Corne Spies is a familiar face at Hollywoodbets Scottsville, one of his happy hunting grounds for feature winners. There are no feature races next Sunday but Spies could go home two-from-two.
The first of his runners comes in a small but competitive Pinnacles Stakes. Darryl Moore’s smart filly Canadian Summer was in need of her seasonal debut when taking on some useful opposition that included the smart Quasiforsure. She should come on lengths for the run but Spies saddles William Robertson who has been mixing it with the best on the Highveld. He was back in form with a comfortable Pinnacle Stakes win last time out and Spies has an enviable strike rate at Scottsville. Carl Hewitson sends out Pray For Rain who finished ahead of Canadian Summer when last they met but the filly will enjoy the extra furlong and a run under her girth which could see her turn the tables. Bowie has it tough at the weights but has a handy galloping weight and comes off some good form.
Spies will have to wait for the last where he sends out Three Strands, possibly the best bet on the card as she boasts some smart Highveld form which could prove too strong for the local opposition that includes Lady Canton who recently shed her maiden on this course and has since been running well on the poly. The switch back to turf could be in her favour. Mark Dixon’s mare Shell Seeker has always struck as an under performer but she has shown signs of life at recent outings. The switch to turf and a step up in trip could bring out the best. Shaken Not Stirred steps out every other week and had her consistency rewarded last run. She is a tough mare and with a light weight could go in again.
There are many first timers in the first so watch the betting but The Shepherd made a promising debut in a race where the form has worked out well. However, at his next intended start he refused to load. He has been gelded since and may just have needed his first run back where he was still green. Back down the straight he could finally get it right. Gorgeous Guy is way better than his last run when tackling 1400m around the Greyville turn from a wide draw. His best recent form has been down the straight. El Draque has been knocking hard on the door of late and should get it right soon. He has a 4kg claimer up here which could make all the difference.
The third is a tricky maiden where Putulicious – with milk and sugar please – has come on with each run and the step up in trip from the best of the draw could see him home. Specmagic has also come on with each start. He stays the trip and looks primed for this as does Isorender who has improved of late and his best recent effort has been on the turf over a similar trip. He is also lightly raced and can go close. Irish Luck made big improvement at long odds at second time of asking but he has a difficult draw although he has a 4kg claimer up and cannot be written off.
Lord Wylie was close-up to stronger last time out finishing just behind Passage Of Power. He is now 1kg better off in the handicap in the fourth and from a plum draw can turn the tables. However, Passage Of Power has been a model of consistency of late and took on stronger when a beaten favourite giving the winner 5kg. He has another big weight but the extra furlong will suit. Beyondtheboundary is another in good form and was close-up over a similar trip last time out. El Dante has drawn wide but is another in good form. He steps up in class but takes some relief in the saddle although the draw is not in his favour. Southern Skies also has a tough draw to contend with but is another to consider.
It’s difficult to ignore a very much in form stable and Buoyant Knight could continue the Mike Miller’s yard good run in the fifth. He shed his debut at long odds at second time of asking and can follow up. The Gary Rich-trained Benni In The Area took some time to shed his maiden but has made steady improvement and looks capable of following up on his maiden win. Purple Powahouse has his third run after a break. His recent form has been on the poly but he only has 50.5kg on his back while stable companion Jet Legacy is lightly raced but has shown plenty of ability. He returns from a lengthy break but has taken on stronger.
Apprentice James Lihaba will never forget Shot of Courage who gave him his first two winners. Tim Pretorius’ gelding was up against much stronger last time out and was possibly a touch unlucky. He has kept faith with Lihaba who stays aboard and can make amends. Anotherdayinafrica has been holding form well. He does go well on the turf although most of his recent form has been on the poly. Mccartney finished just ahead of Anotherdayinafrica when last they met but he may prefer it a furlong further while Princekresh has been dropping in the handicap and with a 4kg claimer up he should be the surprise package.
The seventh is another tricky handicap. Common Grounds is a recent maiden winner but he won with authority when stepped up in trip and he appears to have some scope. As does Master Fuego who was given a hefty handicap rating after his maiden win and had a tough task in his handicap debut. He jumps off the same rating but is back on the course where he shed his maiden with its longer run-in. Dockofthebay is down in class and improved last run and could be coming to hand again while Izapha won on the poly last time out but has made steady improvement since arriving from the Cape and can feature.