The ‘Greek’ needs to be on fire

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THERE is still a hope that Greek Fire can get him­self into the G-BETS Sum­mer Cup at Turf­fontein on 1 De­cem­ber. His merit rat­ing of 101 puts him in con­tention but the or­gan­is­ers will still want to see he is fit enough to take his place in the R2-mil­lion Grade 1 race over 2000m.

In a re­cent sta­ble tour with Adam Azzie, who is joint trainer with his dad, Mike, the view was ex­pressed that Greek Fire could be a Sum­mer Cup con­tender.

“He started well and we had high ex­pec­ta­tions of him,” said Adam.

“Then, for some rea­son, he started to over-race and that set him back for his three-year-old ca­reer. We have given him time to phys­i­cally ma­ture and he seems to have set­tled down.

“The plan is to give him a run over 1 400m but his ideal dis­tance should be be­tween 1800m and 2000m.

If he can over­come his pre­vi­ous prob­lems I be­lieve the Sum­mer Cup would be within his am­bit. He has po­ten­tial but he still has a lot to prove but we be­lieve he’s good enough.”

Greek Fire will be hav­ing his come­back run at the Vaal on Wed­nes­day but over 1 700m, not 1 400m.

That seems to in­di­cate the four-year-old might be a lit­tle fur­ther along than they ex­pected and a good per­for­mance in this race would make the Sum­mer Cup a very real pos­si­bil­ity.

Greek Fire has a lot in his favour. Firstly, he will be rac­ing in an As­sess­ment Plate where he is be­tween 6kg and 17.5kg bet­ter hand­i­capped than his seven ri­vals.

Dur­ing his re­cent break of 213 days he was gelded and that may have helped him to over­come his habit of over-rac­ing. Fi­nally, the Azzies have called on We­i­chong Mar­wing to take the ride and that in­di­cates they mean busi­ness.

Once you look past him any of the op­po­si­tion can win.

The Daz­zler

The Daz­zler from the Mike de Kock yard is the next best-weighted run­ner but he has not faced the strength of op­po­nent that Greek Fire has come up against.

One run­ner that can im­prove is Top Rank, who has only run three times. He won on de­but and has fin­ished fourth in his last two starts be­hind some de­cent com­pany. He also comes back from a 121day rest dur­ing which he was gelded.

Scott Kenny’s Lone Sur­vivor looks to have a touch of class but he will have to be at his best to get the bet­ter of What A Cap­tain in the eighth, a MR 80 Hand­i­cap over 1200m. Lone Sur­vivor has won three of his six starts and still looks to be bet­ter than his 76 MR sug­gests.

What A Cap­tain is highly rated by the De Kock yard and has been gelded since his last run. He only gets 1.5kg from Lone Sur­vivor and that might not be enough at this stage of his ca­reer.

Pic­ture Candiese Marnewick

The Mike de Kock-trained THE DAZ­ZLER.

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