After a promising start to his career where he reeled off three wins from just four starts, Natal – the horse not the province, although some may argue a case for both – has been in the doldrums. But a drop in the handicap ratings and a gentle build-up to tomorrow evening’s race could herald a return to form.
Natal, picture Nkosi Hlophe
If the forecast betting in Computaform is any guide (33-1), Natal has little or no chance in the Morris Vee MR 86 Handicap that heads the Greyville card, but if one delves back into the gelding’s form he is more than capable in this company should he find his best form that came at about this time last season.
Racing off a rating high of 101, garnered after three victories in his first four starts and at the top of most handicap races that he contested, Natal subsequently showed that the handicappers may have over-rated Michael Roberts’s charge as he showed good pace before folding late when stepped up into stronger company.
His rating has dropped rapidly since his unplaced effort in the Gr3 Umgeni Handicap and he now runs off a mark of 88.
Taking his early form into account, his drop in the ratings and a much improved last run, Natal could prove good value.
Georgina is likely to be a firm favourite in the card opener after three runner-up berths in just four starts and Alyson Wright has declared blinkers on her charge that suggests that the filly is still not giving her all.
But there are a couple of potential hurdles to overcome. The oddly-named Show Me Your Rosie made marked improvement in blinkers and a repeat could pose a threat as could Cats Baloo and Dream De Ra. Cats Baloo was backed at long odds in her poly debut and can surprise while Dream De Ra was friendless in the market on debut and ran accordingly. However, she has a tongue-tie here and she can show good improvement for a stable that is bang in form.
If Georgina obliges in the first, Honest Prince could provide the stable with a quick double come the Cupboard King Maiden Plate. The gelding made significant improvement on his debut when close-up next time out. The opposition is mostly well exposed with the exception of Grey Ice. Sean Tarry’s runner made a modest Turffontein debut but it always pays to take note of runners from this stable making their poly debut and any market support could prove significant although he has been pencilled in again for next Wednesday.
Ashburton-based Belinda Impey can provide a possible exotic bet banker in the form of Kept Secret in the SAFA Chatsworth 66 Handicap although she too holds an entry next Wednesday.
Kept Secret ran well below her best last outing after running up a string of places. Tonight she is back in female company and rates a strong chance given her previous showings.
For the rest the card looks more than just a little tricky. The Hotel Savera Maiden Plate is just one of the stumbling blocks for those trying to cut down on their exotic bet spend. Enticer, having her third run after a break and catching the eye at her last start, will have her supporters but so too will the likes of Rae’s Dyna Jet, Roy’s Kaitrina, Lungi, Stola and Justajewel.
The DPG Logistics FM 62 Handicap is equally tricky with Roy Is Second living up to her name, finishing runner-up at her last two. However, she has a good draw and can finally go one better.
The Pavilion Hotel MR 62 Handicap is another wide open affair but Selvan’s Jet tried further last run but prior to that had fair form to stronger and Delpech has jumped ship from Heptagon to ride here.
Form for Gold Circle's meeting at Greyville-All Weather on Friday night. The eight race programme commences at 6.20pm SAST.
The three race Australian broadcast commences at 3.20am AEST on Sky Racing1.
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