Sun­set Eyes to shine bright

The Mercury - - THE RACEGOER -

FOR­MER Vo­da­com Dur­ban July win­ner Leg­is­late will be one of the cen­tres of attention when he runs in the Gr2 Post Merchants at Greyville tonight.

Leg­is­late’s stud ca­reer was cut short as he has fertility prob­lems so just how he per­forms back on the race­track after an ab­sence of two years will be in­ter­est­ing.

He hacked up in a re­cent bar­rier trial at Scottsville but tonight’s race is a dif­fer­ent propo­si­tion.

He was car­ry­ing plenty of con­di­tion in his trial and is un­likely to strip any­where near his peak, but he does have class on his side.

The Post Merchants has a rep­u­ta­tion of throw­ing up sur­prise re­sults and tonight’s race could be no dif­fer­ent as it has at­tracted a highly com­pet­i­tive field and the list of pos­si­ble winners is a long one.

Likely favourite is the Brett Craw­ford-trained Sun­set Eyes, who fin­ished sec­ond to sta­ble com­pan­ion Bold Re­spect in the re­cent Tsogo Sun Sprint. Sun­set Eyes recorded his last win over Fri­day’s course and dis­tance and both he and the Craw­ford sta­ble are in mus­tard form. Joey Rams­den was dis­ap­pointed with At­ten­bor­ough’s run in the Tsogo Sun Sprint and the Gr1 Com­putaform Sprint win­ner will be out to re­deem him­self.

Rams­den blamed a wide draw at Scottsville and he has fared bet­ter here and will jump from a mid-field draw of seven.

Sniper Shot is smart and versatile al­though drop­ping back to 1 200m after con­test­ing the Daisy Guineas may be a prob­lem al­beit that he has run Sun­set Eyes close on two oc­ca­sions.

Alec Laird tends to fly un­der the radar and Pure Blonde could be the sur­prise pack­age of the race.

The geld­ing has some solid Highveld form and the blinkers are back on which should see him im­prove on his ef­fort be­hind Bold Re­spect and Sun­set Eyes in the In Full Flight Hand­i­cap.

Dennis Drier is chas­ing hard to re­gain his KZN Cham­pion Trainer ti­tle he lost to peren­nial ri­val Dun­can How­ells last sea­son and Caliente will be a strong fancy in the card opener after a smart bar­rier trial led to a promis­ing de­but.

How­ever, he could find the year older Pavarotti Pas­sion dif­fi­cult to beat. Mark Dixon’s geld­ing has been a night­mare at the gates but showed in his first bar­rier trial that he has plenty of abil­ity. His next trial is best ig­nored and the fact that he lines up this evening means that he has been passed at the gate.

Merit rat­ings have been a hot topic of de­bate this past week after African Night Sky seem­ingly got off lightly after his vic­tory in the Cup Trial but that’s a de­bate for an­other day.

An in­ter­est­ing run­ner tonight will be the show­ing by Fly­ing Myth in the Wild Coast Sun Hand­i­cap.

Sean Tarry’s run­ner ob­vi­ously has his prob­lems given his record of time be­tween races and they have not been at all good since win­ning a Ju­ve­nile Maiden back in 2016.

He started his three-year-old ca­reer off a rat­ing of 93. That has dropped to this evening’s 66 and given his re­cent form that is prob­a­bly a fair as­sess­ment.

But the fact that Tarry has per­sisted with the geld­ing may tell a tale and the switch to the poly track could hold the key.

He’s not one for a big wa­ger but also one that you can­not ig­nore. MASTER’S SPIRIT can ben­e­fit from the tal­ented Luke Fer­raris’s 4kg claim and up­set the big guns in the Pin­na­cle Stakes at Ke­nil­worth to­mor­row.

On ad­justed merit rat­ings the Justin Snaith six-year-old might as well stay at home – cer­tainly com­pared with Dutch Philip and Tevez – but the rain has changed the com­plex­ion of the race and this is a horse that goes in the soft. Fur­ther­more he is a de­cent price at 11-2.

Dutch Philip is a class act and the ob­vi­ous favourite. He gave away more ground at the start than he was beaten when sec­ond to Sil­i­cone Val­ley in a sim­i­lar race over a fur­long fur­ther in April and on of­fi­cial hand­i­cap marks he has the beat­ing of ev­ery­thing ex­cept Tevez.

How­ever he is untested in soft ground and at 18-10 that is too big an im­pon­der­able.

Tevez (7-1) acts on this go­ing but there is more than a sus­pi­cion that he is not quite as good as he was and, ris­ing nine, that is only to be ex­pected.

Olympian (9-2) has strong claims, not least be­cause he is proven in the ground. Over 1 200m last time he had Nasty Harry, Master’s Spirit and Power Grid be­hind and is weighted to con­firm the plac­ings.

Kingston Pas­sage (8-1) looked very good last sea­son, par­tic­u­larly when mak­ing the run­ning, and he likes this trip. His abil­ity to act in the wet is a com­plete un­known but that doesn’t mean to say he won’t.

Power Grid, also an 8-1 chance, should be in his el­e­ment but you would have to won­der if he is quite good enough to beat this op­po­si­tion.

Nasty Harry (9-1) will like the un­der­foot con­di­tions and Mike Ste­wart has long pre­dicted that Al Wa­hed will re­ally come into his own when the rain ar­rives.

That said, the six-year-old has too much to do at the weights while Strikeit­likea­match is a long shot even at 33-1 and al­low­ing for his abil­ity to go in the ground.

Of the others 30-1 shot Big Mis­take has been dis­ap­point­ing in re­cent starts while Fifty Cents (16-1) has been off since Fe­bru­ary.

Snaith Rac­ing are now fi­nally be­gin­ning to un­leash their two-year-olds.

They run four in the first, four in the sec­ond and two against older horses in race three. Seven of them are first­timers.

But they will have to be smart to beat Shad­ow­ing in the opener and the form book says that Win­ter Five is likely to prove too strong for With­out Lim­its in race two.

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