where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2020-08-08 11:58:24  
Diamondsandpearls set to sparkle

THE racing season officially ended on the last day of July but thanks to the now notorious virus lock-down, the running of the Vodacom Durban July was delayed by a month and there has been a further four-week hiatus between the July and the World Sports Betting Gold Cup meeting to be held on Saturday, August 29.

It will again be a close-shop affair with only essential staff on course and more is the pity with three Gr1 races, the Gold Cup and a host of other features making up the programme.

With the majority of the top horses already warmed up and ticking over for the big meeting, the quality of racing in the interim has tailed off but that’s not to say it does not remain interesting.

A race in point is the Soccer Any15 Handicap that heads the card at Hollywoodbets Greyville tomorrow.

It is a high merit rated handicap that has attracted some smart fillies who could well make their presence felt come the last Saturday of the month.

Diamondsandpearls takes a further step up in class and victory here and could set her up for a crack at some black type in the months to come.

She has won three of her last four starts, all on the poly, but the switch to the turf should not trouble her. At her penultimate start she was touched off by Cherry Road over seven furlongs when jumping from a wide gate but showed her true worth when trying 2000m for the first time last time out. She made most of the running under stable rider Donovan Dillon and although only getting home by a neck, she was never in danger of defeat.

She got a four-pound rise in the ratings for that effort but that may not be enough to stop her as she gets weight from many of her biggest dangers, notably stable companions Perfect Air and Escape Club.

Perfect Air in particular has a smart recent record, playing second fiddle to VDJ runner Mayabi Gold last time out and prior to that just getting the better of the useful Connect Me.

On a line through Connect Me and Rille, Perfect Air would appear to have the wood on Diamondsandpearls but the latter has a handy galloping weight and, even though a five-year-old, is lightly raced and only now hitting her straps.

Connect Me finished four lengths back to Diamondsandpearls when last they met and is 2.5kg better off. This is her third run after a break and should strip close to her peak.

Escape Club, On The Double, Rille and Star Vega are others to consider in an open but exciting contest.

Sean Tarry is in town until after Gold Cup and he saddles Magical Flight in the opening leg of the Pick 6. She showed plenty of speed when second best behind the smart Winter Smoke when taking on winners. That was a big effort and she should make a bold bid even though she goes this trip for the first time. Biggest threat could be My Lady who has been knocking at the door. She jumps from a good draw and should be thereabouts again

Dean Kannemeyer broke his season’s ice with Fade To Black at Hollywoodbets Scottsville last Wednesday and he saddles the regally bred Lion’s Head in the fourth. The son of Dynasty has put up two smart sprints and should much prefer the extra. From a good draw he should go very close. Of the balance, Chapter And Verse was a close-up fourth from the worst of the draw last run. He has put up two smart efforts and must have a big chance along with Ibutho that came in for strong market support on debut and was not far back. He is likely to make improvement on that first effort.

Dutch Alley and News Stream look set to fight out the fifth. Dutch Alley has cracking form over the trip but a cautionary is that most of his recent starts have been on the poly. News Stream tried further last start but has good form over this trip. He has drawn well and should at least go close. Arizona bolted in last start when taking on stronger but got a hefty shunt up the handicap for his efforts which could have put paid to his winning chances while a lurker could be Karoo Lark who is back from a break and lightly raced.

The last two legs of the Pick 6 look a lot more difficult. Divine Hugh is lightly raced back and came back strongly after a break. He looks the part in this field. Storm Ruler has a tricky draw but has shown up well in two starts for his new stable. Everdene takes on males but has been running consistently. She gets first time blinkers which could make all the difference.

It may be prudent to load up in the last leg with plenty in with winning chances. Kenneth Macarthur is lightly raced and was narrowly beaten over course and distance last start after finding strong market support. He can go one better. All Time High, Sonjador and Flying Pekan may be others to consider.

Gold Circle

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