not disgraced when a similar margin behind very smart sprinter October Morn at his seasonal bow a month ago at this track, and building on either of those efforts would make him a tough nut to crack. Bluff on Bluff was noted running on strongly in that October Morn contest so rates a chance too, but luck is needed to win from wide draws in sprints at this bendy, fast-running circuit. Others to consider for cover perms are steady performer, Barney McGrew and lightly weighted, Tough Terrain who woke up behind Teflon Man after a layoff and whose only win came second up after rest.


Tres Chic can get punters off to a profitable start in Race 1, a Maiden Plate for Fillies and Mares over 1250m. Here Grant van Niekerk will need all his race-riding skills and flair to overcome gate 8 but the indications are that will be possible. Last time when similarly drawn wide, Tres Chic raced prominently in the one- off position and kept on gamely all the way down the 600m straight before yielding by only a lip to School Policy. That was a neat try (reopposing, Quick Trip was outrun two lengths back in fourth) and the developing, daughter of Gimmethegreenlight can open her account at odds of around 28/10.


Tequila Sky, (3.25 lengths off follow-up winner, Japanese Rose) Listentotheocean and Nile the Boss (3.2 lengths adrift of Princess Izzy, who went in again when dead-heating on Saturday) are other serious threats in a deep Maiden which gets the Tuesday afternoon program under way at 12h55.


Time for Love (ran close last time to the horse that dead-heated with Princess Izzy – Fatal Gem) and Lickety Split should suffice for Bipot purposes in Race 2.


Naushon and Apache Chief are the main picks in Race 3 with Flash Lightning and Cosmic Captain as alternatives.


Race 4 could resolve itself into a duel between pace setting Storm Boulevard and stretch runner, Weather King with Masterofallstorms a back-up chance in a moderate line-up.


Race 6 is arguably the hardest on the card and casting a wide net seems prudent in exotics. Most are proven speed horses in a closely clustered handicap over 1250m so it should provide a real spectacle and an exciting finish.