Although the chances of his leading in the winner remain very likely the question is which one? Stable jockey Francois Herholdt has been aboard all six of them, winning with all except Kirtling Towers so clearly Taqdeer – his ride today – might be the stable choice.
This Australian-bred import has won three of his last four starts which included the Kimberley Classic over 1600m last month. Taqdeer picked up a 11 point penalty for that narrow win which looks harsh and he can be a difficult ride as he does not like kickback and he needs a hard ride.
Considering all that the draw of stall No 8 is not too bad for him. Stable companion Code Red would carry at least a kilogramme more if this was a handicap and meets Taqdeer on 4kg better terms for the 4.85 lengths that was between them last time and this shorter trip suits Code Red.
Another Smit runner Quick Glance was impressive in his win last time but copped 7 points so he will need to produce a career best to win this.
Stone Reeves clearly did not run to his best form when unplaced over 2200m in his penultimate start and is probably at his very best over slightly further than this but he can earn stake money.
Probably the biggest obstacle to a clean sweep finish for Sarel’s six is the Vernon Rugg-trained Tribal Code. This Western Winter five-year-old won well when first trying blinkers then got touched off by the narrowest margin next time out. Tribal Code put that disappointment behind him when again running out an easy winner last time over this track and trip.
If all goes to plan Pole Dance will carry just 48kg so start-to-finish tactics could work well for this Jared Penny-ridden mare.
On the subject of trainer Sarel von Willingh Smit, his charge Anointed King in Race 4 looked a bit of an unlucky loser last time and could be worth an each-way strike in a competitive maiden plate.