BZ can shift up a gear
OUIS GOOSEN has made a big splash since relocating from the Vaal to Ashburton at the beginning of the season. His 13 winners have come at a strike rate of 20% and not restricted to KZN with Zen Arcade winning the Gr3 Graham Beck Stakes at Turffontein last Saturday.
“When I first saw this place (Ashburton) I thought ‘ this is for me’, it’s horse heaven,” he revealed when quizzed on the reason for his move.
Goosen saddles three runners at Greyville today, debutante Leisure Lady in the first and two with definite chances, Bravo Zulu in the fourth and Shifting Gears in the sixth.
Shifting Gears is a late starter, this being the fouryear-old’s third start in a career that only got going three months ago. After two thirds she was stepped up to 1800m and she ran out a fluent winner of her maiden. Runner-up, Green Fairy did not do that form too many favours when only managing third last Sunday, but Shifting Gears looks capable of shifting up another notch today and she will need to, as she takes on a useful pair in Flichity By Farr and Shirley Valentine.
The latter carries top weight and Anton Marcus but it may be significant that Gunter Wrogemann has kept faith with Shifting Gears rather than Shirley Valentine who he piloted into second last time out.
Flichity By Farr took on a strong field when fifth behind the promising Hashtagyolo but prior to that was running on well behind the useful Fiorella. Alyson Wright has stepped her up to 2000 m today and given her pedigree, the extra could see her land her second win.
Bravo Zulu has been knocking at the door for some time now and can go one better for Goosen in the Track & Ball Maiden over 1400m. He has come on nicely at his last two and now looks fully primed.
The Grey Crusader looks a threat because although he comes off a four-month break, Doug Campbell’s runners are finding form.
If one sets any store by the speed ratings published in the Computaform then there look to be a host of strong contenders for the winner’s enclosure. Turf Conqueror is rates 23 and 24 points clear of The Grey Crusader and Bravo Zulu respectively while Hokanui in the fifth, Lungi in the sixth and Crime Victim in the seventh are all rated lengths clear of their rivals.
One wishes it was that easy. Hokanui has two minor placings to his credit in 10 starts but his best effort did come over course and distance last time out. But both Royal Rustler and Emerald Victory step up to what looks to be a more suitable trip for both and warrant consideration.
Lungi is a long-time battler and may have to bend the knee to Emma’s Oracle and The Matador. Greg Cheyne is the retained rider for the Kieswetter’s and Ridgemont Racing and is up from Cape Town to ride Emma’s Oracle for Duncan Howells while The Matador, formally with Howells, has her first run in blinkers and for Yadav Singh who has taken out his trainer’s brief again.
Crime Victim has been struggling for his next win but takes a further drop in the ratings and it may be worth ignoring his disappointing poly debut. His speed figure is 16 points better than next rated Magesh’s Jet but a more likely challenger could be stable companion Crystal Ball with claiming apprentice Ashton Arries aboard.
Howells has signed off in the last race of the last two meetings and that trend could continue as he has four chances in the ninth this afternoon. Of that quartet Sovereign Master with stable rider Keagan de Melo looks the pick in a field that does