Who wants to be a mil­lion­aire?

The Star Early Edition - - RACING - DAVID THISELTON

THE Vo­da­com Dur­ban July Pick 6 could have made an in­stant mil­lion­aire of any­body who caught it last year, as it paid a div­i­dend of over R4 mil­lion, and one of the races which the shrewd will be look­ing at to give them an edge this year is the highly com­pet­i­tive fifth leg, the Com­pendium MR 104 Hand­i­cap over 1 000m.

At­ten­bor­ough is an enig­matic sort who re­port­edly does not al­ways bring his best home­work to the track, but after he had stormed home from the back to win the In Full Flight Stakes over 1 100m An­ton Mar­cus said, “I think it’s the se­cret to him, to ride him slightly cold, and he will pro­duce his best.” The same tac­tic was em­ployed after a slow start in the Grade 1 Tsogo Sun Sprint over 1 200m but this time he found no ex­tra. The blink­ers have now been ap­plied, which will no doubt sharpen him up, and he might ap­pre­ci­ate the step down in trip too from a good draw of six in a race with plenty of pace in it.

Asstar won the Listed Um­geni Hand­i­cap over course and dis­tance last sea­son and loves be­ing in KZN. He runs well fresh and won his first start in KZN last year after a sim­i­lar length lay­off to this one. He is two merit rated points higher than his Um­geni win and has a draw of nine as op­posed to five, but the pace in this race will suit him and he will likely make a bold bid.

Elu­siven­chant­ment faced im­pos­si­ble tasks in her last two sprint starts in the Com­putaform Sprint and SA Fil­lies Sprint, but be­fore that over this suitable 1 000m trip she went close to the speedy and classy Jo’s Bond in the Listed KwaZulu Natal Stakes where they both car­ried 61,5kg.

From a good draw of five this speedy filly should be right up with the pace from the off and as one who has won four times over 1200m she should run all the way to the line.

Elu­siven­chant­ment

Alec Forbes did very well aboard Elu­siven­chant­ment’s half-sis­ter Via Africa for own­ers An­dre Haupt­fleisch and Al­bert Boshoff and the lat­ter pair have re­quested a re­newal of this part­ner­ship. She is only two points higher than her last hand­i­cap win, al­though that was against her own gen­der.

The last time Vi­sion To Kill faced Elu­siven­chant­ment over this trip was in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Stakes and she was beaten 1,3 lengths. How­ever, she was cramped for room for most of the race. If weight for age is taken into ac­count they face each other on the same terms and she would be a lead­ing fancy if it was not for her tough draw. An­gel’s Power showed a fine turn of foot the last time he went this trip at Turf­fontein to win go­ing away un­der Piere Stry­dom. Stry­dom is back aboard from draw seven and the race should set up well for this geld­ing by Miesque’s Ap­proval, whose prog­eny love the poly. On the down­side he is seven points higher in the merit rat­ings than that last win.

The pace in the race will suit the big and rangy Do­ing It For Dan, who has en­joyed his two runs on the poly. He can be dropped out from a wide draw of ten and gather mo­men­tum for an ef­fort in the straight, al­though the form of his third over course and dis­tance two runs ago is ques­tion­able in the con­text of this race.

Our Des­tiny faces Elu­siven­chant­ment on 0,5kg bet­ter terms for a 0,5 length beat­ing in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Stakes, but she was af­fected by scrim­mag­ing in that race which cost her a length or two. She was well beaten by Vi­sion To Kill in the Poin­set­tia, which con­fuses the form, as she was then very im­pres­sive over that same Scottsville 1 200m trip next time out when show­ing an ex­cep­tional turn of foot. She has a plum draw and if pro­duc­ing her best will be a big run­ner in a race which should pan out well for her.

Isca comes off an out­stand­ing sixth place in the Com­putaform Sprint and at­tempts to re­tain his crown here. He will be stay­ing on but is seven points higher in the merit rat­ings than last year and is draw eleven com­pared to two.

Hash­tag Strat has ex­cep­tional cruis­ing speed and from a draw of two is likely to make a bold bid from the front.

High­way Ex­plorer has speed and some class but has a tough draw of eight and is three points higher than when win­ning the off sea­son African Holly Hand­i­cap over course and dis­tance.

Horse Guards

Horse Guards has a chance on weight turn­arounds with At­ten­bor­ough. He won his de­but over course and dis­tance by five lengths and is drawn in pole, so must have a shout.

The once highly promis­ing Var­bra­tion is well drawn and has been in good form off a low­ered merit rat­ing, but is of­fi­cially 2kg un­der suf­fer­ance.

There is not much be­tween Hash­tag Strat and An­gel’s Power at the weights con­sid­er­ing their last meet­ing, but the for­mer is im­prov­ing and has a plum draw, es­pe­cially for her pacey style.

Hash­tag Strat is tipped to beat An­gel’s Power with Asstar in third and Our Des­tiny, At­ten­bor­ough and Do­ing It For Dan are se­lected to fol­low them home, al­though it’s hard to ig­nore just about ev­ery horse in the race.

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