Get lucky with Black Cat Back
FIFTEEN horses will face the starter on Friday night at Greyville in one of the SA Champions Season’s most exciting races, the Grade 2 Post Merchants, which usually culminates in a cavalry charge for the line.
Black Cat Back’s five wins have been over 1 400m but he has done well in sprints in his last two starts. In February in the Fever Tree Handicap over 1 400m at Scottsville he set a good pace but was mowed down by Sniper Shot, who has since gone on to prove his class.
The yard then fitted blinkers to Black Cat Back and ran him in a Pinnacle event over 1 200m at Greyville.
He wasn’t quickly away and came around them from behind into the straight.
He still managed to stay on for a 1,25 length third to his useful stablemate Sunset Eyes. The form was then franked by the runner up Tribal Fusion.
Interestingly the blinkers were removed for Black Cat Back’s next start in the Listed In Full Flight Stakes over 1 100m at Scottsville and he was a touch outpaced before running on strongly for a 2,25 length third to Bold Respect, with Sunset Eyes in second.
Bold Respect went on to win the Grade 1 Tsogo Sun Sprint. The blinkers remain off Black Cat Back on Friday night and he has a plum draw of four. His 103 merit rating is near the top of the 100 to 104 band.
There is not much between Sun Set Eyes and Black Cat Back as the former beat the latter by 1,75kg in the In Full Flight but is now 2,5kg worse off. Three-year-old Sniper Shot was scratched for the Tsogo Sun due to a minor back strain.
The last time he ran over this trip was at Scottsville and he received only 0,5kg from Sunset Eyes and ran him to 0,75 lengths.
He was a touch unlucky too and had the rest of the field well beaten, including beating Tribal Fusion by close to ten lengths.
He has a tricky draw of eight and is now at level weights with Sunset Eyes, but if weight for age changes are taken into account he is 1,5kg better off.
Attenborough is an enigmatic sort but proved his ability when winning the Grade 1 Computaform Sprint, albeit in a below par Grade 1 field.
He was dropped out in the Tsogo Sun and ran on well for fifth.
His Computaform Sprint rider Richard Fourie is back aboard and he should be staying on strongly.
Too Phat To Fly is the best weighted horse in the race on official merit ratings due to her female allowance.
She was not disgraced in the SA Fillies Sprint, running on after a slow start but it is always tough against the boys and she has the widest draw of all.
Legislate is a former Equus Horse of the Year and finished third in the Grade 1 Mercury Sprint over this course and distance two years ago.
He hasn’t raced for over two years and will likely need it despite putting up a good barrier trial.
Bishop’s Bounty showed his class when winning the Diadem with a blistering finishing effort.
The tough Kenilworth track suited him. He is likely to be dropped out from a wide draw in this race and it is going to be tough to make up the ground but he will be running on strongly.
Our Mate Art will have to improve considerably on his Tsogo Sun Sprint run, which he likely needed. He won the Matchem over 1 400m this season, showing he has the speed and should be running on.
Pure Blonde was beaten three lengths by Black Cat Back in the In Full Flight and is only 0,5kg better off, so has a tough task on that form.
He finished second from a tough draw in the Grade 2 Senor Santa over 1160m, although the form of that race is open to question.
Three-year-old Wonderwall showed he can mix it with good sprinters when fourth in the Grade 2 Senor Santa, beaten 0,8 lengths by Pure Blonde.
He faces the latter on the same terms, although if weight for age changes are taken into account he is effectively 1,5kg better off.
Wynkelder just failed to beat Hack Green and Sergeant Hardy over 1 100m here in April but on In Full Flight Stakes form is 1,5kg worse off with Black Cat Back despite being beaten 1,5 lengths by him.