Jockey Warren Kennedy has been riding exceptionally well but we may have to wait to see him in the winner’s enclosure at Scottsville on Wednesday.
While he is carded for six rides, he holds a strong hand in the last two races and could score a closing double.
Kennedy rides Black Hall Bar in Race 7, a FM 72 Handicap over 1400m. This Gavin van Zyl-trained three-year-old left quite an impression in her last victory when making light work of her opposition to win by six lengths. A daughter of Gitano Hernando, she has only missed the top three positions on two occasions. She’s found backing in her previous starts which could be a reflection of what’s expected of her.
But Black Hall Bar is in the company of a lot stronger this time around and will have to overcome a wide No 13 draw. What is in her favour is the modest 56.5kg she’ll have to shoulder. This advantage for a horse who hit the front at the 400m mark last time out and stayed there could prove a major disadvantage for her rivals in this event. Black Hall Bar’s biggest danger should come from Paul Lafferty-trained Tropical Blow who found the 1600m trip too sharp on her last two starts.
The return to 1400m, the light 55kg she’ll carry along with the good No 5 draw should only increase her chances should Black Hall Bar fluff her lines.
Kennedy will be aboard another Van Zyl horse Venice In May in Race 8, a Blinkers Bar Maiden Plate over 1600m. This three-year-old son of Philanthropist has proven rather expensive to follow – but that could all change here.
He is long overdue for his maiden win and looks the one to beat in a weak field of 15 runners. He is the joint best handicapped runner in the race along with his biggest danger Seattle Spell. Venice In May is well drawn in stall No 6 as opposed to Seattle Spell’s wide No 12 draw.