Woodruff all systems go for Betting World 1900

High-flying Highveld trainer Geoff Woodruff has two runners in Friday night’s Betting World 1900 on the Greyville turf, the geldings Master Switch and Go Deputy.

Unlike the KZN-based horses, whose programs have been affected by the heavy rains over the last week, they have not missed any work as they have been prepared for the race at Randjesfontein. However, Woodruff admitted to being concerned by their wide draws and the going conditions on the rain affected track.

On the latter point the pair were not bothered by the “very soft” conditions in their last start in a Pinnacle Stakes event over 1800m on Turffontein Standside. Master Switch appeared to have that race in the bag after quickening well from the back of the field. However, Go Direct then came flying out of the pack to nab him on the line.

Woodruff said about Go Direct, “He is just a lovely little horse who is very honest. I told Marco (Van Rensburg) to wait with him for as long as possible. He was never out of his ground.”

At first sight it appeared Go Direct had needed every inch of the long Turffontein straight, but bearing Woodruff’s clarifying comment in mind he should have no problem with the short Greyville straight.

However, Woodruff admitted he would need luck in running from draw 13. He is only 1kg worse off with Master Switch for the neck beating and has clearly come into his own in the typical fashion of a Go Deputy four-year-old. Van Rensburg retains the ride.

Woodruff said Go Direct had not been a Vodacom Durban July consideration before that last win, but were he to win tomorrow night he would be supplemented for the big race.

Master Switch has run twice at Greyville before. He was backed into 7/1 third favourite for last season’s 1900 and ran a touch disappointingly, finishing a 4,7 length seventh. He stayed on at one pace from a good draw that night. Then on July day he missed the break, a rarity for him, in the Gr 3 Delta Airlines 2200. He then over raced at the back of the field, so did well to run on for a 3,6 length fifth. Woodruff believed he would have won the race had he not missed the break.

Chase Maujean had no problem settling Master Switch in that last start at Turffontein, which augurs well for the horse tomorrow night. Anton Marcus is now aboard the Mayfair Speculators-owned five-year-old Jet Master gelding and might well opt to drop him out from his draw of nine, because with the front-running Serissa in the field there should be a decent pace.

Woodruff confirmed Master Switch had improved in the last 12 months. The pair were being transported down to KZN on Wednesday. Woodruff has boxes at Summerveld for the Champions Season, but will raid for his campaigners’ first runs and then keep them at Summerveld from then onwards.

Master Switch is the 1900 second favourite at 7/2 with the sponsor and Go Direct is at 16/1. Master Switch was in 20th place on the first July log, so will need a big run to book his place. He is currently a 35/1 shot for the July.

Woodruff has just come off another big race win on the Highveld, landing the R4 million Premier’s Champions Challenge with Deo Juvente, who started the race at 25/1 and upset the Equus Horse Of The Year Legal Eagle.

That saw Deo Juvente being put in number one spot on the July log and he is also now the joint highest rated entry on 115.

Woodruff said Deo Juvente had come out of the race “very well.” However, he will have a tough task carrying topweight in the July and Betting World currently have him at 33/1.