Well-bred Stormy Eclipse out of Tara Laing’s stable has the right credentials to claim top honours at the Fairview Polytrack today when contesting Leg 3 of the World Sports Betting East Cape Poly Challenge with Charles Ndlovu aboard.
This nine-time winner struck peak form since teaming up with Ndlovu in six starts – winning four times, with a second in the 1600m Founders and a gallant third in the 2000m Algoa Cup. The six-year-old comes off a smart double under big weights with Ndlovu aboard in Pinnacle contests over 1800m and 1600m.
Shouldering 62kg again the consistent gelding should complete the hat-trick.
However, expect a bold challenge from five-time winner Breakfast Club (Greg Cheyne) from the hot stable of Alan Greeff. The five-year-old, who will carry 58kg, followed up a good second over 1600m with a fluent win in Leg 2 of the WSB Poly Challenge over 1400m – both runs were with on the Polytrack with Cheyne up.
Also to be respected is Justin Snaith-trained nine-time winner Razed In Black (Grant van Niekerk) who has the advantage of jumping from pole position. The six-year-old was a smart winner in his penultimate outing over 1400m and was not disgraced next time with Van Niekerk up as he was just narrowly beaten by Stormy Eclipse in the Listed Memorial Mile. They will renew rivalry at level weights again and a keen duel can be expected.
Others who could be involved in the finish are Afrikaburn, Gimme The Stars and Story Of My Life.
Watch out for the Laing stable in the minor events with Rasta Bay and Aviatrix who contest Races 4 and 5 respectively with Callan Murray up. Former Gauteng-based three-year-old Rasta Bay had a promising introduction to local racing last time with Murray up when coming from last after a slow start to finish a 2.25-length fourth over 1400m. The gelding will relish the step up in distance and has a bright chance to exit the maiden ranks.
Next best are Sacred Touch, Ivory Hunter and Conquering King.
Two-time winner Aviatrix could be up to the task when having her second run for Laing in a MR 71 Handicap (F&M) over 1900m. The mare has been consistently placed at Kenilworth since winning smartly over 1800m. She was in need of her last run when making her local debut after a three-month layoff, but still finished a creditable fifth out of 14 over 1400m. She will be tough to beat this time with the benefit derived from that outing.
Making most appeal of the remainder are Giovanna, Close To My Heart, Altitude and Three Times A Lady.