Heavy rains have force the scheduled turf meeting at Fairview today to be switched to the Polytrack because of unsafe underfoot conditions.
Race 1 will now be run over 2200m, and punters are warned to watch for scratchings due to the change of surface.
But, possible scratchings aside and potentially having to contend with a strong contingent of raiders out of the Cape Town stable of Vaughan Marshall, champion trainer Alan Greeff has the fire power to come away as he top scorer on the nine-event card at Fairview today.
Marshall looks poised to strike in Race 1 with Fort Viva in a maiden contest, now over 2200m. The four-year-old, who was an encouraging fourth over 2400m at Durbanville last time when racing too keenly early and returning coughing, will have the stable’s first-choice jockey MJ Byleveld aboard again. The gelding steps out after a near two-month break and could be tough to beat.
However, expect a challenge from Greeff’s Swashbuckler with champion Greg Cheyne up. The three-year-old has made steady progress since being gelded and rates a major threat.
Greeff is unlikely to miss with top-rated Seattle Flame (Cheyne) in Race 2, a Guineas Plate for three-year-olds over 1600m. This four-time winner was a gallant runner-up in the RA Stakes (Listed) last time when attempting a hat-trick. His chief rivals are Cape Town raiders – Justin Snaith’s Doublemint and Marshall’s Captain’s Charm.
Watch out for Greeff-trained filly Mega Scene who teams up with Cheyne in Race 5, a 1200m (F&M) maiden contest. This three-year-old comes off an eye-catching debut when unplaced, but flashing up from near last in a big field and finishing just two lengths off the winner over 1000m. The filly will like the step up in distance and with Cheyne called on this time she could be in the winner’s enclosure. Others in with claims are Daring Miss, Limerick Ridge and Tara’s Gold.
Greeff and Cheyne have a bright chance to close the meeting on a winning note when teamed up with Seattle Solace in Race 9, a MR 64 Handicap (F&M) over 1600m. This four-year-old signalled a return to form in her most recent outing when running on strongly and finishing a head second over 1300m. She will be hard to beat over the extra distance this time. Best of the others are Bring Me More, Veeipee Club and Miss Hyde.
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