Isn’t is intriguing how we all pigeon hole both Countries and people until someone somewhere teaches us the error of our ways? Russia is always covered in snow, for instance (well it is in the movies), and South Africa is arid and hot 365 days a year, or that’s what I used to think. Clearly that is not the case with a temperature of over 34 degrees recorded in July in Russia and it seems to keep on raining in South Africa causing me no end of added work with abandonments, while I admit I can struggle to my head around the idea of soft ground after all these years – in Africa? With Turffontein moved from Saturday to Sunday I’m hoping that won’t affect the turnover at Scottsville on Sunday afternoon where they have what looks like a pretty laid back meeting to me, and one that deserves to take centre stage, though I confess to being biased. Mike de Kock continues on the road to 3000 winners which should see some hefty support for Only To Win in the opener, but hopefully that will just boost the prices for my selection who goes by the name of Victory Tip, and who will hopefully live up to her moniker. She certainly caught the eye when finishing third to Miss Millionaire on the Greyville polytrack in a race that is working out particularly well, with wins and places from no less than four of the other runners. Clearly working well at home for Dennis Bosch she was sent off a 33/10 shot that day, and the money was down again last time out. This time she ran on the turf here over the same 1000mtrs when beaten just the half a length finishing fast and late, suggesting the step up to 1200mtrs ought to be ideal, and another winner is eagerly anticipated.
Having given out a winner last week for 100% success rate (though I only hope you took the early price as he was backed off the boards), I’m going to be a little bit greedy this week and look for a second winner – madness, I know! We wont get rich out of backing Barbosa in the Pinnacle Stakes (Race Three), but it is the best race on the card and he does deserve a mention for that reason alone. Rated 107, the seven-year-old is the best horse in the race by a big thirteen pounds according to the handicappers and event at today’s weights, still has enough in hand. Only beaten a length and a quarter by London Call in the Marula Sprint her last time, he has won nine of his twenty-eight starts and close to ZAR850,000 in win and place prize money, and loves it here with a string of course and distance wins to his name. He could prove too good here for Isca who clocked an outstanding time (course record) over course and distance in December and has to be a really huge worry. As a devout coward (it’s not a religion yet but I’m working on it), I’m going to bottle it and go for the reverse forecast the two of them as it ought to be a fight all the way to the line in a race well worth a watch (and a bet).
Victory Tip (Race One) 12.50pm Local Time Scottsville Sunday
Barbosa (Race Three) 14:00 Local Time Scottsville Sunday