Search Party has the tal­ent

The Mercury - - RACE GOER - MICHAEL CLOWER

THE Play Soc­cer Pin­na­cle dom­i­nates to­day’s Ke­nil­worth meet­ing - some big names re­turn to the fray in­clud­ing the Mer­cury Sprint run­ner-up Search Party and Bru­tal Force who holds the course record for this 1 200m.

In­deed there is tal­ent all the way down the line and the 14 run­ners boast 61 wins and 90 plac­ings be­tween them although only four have the ad­van­tage of a race in the past two months.

Al Mari­achi has opened favourite at 112 and un­der­stand­ably so.

This win­ner of the KZN Mil­lion on July day had sta­ble com­pan­ion Bold Re­spect (win­ner of a sim­i­larly valu­able race on Met day) a neck be­hind on their reap­pear­ance at Dur­banville and is now 3kg bet­ter. Bold Re­spect is a 7-1 chance with World Sports Bet­ting and the sa­horserac­ing com­puter has him fin­ish­ing sec­ond to Al Mari­achi.

“Both are a lot fit­ter than they were in that race and there is not much be­tween them,” says Brett Craw­ford who is also re­spon­si­ble for 10-1 joint top weight Search Party – “A good horse but it’s the start of his cam­paign and I think he will need it slightly.”

Justin Snaith also runs three, say­ing: “They are all nice horses but Sergeant Hardy (10-1) and Bishop’s Bounty (6-1) may need their runs.

Heart­land has had a race and is more ready than the other two.”

Heart­land is the only one of the 14 to have run in this race 12 months ago.

He fin­ished last that day and had only two be­hind him when start­ing favourite the year be­fore.

This time he is one of the out­siders at 22-1.

Joey Rams­den has the big­gest hand with four – 8-1 shot Bru­tal Force, 10-1 chances Mac­duff and Ances­try plus At­ten­bor­ough who is quoted at 20-1. Ances­try is par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing as he showed top form as a two-year-old even though he will al­most cer­tainly need fur­ther than to­day’s trip. May­fair Spec­u­la­tors have bought into the colt.

Bru­tal Force

Bru­tal Force is a crack­ing good horse and quite ca­pa­ble of over­com­ing both a three-month ab­sence and joint top weight but per­haps the big­gest dan­ger to Al Mari­achi is 8-1 chance La Favourari who has won his last four and has had a race­course gal­lop – he smashed through the pens in the Matchem and cov­ered the 1 400m at a brisk pace be­fore be­ing scratched.

Dual Mer­chants win­ner Tevez, eightyear-old vet­eran of 41 races and avail­able at 10-1, is in­vari­ably a threat in this type of event.

“He has had a gal­lop, he al­ways runs well and I think he will do so again,” says Candice Bass-Robin­son.

Lord Bal­moral (12-1) has a bit to find at the weights while the gal­lant Power Grid has the most to do and is the com­plete out­sider at 33-1. In the first new­comer Per­fect­pro­por­tions opened 15-4 favourite but 9-2 Travel Guide’s ex­pe­ri­ence may give him the edge.

How­ever don’t dis­re­gard Lon­don Spirit as the Kotzen run­ner has been backed from 11-2 to 4-1.

Red Ginger

Red Ginger won pulling up last time and the 16-10 favourite can con­firm plac­ings with Leaves Of Grass in the next de­spite be­ing 2kg worse.

SEARCH PARTY

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