The feature race for this Saturday’s 24th meeting sees ten runners in the starting stalls, and it is the presence of two of them which has caught the eye. Seventh Plain is back after he ran into misfortune in his last start, while Karraar is running again for the second consecutive week. On paper, they look set to fight it out for victory, but racing is conducted on the track, and there are a few horses which have not been entered just to give garlands and praise.
SEVENTH PLAIN (Swapneel Rama) finished as the best of the rest behind Al Mariachi in the 21st meeting, although it is correct to say that he would have won the race had he not been so inconvenienced in the home straight. This six-year old showed satisfaction in his workouts in midweek, and even if he is running over the mile for the first time, he is still rated as a strong chance, particularly as he is carrying 54 kg.
KARRAAR runs again for the second consecutive week, after his 4th place in the Group 1 Princess Margaret Cup. This genuine performer can justify his yard’s decision here, and with Jameer Allyhosain on board, he will have the rider that his ridden him to his two wins in 2018.
After a productive showing on his debut, DANCE ON AIR (Imran Chisty) did not disgrace himself in his follow up. He may have only finished 7th, 2.8 lengths behind Al Mariachi, but he did make up some ground in the final straight. This Patrick Merven-trained gelding looks to be in good shape and the step up in trip is in his favour. The least that can be said is that he is entitled to have a big say in this.
SPLIT THE BREEZE (Vikram Sola) has had to make do with second place in his last two attempts. He remains with one win to his credit, which he earned in last season’s Barbe Cup meeting. He hails from an in-form yard and he is capable of making his presence felt.
REIM (Akshay Balloo), Gujadhur stable’s second runner, showed up well in his first two outings this season. However, this two-time Group race winner was a major disappointment last time out in the Lighting Cup. Back from a break, he has caught the eye in training, and if he is close to his early season form, he can be right in the mix.
TURBULENT AIR (Juan Paul van derMerwe) was found not to be striding out in his return to competition after injury. He has fully recovered and was first-rate in his workouts. Don’t rule him out from showing his true capabilities this time round.
The remainder of the field consists of runners that have everything to prove. BUDAPEST (Reehaze Hoolash) is definitely one of them. Expected to take the season by storm, all he has done is land three 4th place finishes. He will have to show improvement if he is to contend for the honours here. ELUSIVE PATH (Ronnie Stewart) has not come close since he opened his account in just his second start here. He appears to be in better form than in his last few attempts and he can make the frame. PRINCE OF THIEVES (Dinesh Sooful) runs for the first time since his transfer to Preetam Daby’s yard. He would have preferred a shorter trip and is rated as just an outsider here. Similar comments apply to ERNIE (Cedric Segeon), whose recent form does not make good reading.