Olé for Matador Man
A Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m heads the card on the Greyville turf today and backers could find themselves in a quandary with a number of runners, who would ordinarily be a first choice, are returning from lengthy breaks and not over their optimum trips.
However, if you follow the money and Anton Marcus then you don’t have to look much further than Matador Man. Something of a course and distance specialist, Sean Tarry’s runner has not been out since Champions Cup at the end of July but an opening call of
26-10 with Track & Ball has been snapped up and he was a short as 18-10 by late yesterday.
Brett Crawford saddles three of the nine runners, all three returning from a break. However, the key to his puzzle may be Corne Orffer making the trip up from Cape Town to partner American Landing.
The facile East Cape Derby winner was well supported to make a winning debut during Champions Season in the Track & Ball Derby at Scottsville but he had a lot against him that day and did well enough to finish third behind It’s My Turn.
Today’s 1600m should be on the short side given his recent form but he appears to have a touch of class which may be enough to carry him through.
Cat’s Legacy (6-10) has been promising and promising and promising and those that did not forsake were rewarded at Scottsville where he took the step up in trip in his stride and came home ‘smoking’.
Anton Marcus barely moved a muscle that day and given that showing, Alyson Wright’s gelding should again have the measure of veteran Crime Victim, a narrow third that afternoon.
It’s been over a year now since Mike de Kock shut up shop at Summerveld so when he decides to raid one of his old stomping grounds it’s best to sit up and take note.
He saddles two runners and both look to have strong winning chances although they do far some stiff local opposition.
The imported filly Nafaayes (8-10) is unbeaten in two starts and is likely to start at cramped odds for the Graduation Plate, sixth race on the card.
This will be her seasonal debut which is of some concern as she has not been out since June when getting home narrowly over the Vaal 1400m.
However, De Kock runners are rarely short of racing fitness and stable rider Randal Simons has made the most of his opportunity to ride for one of the country’s top stables so one can expect another fullblooded effort.
Also down from Gauteng for this race is Affranchi (7-2). Tony Nassif is a shrewd trainer from the old school and his colt will not go down without a fight. Affranchi is certainly racing fit having won in Novice company last time out.
He also has some creditable form behind the highly rated De Kock runner Soqrat and is a must inclusion in all exotics.
If one needs to go wider then also include Gavin van Zyl’s gelding Perfect Peter (2-1), an easy winner of his maiden at Scottsville recently.
“He’s a smart horse,” commented Van Zyl post-race. “He’s shown us that he’s a very smart horse and hopefully he will build up into a nice career. This was not his distance.
The further he goes the better he will be.” So tomorrow’s 1400m should suit this full brother to former Van Zyl stable star, Along Came Polly.
If there are question marks around Nafaayes there shouldn’t be too many about De Kock’s runner Fort Caro (11-10)l in the last.
He has shown improvement with each outing and is rated superior to anything in the opposition.
If there is to be upset it could come in the form of Belinda Impey’s colt Antigonus (7-2). He has been knocking at the door and when touched off in fourth last time out he gave the impression that a mile and further would be more to his liking. Impey is of the opinion that he needs gelding but is hoping that the extra furlong and first time blinkers could do the trick.