This six-time winner – all over 1400m – closed his KwaZulu-Natal campaign with a gutsy pillar-to-post win at the Greyville Polytrack. Then next time, when starting his five-year-old season and neglected in the betting, he ran out a clear-cut winner in a MR 88 Handicap at Durbanville.
This gelding was not disgraced in his following outing when up in class, as he showed similar pace and was a creditable runner-up in a MR 94 Handicap over the same course and distance. Then in his subsequent outing he held form well – running on stoutly under 57.5kg at Durbanville and snatching victory in a MR 84 Handicap.
With a handy galloping weight of 55.5kg and having a good inside draw, the gelding will be tough to beat over his most effective distance.
The raider will have most to fear in Gavin Smith-trained six-time winner Dawnbreaker with Craig Zackey up. This five-year-old has not been unplaced in his last 12 starts which yielded five wins. The gelding was denied a Polytrack hat-trick in his penultimate outing when a one-length third in the 1600m Founders Trophy. However, he struck back next time with a decisive win in a Pinnacle Stakes over the course and distance. Drawn alongside Zeb, a keen duel can be expected.
But both will have to be on guard against top-weight Afrikaburn from Tara Laing’s stable with Chase Maujean aboard. This six-time winner was a good second to Dawnbreaker three runs back in a 1400m Pinnacle Stakes at the Polytrack and followed up with a creditable fifth in the Founders Trophy. Then refreshed after a short break, the seasoned campaigner made light of 61kg with a clear-cut start-to-finish win in a 1600m Pinnacle Stakes on the grass course.
Next best are Captain Marmalade, Breakfast Club and Silver Blade.
Look to Smith-trained Hallo Rosie (Muzi Yeni) for a profitable start to the meeting. This three-year-old filly has improved with each run and can be considered unlucky last time when finishing second as she was hampered in the running and lost a shoe as well. She should exit the maiden ranks this time with the advantage of pole position.