Ivan and Darryl Moore-trained Ballymaine looks on target to post a fourth career win when teamed up with Stuart Randolph in Race 4, a MR 82 Handicap over 1950m at Scottsville today.
This three-year-old followed up a splendid hat-trick at Scottsville with three good placed runs when stepping up in class. In his last outing he was a bold fourth with Randolph aboard in the Grade 3 Derby over 2400m at Scottsville. This gelding will be tough to beat this time when racing over his most effective distance.
However, expect a strong challenge from Mark Dixon-trained Verdier (Keagan de Melo) who was a smart course and distance winner three runs back and followed up with two placed runs. This two-time winner returns refreshed after a short break and could pose a major threat with the advantage of the best draw.
Making most appeal of the others are Pure Logic, Wealthy, Malinga and Rio De La Plata.
Brett Crawford-trained Falkland (Corne Orffer) could recoup losses in Race 7, a MR 82 Handicap over 1000m.
He justified favouritism three runs back when having his first run since being gelded. Partnered by Orffer in a 1000m maiden contest at Greyville, he showed strong pace throughout and scored by an increasing 3.50 lengths. This three-year-old followed up with a game second in a 1000m MR 82 Handicap. The gelding’s subsequent run when heavily backed in a 1000m MR 80 Handicap and finishing sixth is best overlooked as he never recovered from a slow start.
He will have to watch out for three-time winner Bonnie Dawn (Lance Pagel) out of Louis Goosen’s stable. This four-year-old filly comes off a bright last run when coming from last after a slow start to finish a 1.1-length third, two lengths ahead of sixth-placed Falkland in the previously mentioned MR 80 Handicap.
Also in with claims is Michael Roberts-trained two-time winner Great Dictator with apprentice Ashton Arries aboard again. This four-year-old flashed up from near last in his most recent outing to finish a 0.65-length third in a MR 72 Handicap. With 5kg less to shoulder this time he could pose a threat.
The pick of the rest are Pata Pata, Valedictorian and Shadow Catcher.