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Posted 2018-02-11 12:31:14  
Monks Hood warms up for Guineas

With bigger fish to fry over the next few months, Alistair Gordon’s smart gelding is unlikely to be fully wound up and given the strength of the opposition a strong showing rather than guaranteed victory would be more than satisfying…

Monks Hood, winner of the Gr2 Dingaans at Turffontein back in November last year, warms up at Scottsville on Sunday when he takes on a competitive field of older runners in the Track & Ball Gaming Handicap.

With bigger fish to fry over the next few months, Alistair Gordon’s smart gelding is unlikely to be fully wound up and given the strength of the opposition a strong showing rather than guaranteed victory would be more than satisfying. That said, 1400m at this stage of his preparation is an ideal trip.

Gordon confirmed that Sunday’s race is a warm-up for the Gr2 Gauteng Guineas on March 3 where Monks Hood will return to the scene of his Dingaans victory.

But win lose or draw Monks Hood is unlikely to go for the Gr1 Classic over 1800m but return to KZN for Champions Season and the Gr2 KZN Guineas. “I think the Classic will be too far for him. At this stage I think 1600m is about his chop,” said Gordon.

Come Sunday, Gordon should know exactly where he is with Monks Hood as he faces some hard knockers including Redcarpet Captain from the in-form Mark Dixon yard.

The gelding’s last win was over course and distance when getting the better of Gr1 performer Seventh Plain and that was followed with a creditable third in the Christmas Handicap over the Greyville 1600m where he found Roy Hard Enough and subsequent Michael Roberts Handicap winner Wild Wicket a touch too sharp.

Doing It For Dan and Amazon King are others to note but if Monks Hood is caught short then Redcarpet Captain strikes as the most likely culprit.

Punters face another tricky card, the Gold Circle Podcast Handicap a race in point. Diamante, School Run and Diamond Noir all met last time out with a length separating the trio. The handicappers have tried to even out with winner Diamond Noir picking up a three-pound penalty and School Run one pound extra. The theory is that the three should dead-heat but that is as likely as Donald Trump serving a second term as US president.

Duncan Howells as two smart fillies in Sorceress and Emma’s Oracle and Greg Cheyne makes the trip all the way from Cape Town for one ride to honour his contract with Highlands Farm. It took Emma’s Oracle four runs to get off the mark but when she did it was in facile fashion. Second placed The Matador is still battling in the maidens but Emma’s Oracle still looks smart.

Sorceress came from the clouds when touched off by Miss Milanna at Greyville recently and with the wily Anton Marcus aboard may be the right one in what should be a tight finish. 

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