Master James has yet to win a race since arriving in Port Elizabeth in June, but that could all change on Friday when he lines up in Race 5 at Fairview, a MR 86 Handicap over 1800m on the turf.
His first few runs after joining Dorrie Sham’s stable from Dean Kannemeyer were most disappointing.
He ran some shockers on both the turf and Polytrack but Sham decided to remove the blinkers for his penultimate start. The change was amazing. Going off at 35-1 in a MR 82 Handicap over 1800m on the turf, Masters James was always in contention and stayed on well to finish a 1.75-length third behind Notting Hill.
His next run proved they had made the right decision. He ran in a strongly contested Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m and after leading for most of the journey, was snared close home and finished third again, beaten just 1.60 lengths by True Master.
Jet Explorer was just a head in front of him in second place and that form looks good enough to see this son of Jet Master pay a long-awaited visit to the winner’s enclosure. Richard Fourie takes the ride for the first time.
Master James is 5kg better off with Notting Hill this time and that should be more than enough to reverse his previous defeat. However, his stable companion should be good enough to finish second. Muzi Yeni takes the ride.
Scent has been ultra-consistent since arriving in the Eastern Cape and has run well on both the turf and Polytrack. However, he is only 0.5kg better off with Notting Hill for a 3.75-length beating and looks unlikely to turn that defeat around.
Another with a chance is Road To Indy. He has been a revelation since joining Tara Laing’s yard in Port Elizabeth but after three successive wins the handicapper might have caught up with him.
He received a 4kg penalty for beating Scent last time on the Polytrack by 0.50 lengths but as his opponent has won twice since, Scent is just 0.5kg better off so there should be very little in it.