There are some punters around who will take just about any price about a runner believed to be a winner and there are others who will not, but that choice will have to be made regarding the two runners tipped for Friday’s Fairview meeting as both are likely to be odds-on favourites when bookmakers price up.
Both Silvonian in Race 1 and Official Secret in Race 4 are coming off runs that have generated many a conversation and it is worth looking at their recent performances.
Trainer Gavin Smith is having another tremendous season with winners coming at nearly every meeting and frequently even two or more. He sends out three runners in the opening event, a Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1000m on the turf track, with Silvonian being joined by two newcomers, Family Law and Shoulda Known
For the record, it must be noted that no TAB favourites won at last Friday’s meeting so the law of averages suggest we can catch up with some this week and Silvonian can get that ball rolling.
The Horizon colt found no betting support on debut and started at 16-1 but those who backed him can be considered unlucky as Silvonian was slowly away and showed inexperience until very late in the race when he kicked on very strongly at the finish to be beaten 0.25 lengths by Ravilious.
Jockey S’manga Khumalo was the rider that day, but Craig Zackey will replace him this time.
Chief rival trainer Alan Greeff has been very good with horses that come to him from other trainers and Official Secret, who contests a Pinnacle Stakes over 2000m for fillies and mares in Race 4, is clearly another of many.
This five-year-old mare arrived in his yard a two-time winner from 19 Starts but has already picked up three wins in just six starts for Greeff and promises him a few more.
Official Secret proved in need of her local debut back in September when trying the Fairview Polytrack and finished eighth.
Just a month later, and this time with jockey Richard Fourie in the irons, she won off a handicap mark of 67 on the Polytrack over 1600m.
A tough draw of No 7 of eight saw her finishing runner-up in her next start over that same course and distance but stepped up in distance to 1900m saw a good win on 1 December.
Greeff then made a bold move by running her in the Lady’s Bracelet on the turf over 1600m and her fourth-place finish was highly creditable as she ran way above her then rating of 78.
Curiously she ran a week later and in a MR 80 and stepped up in trip again to 2000m she ran a wide margin and impressive winner.
The handicappers have subsequently raised her a whopping 14 points to 92 and although it will not affect her this time, it has almost certainly made her task in future handicaps a stiff one.
Jockey Richard Fourie is expected to adopt the steering role on her again.