Charles Dickens gets chance to exact revenge
Race 1 (1,400m)
(5) ABERDEEN found one to beat in his last two starts. He should go one better with blinkers.
(12) PETTEIA showed up well on debut. The extra 200m should suit.
(4) POWER STAR is holding form well and has not finished out of the first two since donning blinkers.
(6) COSMIC RHYTHM raced greenly on debut. The colt is sure to improve on that showing.
Race 2 (1,400m)
(10) ORIENTAL BOUQUET finished close in a handicap after winning on debut. She can still improve further.
(2) AFRICAN FOLKLORE won her last two, looks good enough to achieve the hat-trick.
(6) EPIC VIEW would appear to be the stable-elect, though, and could improve over the extra trip.
(7) KINGDOM OF GOLD won well second-up. Must be respected.
Race 3 (1,400m)
(1) GIMMEANOTHERCHANCE was a runaway maiden winner last start. He has the best draw and may be the one to beat.
(6) ROMANCE IN ROME was a comfortable winner over this course and distance last run.
(5) WINTER GAMES came on nicely second-up to shed his maiden status. He can go on with it.
(2) FAR HORIZON scored on debut at lengthy odds. From a good draw, it will pay to watch the market.
Race 4 (1,800m)
(1) ROCKPOOL ran below expectations last start behind stable companion Isitrainingwilliam. He gets another chance.
(6) QUASIFORSURE was also disappointing in the Greyville 1900 when left with plenty to do in soft ground. Deserves another chance.
(10) SHOEMAKER was not far back behind See It Again in the Daily News. He has blinkers for the first time.
(4) CAPE EAGLE also has a winning chance. His sequence of wins was broken with a fourth placing last start.
Race 5 (1,400m)
(11) MARIGOLD HOTEL warmed up well with a comfortable sprint victory. She should be close to her peak. Richard Fourie’s booking is a big plus.
(10) HUMDINGER took on a strong field from a wide draw last time. She is running over her best trip but has to contend with a wide alley again.
(8) BON VIVANT has her third run after a break and is back over her optimum trip.
(2) MAHARANEE is regaining her best form after a spell. She has a good draw.
Race 6 (1,600m)
(4) CHARLES DICKENS, super consistent with seven wins and two seconds from nine starts, is the logical choice in the Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge.
He gets his chance to exact revenge on (5) AL MUTHANA, who handed him his first defeat – but by only a neck in the Grade 1 King’s Plate.
After that, Charles Dickens might have found the 2,000m trip too long when beaten by See It Again in the Grade 1 Cape Derby.
Recently, he turned the tables on his rival in the Grade 2 KwaZulu-Natal Guineas (1,600m).
Al Muthana, the 2022 winner when trained by Mike de Kock, has been a bit disappointing since his King’s Plate victory but was doing his best work late in the Grade 2 Drill Hall Stakes and should strip at his peak.
(3) TRIP TO FORTUNE, who finished down the field in the King’s Plate, has since travelled to Gauteng to win the Grade 1 Horse Chestnut Stakes. He then beat Gimme A Prince and Al Muthana in the Drill Hall Stakes.
(1) COUSIN CASEY has had to bow to Charles Dickens and See It Again in the three-year-old pecking order. But, from pole position, he cannot be ignored.
Race 7 (1,100m)
(1) MONEY HEIST has been racing over further but has been up against the best. He has class and the drop in trip from a good draw could see him home.
(5) MAGIC TATOO comes from a very much in-form stable. He is lightly raced and will have needed his last run.
(6) ACACIA’S BLOSSOM has been trying further but her best form has been over this trip. She has a light weight and Keagan de Melo to help her home.
(10) ENSUING copped a four-point rise in the handicap for his last win but he has been consistent.
Race 8 (1,100m)
(3) REEFWAY has improved with blinkers and finished close-up in good company last start. She has a plum draw to contest the finish.
(2) OUR EMILY has won her last five starts. Another win cannot be discounted.
(10) SHIPHOLIA has a tough draw but is in good form, as is the stable.
(6) SHANTA’S PRIDE won well last start. Strong each-way chance.