Green Top weighted to win

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - Horse Racing -

THERE is lit­tle doubt that al­though the Assess­ment Plates were in­tro­duced to help the hand­i­cap­pers to get a more ac­cu­rate merit rat­ing, they are un­doubt­edly mak­ing life eas­ier for pun­ters.

There is of­ten a chasm be­tween the rat­ings of the var­i­ous run­ners and even though some might be com­ing back from a lay­off or at times are rac­ing over dis­tances short of their best, the rat­ing of a par­tic­u­lar run­ner is so much bet­ter that he has the race at his mercy.

That looks to be the case at Turf­fontein to­day when Green Top lines up in Race 5, an Assess­ment Plate for fil­lies and mares over 1600m on the In­side track.

This four-year-old filly who is trained by Alec Laird, was highly re­garded as a twoyear-old but some­how failed to live up to her rep­u­ta­tion. De­spite all that, she rarely ran a bad race and was not far be­hind the win­ning horse.

She started to show her best form again dur­ing the three-race Wil­ger­bos­drift Triple Tiara in March when she fin­ished a 1,40 length third be­hind Tak­ingth­e­p­eace in the Grade 2 Gaut­eng Fil­lies Guineas over 1600m.

She was then touched off in the sec­ond race, the Grade 1 SA Fil­lies Clas­sic over 1 800m, by the same horse and then clearly found the 2 450m dis­tance of the SA Oaks too far for her.

Laird gave her a lengthy rest and then brought her back on Oc­to­ber 11 to run in an Assess­ment Plate over this course and dis­tance.

On that oc­ca­sion she bumped Red­berry Lane, who was in the same po­si­tion in that race as Green Top is in this one – way ahead of the field on rat­ing – as she had won the Grade 1 Gar­den Prov­ince Stakes in which she beat Justin Snaith’s star Snow­dance.

Red­berry Lane duly won that Assess­ment Plate with Green Top just 1,25 lengths back in fourth.

That pipe-opener should be just what Green Top needed to sharpen her up and with at least a 9,5kg hand­i­cap ad­van­tage over this field, this daugh­ter of Gim­methe­green­light looks the best bet on the card.

The only run­ner who re­ally looks to have the po­ten­tial to frighten Green Top, who will be rid­den by Muzi Yeni, is Storm Destiny from the Mike de Kock yard. She won on de­but and fol­lowed up with a 1,80-length fourth be­hind sta­ble­mate Dag­mar in her sec­ond start.

She then went to Dur­ban to run in the Grade 1 Thek­wini Stakes over 1 600m at Greyville but drew No 13 out of 14 and at that track you al­most have to rely on a mir­a­cle to win from that po­si­tion.

She has been out of ac­tion for 105 days but is drawn No 3 and has Gavin Ler­ena up. It would come as a sur­prise if she does not, at least, run into the places. – Phumelela

Green Top looks a hard horse to beat in Race 5 at Turf­fontein to­day and looks a banker in all bets. Pic­ture: JC Pho­to­graph­ics

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