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– Written by Mark van Deventer

QHAWEKAZI can clear her Maiden slate in Race 3 against 12 fillies and mares at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth over 1400m on Saturday.

(Image of SCHOOL POLICY by Chase Liebenberg)

It’s encouraging that Richard Fourie sticks solid, and her best run came over this trip when just outrun by LOREINA. Even her second start when clocking in behind SCHOOL POLICY is good form in the context of Saturday’s field. Not only has the winner gone in again, but that key Maiden has since yielded three other success stories.

There might be a slight query over her race readiness. Assuming Michelle Crawford Rix has her tuned after a 70-day pause, then the filly with the versatile running style is selected to get the job done.

Race 5 is a test for middle distance horses with merit ratings of 94 and lower. NATYAM may be a stubborn character, but that does not stop him from running consistently well. Gareth van Zyl’s charge has won three and been placed second thrice from seven starts, and seems sure to again go close.

(Image of MARSHALL FIELD by Chase Liebenberg)

Main dangers are MARSHALL FIELD and GIMME MORE TIME. The latter has only a solitary win from 14 starts to his name, yet looks interesting trying a longer route (2200m) for the first time and packs a potent finish over shorter distances. He is better off at the weights with last out winner, MARSHALL FIELD who Lucinda Woodruff has conditioned into sharp shape this summer.

Race 7 is intriguing; the pace should be hot in this extended sprint. It’s a Cape B Stakes with NIGHT TIGER, DUMBLEDORE (who made big improvement 2nd start after gelding when only run down late this course and distance by DANCE VARIETY), MOJO MAN and STRAWBERRY SINGER all accustomed to pressing the pace.

(Image of GIMMELIGHTNING by Chase Liebenberg)

Such a scenario may tee things up for the “swoopers”, best of whom could be TEFLON MAN and GIMMELIGHTNING. On a literal reading of the form, TEFLON MAN could find it hard to reverse the form with GIMMELIGHTNING. The Dean Kannemeyer trained runner stays the same on an OMR of 96, while his rival drops another point to 94 despite finishing half a length ahead when they last met.

TEFLON MAN will enjoy a true run 1200m. If settling into a good rhythm in early running, watch for a withering come home sectional from this potentially smart QUERARI gelding.

GIMMELIGHTING comes off a flat second start after a break but caught the eye behind YELLOWPORSCHEROAD. He tends to mix his form, but is a clear threat on best efforts.

ALL ABOUT AL was placed in this grade recently when speedball THE ABDICATOR proved too rapid over 1000m. Adam Marcus’s horses ran particularly well at Tuesday’s meeting so ALL ABOUT AL should be kept onside given his rock-solid C/D record and trainer’s hot hand (only two of the last 12 he’s saddled have missed a place).

It’s all happening at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on 10 February 2024. The first race is at 12h55.