Nov 15 2017

Township Melody can bring Justin Snaith’s uncharacteristic Cape Town losing run to an end in the opening maiden at Kenilworth tomorrow.

The former champion trainer turns out winners more consistently than almost anyone else in the business, certainly in the Western Cape, and he has already had 47 this season – more than any of his rivals.

Yet, he has not had a Kenilworth winner since Sergeant Hardy’s all-the-way Pinnacle success at the end of last month. In the three meetings at the course since he has sent out 35 consecutive losers including six beaten favourites. Only Razed In Black at Fairview last Friday got on the score sheet.

But Bernard Fayd’Herbe’s mount has the form to resume the stable’s normal service, running well to take three successive seconds in big fields, each time beaten on average only three-quarters of a length. The one negative is that she has not raced for 11 weeks.

“I haven’t galloped her but I don’t think she needs it – she is a light filly,” says her trainer. “She is doing exceptionally well at home and she is my best of the day.”

She opened favourite at 22-10 with World Sports Betting yesterday. The firm makes Glen Kotzen’s Var newcomer Royal Sensation next best at 7-1 with Madame De Guava (a first-timer trained by Paul Lafferty) on 8-1 along with the Brett Crawford-trained Love Dove. Bendy Bullet (good form until Durbanville last time) is next on 9-1.

William The Brave and Pacific Chestnut stand out in the Maiden. There was less than a length between them over 2 000m here a fortnight ago and on adjusted ratings there is only half a kilo in it. A lot will depend on which appreciates the extra 400m the most.

Pacific Chestnut has the more scope for improvement – he has only raced four times while the Ramsden runner has had twice as many outings – and so he may reverse the placings. Louis Burke is a good value for his claim and, even though he is up against a world class rider, 4kg is a huge advantage. His mount opened at 15-10 with William The Brave fractionally odds-on at 9-10.

Red Eight, second in his last four, looked certain to win halfway up the straight at Durbanville last time but Akshay Balloo did one of his front-running specials on a 50-1 stable companion and beat him a length.

MJ Byleveld’s mount is 16-10 favourite to finally get his head in front in the Betting World Maiden but he may again have to give second best, this time to 19-10 shot Final Chance who was a length adrift when the pair met at the end of September. The Crawford horse lost quite a bit of ground when hampered leaving the pens and in the straight he had to wait for a gap.

Streetfighting Man kept on well to show significant improvement when upped to a mile a fortnight ago and at 28-10 looks a second Snaith winner in the Maiden. Saltoro Ridge heads the market at 22-10 with Photocopy next on 5-2.

Hopefully there will be no snakes in the grass this time. At last Thursday’s meeting a particularly big one was spotted on the course and the start of race seven was delayed while cautious efforts were made to encourage it to get out of the way of the runners.

Michael Clower

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