With an alluring R1.5 million kicking off tomorrow’s Greyville Pick 6 pool, estimated to reach R7 million, most punters will be keen to find a banker.
Look no further than Soqrat in the Grade 1 Premiers Champion Stakes.
Mike de Kock’s charge was all the rage to win the Grade 2 Golden Horseshoe over 1400m on Durban July Day but he was pipped to the line by stable companion Barahin. De Kock had warned that while there was a slight preference for Soqrat that day, there was very little to choose between the pair. In addition, Barahin had already won at Greyville so that was in his favour.
This time there is no Barahin and with Soqrat a little more experienced and jumping from pole position, jockey Randall Simons should be able to notch up a Grade 1 victory for the Australian-bred son of Epaulette.
On form he holds most of his competition so it is hard to see any of them reversing the form but if things do not go according to plan then the next best runner should be Cirillo from the Sean Tarry yard. He has won his last two races and seemed to enjoy going over further last time when tried over 1400m for the first time. However, this will be his first run at Greyville and he will jump from barrier No 10 which is not ideal.
The Grade 1 Thekwini Stakes is the equivalent race for two-year-old fillies and this looks more open than the Premiers Champion Stakes. However, Sean Tarry could hold the ace in the pack with Return Flight. After losing on de- but to Running Brave, this daughter of Pomodoro won her maiden by 11.25 lengths over 1450m and then won a Juvenile Plate for fillies over 1600m at Turffontein by 8.20 lengths.
She had a two-month break and was odds-on to win her comeback but she found Dagmar and Rail- trip too good on the day. Return Flight was probably in need of the run and as she only finished 0.60 lengths behind the winner and is now 2kg better off with both of them, should reverse the form. The problem is that these youngsters are getting better with each run so Dagmar and Railtrip could make massive improvement.
Tarry has engaged Anton Marcus to take the ride so from No 3 draw she will be the runner to beat.
With the scratching of original favourite Lady In Black, Gimme Six would be the first choice for the Grade 2 Kuda Gold Bracelet over 2000m, writes Ken Nicol.
This Gimmethegreenlight filly has only tried the distance once. She has been running on in both her most recent over shorter, and after only being beaten just over two lengths in the Grade 1 Garden Province Stakes on Durban July Day looks the one to beat given her proven affinity for this track.
Geoff Woodruff’s Bi Pot is best in on ratings, but is inconsistent, and was unplaced in both her pre- vious visits to Greyville, including the previously mentioned Woolavington.
The main threat seems likely to come from a trio of three-year-olds, headed by Gimme Six’s stable companion, Miyabi Gold.
Glen Kotzen’s Elusive Heart finished a short head in front of Gimme Six in the Garden Province, with both running on strongly.
She now goes beyond 1600m for the first time but is 2kg better off and if she gets the trip will be right there, even from the worst draw.
Meryl stays even further, and has won twice at Greyville and is another with a serious winning chance.