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Now, The New Season Begins

Friday, 10 September 2021

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Spring has (nearly) sprung and for punters around the country there is a huge sigh of relief, writes Gary Lemke for GG Gaming.

Down Time

South Africa’s racing season is from the beginning of August to the end of July. And August is one of those months where the serious punter is inclined to take a breather. Finding winners is hard around the country and everyone, trainers and owners included, tend to wait for September before they consider the season to have “started”.

Look at the GG Gaming-sponsored Bass Racing stable, for instance. Head trainer Candice Bass-Robinson sent out a record 104 winners last season, an average of over eight winners a month. But, this August she saddled two winners. The output was affected by the Cape rains, with two meetings abandoned, and sodden training tracks at Milnerton which meant she couldn’t gallop her horses properly.

In KZN, with their season over, the “out of towners” left, which meant that the racing was largely contested by local horses and those considered the second and third stringers in every training yard. Also, the polytrack, as opposed to turf, isn’t a great betting proposition.

In Gauteng, the grass is still a lifeless brown at Turffontein and the Vaal in August, and trainers keep their better horses hidden until the grass starts to turn green.

So, around the country, trainers and owners wait for September’s signs that spring has sprung, the grass changes colour in gauteng, the tracks start to dry up in the Cape after the winter rains and in KZN form starts to settle given the visiting trainers have left with their horses.

It’s still early days in September, but you can see some of the trainers starting to take the warmers off some of their better horses, much like a Formula One garage where you see the tyre blankets come off as the mechanics await a driver to come in for a pit stop.

Starting on the New Season

This is where we are at when it comes to Cape racing.

Last week’s Sophomore Sprint at Kenilworth had a few nice three-year-olds flexing their muscles and I thought the win by the well-backed ZAPATILLAS was full of merit and an early sign that trainer Brett Crawford might be in for a strong season. Going forward, I’d suggest that when it comes to the three-year-old features in particular that you don't leave this trainer out of any of your bets.

Saturday’s meeting at Durbanville eases a few more nice types into the new season. One needs to take into consideration that it is Durbanville though, where every race is around the turn and while the draw is not as important as it used to be, given the revamping of the track, some horses simply prefer sprinting down the straight at Kenilworth.

But, there are some nice races on display and some nice types. SUGAR MOUNTAIN, the Candice Bass-Robinson colt, is by SILVANO and will want a lot further than Saturday's 1400m, but the race looks a match between him and FULL HOUSE. Take the exacta with confidence.

The sixth race is really competitive with four of the eght three-year-old fillies being trained by champion Justin Snaith, with HIGH HOSANNA making her debut among winners and then going into contest two features. She obviously has ability. I think that Candice Bass-Robinson might have a lurker here though with DANCETILDAYLIGHT. She has opened at 8-1 in the betting but can win this. She has shown talent and improvement in her two starts and comes in with 54.5kg, receiving 5.5kg from HIGH HOSANNA.

There’s another meeting at Durbanville next Tuesday, and while the betting hasn’t opened, a double of RHYTHM OF THE RAIN (race 1) and SENSO UNICO (race 5) could pay dividends.

Suggested R32 PA for Durbanville:
2,3 x 1 x 6,7 x 1,2 x 7 x 3,7 x 1,7

News and Views

Jockeys Not Always The Bad Guys

Friday, 17 September 2021

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When I first saw that South African jockey JP van der Merwe had been suspended from riding for 12 months by Singapore racing authorities, a couple of thoughts ran through the mind, writes Gary Lemke for GG Gaming.

Read the full article...

Late Closure of Betting Pools

Friday, 10 September 2021

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Betting pools for Race 1 at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on 5 September 2021 failed to close in a time, resulting in bets being taken after the race was run. Single-race bets were refunded, but the field was allowed to apply in multi-race bets.

In a statement released on 10 September, TAB apologized to those who had winning bets on the race and conceded that refunding the bets was a disappointing outcome. However, that was the most practical solution in the circumstances.

Read the full article...

Now, The New Season Begins

Friday, 10 September 2021

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Spring has (nearly) sprung and for punters around the country there is a huge sigh of relief, writes Gary Lemke for GG Gaming.

Read the full article...

Greyville Polytrack - bias towards the outside?

Tuesday, 07 September 2021

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Hollywoodbets Greyville polytrack has long been believed to be biased towards the outside rail.

Is this still true?

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Tuesday, 07 September 2021

On a day when a new generation of champions will take their next step to glory, the news that treble SA Horse Of The Year POCKET POWER passed away quietly in his paddock at Hemel ’n Aarde on Saturday morning, will be a sad way to end the season for many racing fans.

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Passing of A Veteran

Thursday, 02 September 2021

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Bill Prestage, a long time Cape trainer and owner, tragically passed away on the morning of 1 September 2021 at the age of 86.

Read the full article...

HAT PUNTANO Proudly standing at Summerhill Equestrian

Friday, 27 August 2021

“How Many Can Do That? But Hat”

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XAVION Can Keep Unbeaten Record

Thursday, 26 August 2021

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The clearest indication that we’re “between racing seasons” can be seen in the make-up of the cards at the various meetings around the country this weekend, writes Gary Lemke for GG Gaming.

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Entries for the Spring Spree Stakes

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

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The Listed Spring Spree Stakes is run on Saturday, 4 September 2021 in Turffontein with a benchmark at 52kg=94.

Mike and Adam Azzie, who took BOHICA to victory last year, have 4 runners while SA Champion trainer Justin Snaith has only a single entry in CAPTAIN TATTERS. Looking to compete further from home, Justin Snaith’s usually Cape-based operation now runs a permanent satellite yard at Summerveld. The stakes situation in the Cape is a matter of concern.

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David Southey at the Blood Stock Sales

Thursday, 19 August 2021

David Southey at the Blood Stock 2yo Sales.

The horse brought out is RED SPARK son of RED RAY from Lot 229. The mare is WISH FOR WISDOM. RED SPARK is the half-brother of CLEVER GUY who is in the top division and a very good sprinter.

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