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In Winter 2022, One Way Traffic was at the peak of his powers as a stayer. He’d just hammered Super Silvano in the Doncaster at Hollywoodbets Greyville and seemed poised to harvest a summer bounty of Graded features in the Cape.
Unfortunately, things went awry. The Summer campaign that promised much, was a flop; and, apart from an eye-catching run behind stable mate Pacaya in the Greyville 1900, Winter 2023 in KZN also did not go as trainer, Justin Snaith intended. The Doncaster victory is now all of 490 moons ago, but the resurgent six-year-old Dynasty gelding will try snap that losing streak in Saturday’s Woolavington Stakes over 2400m at Hollywoodbets Durbanville.

To show his well-being, he flashed home behind reopposing Senso Unico three weeks ago at a course they both love. The extra 600m should suit One Way Traffic ideally and his game-pace pressing rival has been raised a couple of points in the handicap.

As determined as Senso Unico may be, it’s doubtful he can concede 4kg’s to One Way Traffic who put up strong workouts during the week. That’s assuming Snaith’s runner builds on that encouraging last try, and does not regress, something his long-suffering supporters have witnessed before.

As a tactical aside, 28/10 favourite, One Way Traffic cannot afford to give too much start. Hollywoodbets Durbanville has not played kindly to horses that languish way off the early speed, so Grant van Niekerk will need to show deft judgement of pace.

Snaith also saddles 5/1 chance, Mucho Dinero who is a seriously live candidate at double the odds of his stable mate. The Twice Over four-year-old gelding comes in with just 50kg’s to carry and is a rapidly developing stayer with loads of scope. This is quite a step up the rungs of the class ladder, hence the weight relief, and the race will show where Mucho Dinero fits in relative to his older opponents.

One Way Traffic will need to be on his A game to subdue Mucho Dinero – 8kg’s is worth around 13 lengths over this extended trip.

Baratheon gets a helpful pull at the weights with Senso Unico based on their last clash in the Settlers Trophy. He is now 5kg’s better off for a 4.6 length beating and gets maestro, Richard Fourie to steer him around his favourite circuit. Baratheon won the ‘’22 edition of the Woolavington (held at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth that year) and won’t give up the defence of his title without a mighty scrap.

Otto Luyken was near enough in a mid-October race won by Senso Unico and should improve as that was his first start in the Cape. Previously, he stayed on with purpose in the Lonsdale over 2400m, and as a consistent pace presser, ought to be in the mix on this fast-running track. But he is another to be raised sharply with a MR of 103 (was 90) so others are preferred.

Raisehallelujah ran credibly in the Gold Cup over 3200m back in July when 3.85 lengths off star marathon runner, Future Pearl. On a line through Sea Master in the Lonsdale when pipped into second after racing handy, Candice Dawson’s entry, still pegged with an MR of 99, has a definite claim in this field carrying a middleweight.
In contrast, Runaway Song was zapped 24 points by the handicapper after winning the KZN Derby at Hollywoodbets Scottsville and faces an onerous (to put it mildly) assignment under 62kg’s.

Drawn next door at 2 is Love is a Rose who receives 11.5 kg’s from Runaway Song and is 6kg’s better off with Senso Unico for a three-length defeat six weeks ago in the Hollywoodbets Settlers Trophy. This brings Greg Ennion’s lightly weighted filly into the picture, especially as she should relish this longer route, which she tries for the first time.

With Pleasure and Salvator Mundi (2nd on similar weight terms behind Baratheon in ’22) are rock-solid stayers. They could now be in the grip of the handicapper though and will need to improve on some dull showings in recent months to trouble the scorer.

Justin Snaith holds the aces in the Woolavington. There was a spell when he could not condition his horses as he wanted due to swampy training tracks, but that has since been remedied and he has been able to get the requisite work in.

Whilst a case can be made for several in what should be a good spectacle at this tight track, the final choice narrows down to a tussle between an established stayer of some repute trying to reestablish his credentials after a spell in the wilderness (One Way Traffic), and a lightly weighted, emergent talent with plenty of upside potential – Mucho Dinero.

Images by Chase Liebenberg Design & Photography