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