Skip to main content

– Written by Mark van Deventer

There are some appealing opportunities on Saturday’s Hollywoodbets Kenilworth undercard, starting with MAURITIUS KESTREL in Race 2, a MJP over 1400m, in memory of entrepreneur and racing man, Dr Hassen Adams, who passed away on 27 March.

After an educational no-show opener, the Brett Crawford trained Vercingetorix colt ran well in a key sprint behind Talk to the Master at the end of February, and duly built on that effort when just pipped by Miss Argonaut at his next outing. He is now teed up to exit the Maidens, going an extra 200m should suit him just fine, and a good draw (3) will make jockey Luyulo Mxothwa’s life easier.

Crawford can double up in Race 3 with CLIFF SWALLOW – a Maiden over 1200m, in memory of Rodney Dunn, a gentleman stalwart of Cape Racing who passed recently. CLIFF SWALLOW has run second at his last two dips (despite a troubled trip last time) and is ready to shed his tag with clear passage. His main rival is PRINCE OF TIBET, regularly placed at this level and with a similar ability rating.

Race 8 has attracted a highly competitive Class 3 field. There are a few collateral form lines that punters can cross check in trying to smoke out the winner of this sprint down the “straight six.” Piet Steyn’s MEU CAPITANO landed a weighty betting plunge a month ago when just getting past the reopposing AXL, who had opened a huge lead only to get mugged on the wire.

MEU CAPITANO, a promising young sprinting talent, has been bumped up three points to 95 for his troubles, while AXL goes up from an OMR of 86 to 87. The race does not end there, however as GIMMELIGHTNING produced a withering finish in that same race to only succumb by .7 lengths, and he remains on the same mark of 92.

To complicate matters, PARATROOPER, precocious as a juvenile before losing his way somewhat, showed a return to form at his second run after a rest and gelding in the same key race. With further progress he can take advantage of slight relief granted by the handicapper and contend for the prizes.

The same respect is due his Vaughan Marshall trained stable mate, DUMBLEDORE, who tangled with upwardly mobile speedball, The Abdicator, two weeks ago and emerged with credit, beaten just over a length at levels.

This is a tricky one to call and going with the most generously priced horse of the principal candidates could be the way to play it.

– Images by Chase Liebenberg