Sniper Shot looking for victory in Scottsville
By Andrew Harrison
Sniper Shot has come down to a more realistic handicap rating and he can repay his owners for their patience with victory in the Fever Tree Stakes (Non-Black Type) at Hollywoodbets Scottsville tomorrow where punters face another tricky card.
Sniper Shot paid dearly in handicap terms for his win the Gr2 Post Merchants and it has taken all of three years since that victory to see his merit rating drop from a career high of 110 to tomorrow’s more realistic 94.
With his rating dropping he has become more competitive and was low-flying when second behind Ad Altisima over 1200m on the Greyville poly last time out.
Against him is that he has yet to win over tomorrow’s distance but on the evidence of his last showing, with Anton Marcus up and the benefit of a good draw, Paul Lafferty’s runner should be there when the whips are cracking.
Solid Gold is something of a Scottsville specialist, having scored all of his six wins on the track where his trainer, Michael Roberts, won his first race as a jockey.
Solid Gold has his quirks but has an exemplary record on this course. One can draw a line through his last outing when 15 lengths back to Pearl Of Asia where he was ‘done’ just over a furlong out and Serino Moodley did not persevere once his chances were compromised.
He has pulled a favourable marble and Raymond Danielson takes over in the saddle.
The mare Master Keys is another that the handicappers have taken pity on and she comes into this race with a handy galloping weight in spite of taking on males. She has been up against some smart members of her own sex of late and in the past has not been far off the likes of Pretty Young Thing, Silvano’s Pride and Running Brave at level weights.
If she can find that form, she will be worth an each-way wager.
Priceless Ruler is the best weighted but still has to shoulder top weight and was well beaten by Solid Gold when last they met after being sent out an even money favourite. The soft going that day may have been to blame for his disappointing effort so he cannot be written off lightly.
The national lottery has been described as a wager for the mathematically challenged but without a ticket you do not have a chance.
In horse racing terms, the Pick 6 can be similarly described, but your chances of winning are far greater given that very few punters make random choices.
On the other hand, horses with random form often scupper the majority of Pick 6 hopefuls.
The trick is to identify those races that the possibility of an upset result is most likely.
There are some difficult races on Sunday but there are a couple that many will be banking on to help cut expenses.
Abbey Wood will be a popular banker in the opening leg of the Pick 6. Lezanne Forbes’s filly was a beaten favourite at her last two but may have found her last effort too far at this stage of her career. Over this shorter trip she should go close.
Biggest threat could come from Perfect Display who was narrowly beaten on the poly last outing in just her second start in KZN.
The second leg could develop into a boat-race between Grimaldi and Secret Giver as they look to be the two principal runners given form and draw. Warren Kennedy rides for both trainers but Gavin van Zyl is possibly his loyal option. Include both in your exotics and you should make it through.
It gets a lot more difficult from here on. In the sixth, Clinton Binda makes many successful raids in KZN and Phinda Mzala has consistent Highveld form in useful company. With a 4kg claimer up he should make another bold bid. Brazil Nut tried further last run but has not reached his PE form so far. This may be the race that gets him back on track. Letaba had his consistency rewarded last run and only got a two-pound penalty so can go in again while Quant Master is never far off them and won well last start. He should be right there again.
The eighth has a ‘field’ look about it but Alsflamingbeauty steps up in trip from a good draw and has her third outing back in KZN. She is not the easiest but does have ability.
Jackson Wells, Alfonse Baby, Conchita and Song Of The Forest should all be in the hunt.
Punters face a similar puzzle in the last leg.
Shastina won well on the poly last run but does go well on the turf. She took a big rise in the handicap after her last win but still looks progressive. Connect Me has come down progressively in the ratings and has not been far off in stronger company. With a 4kg claimer up and blinkers on, she could be the surprise package. Futuristic Dame has drawn in Woodhouse Road but shows consistent recent form.
Time To Roll ran a cracker first up out of the maidens at only her second outing and is a must inclusion in all exotic bets.