Saturday's South Africa (Turffontein and Kenilworth) form analysis

Namib Desert all set to go one better

RACE 1 (1,800M)

(7) CASTLE CORNER and (1) LEADING LAD have been struggling to shed their maiden status. But one of them could do it with some improvement here. Preference goes to Castle Corner, who has blinkers refitted. (5) FAST DRAW has had his chances. He can continue to earn his keep. (8) USHUAIA was not disgraced on debut. The colt should be fitter.

RACE 2 (1,400M)

(10) NAMIB DESERT eased in the betting on debut but ran on strongly for a close second. He rates as the one to beat. (8) DOUBLE MARTINI was not disgraced on debut. The extra distance will suit. (2) MANTERIO can be considered, if he does not accept an earlier engagement. (4) WILDEYE, his stablemate, is sure to improve with the extra distance.

RACE 3 (1,400M)

(11) SAY WHEN pulled up not striding out last time and was unexpectedly beaten. With a 4kg claim and a trouble-free run, the filly could make amends. (10) EMERALD FLOE, her stablemate, could also benefit from the filly's allowance. (3) DAWN OF A NEW ERA looks ready to give a good showing over a preferred trip. (4) EURO CENT is having his peak run and could feature.

RACE 4 (1,200M)

(1) CAPTAIN DIZZY and (3) SUPERIOR LEADER have improved with each run. They could play a leading role with further progress. Superior Leader is the pick of the in-form Grant van Niekerk over stablemate and well-bred newcomer (10) SON OF SILK. (2) WORDSWORTH is likely to be competitive after back-to-back seconds over the track and trip with blinkers fitted. (9) PREEMPTIVE STRIKE is likely to improve after a pleasing debut.

RACE 5 (1,400M)

(3) PUSH OFF was narrowly beaten in his post-maiden run, but is on the up. He can chalk up his second win in his fourth start. (5) NAMAQUALAND needed his first run as a gelding and should go on with it. (7) RIVER JORDAN is having his third run after a rest and could double-up over this course and distance. (1) DAN THE LAD cannot be ignored over this trip. The 4kg claim will help.

RACE 6 (1,400M)

(1) CAPTAIN WHO has looked a winner in waiting since his promising debut third. A subsequent fourth over this trip and a second over 1,200m last start suggest he is ready to win reverting to 1,400m. (5) HIKARU and (6) FIRSTAMONGEQUALS are the threats. They finished close-up last time over the course and distance. (2) BUMRAH has earning potential. Watch the betting on the newcomers, who could have a role to play if they are not too green.

RACE 7 (1,400M)

(1) ANYTHING GOES is going for six straight wins. (2) WAR OF ATHENA was beaten twice by Anything Goes, but is fitter and could have her revenge. (3) SENTBYDESTINY is no slouch, but is a difficult customer. If she settles, she could finish strongly. (4) GEE FOR GO and (5) CARALLUMA'S should improve after they pulled up stiff behind and were not striding out last start.

RACE 8 (2,500M)

(2) NIGHT SONG is stepping up in distance after facile wins over the shorter trip. He could be hard to beat if as effective over this trip. (3) HALF AND HALF was twice beaten by Night Song, but is likely to pose a threat stepping up to this distance on revised weight terms. (4) MELIORA is distance-suited. He has been successful at this level. (6) WARRIOR BLING and (7) SIX HILLS GIANT, both progressive last-start winners, should have more to offer with experience under light weights.

RACE 9 (1,400M)

(1) CATCH TWENTYTWO beat stablemate (2) MK'S PRIDE by just over two lengths last time but has 200m less to travel. Both are top class and it could go either way. (4) COPPER MOUNTAIN has not been out of the first two in six starts, but has yet to tackle this class. (6) FLYING CARPET and (5) BINGWA performed well in the features races and could get into the mix.

RACE 10 (1,200M)

(5) CAPITANA ran above her rating when second over the course and distance behind the classy Clouds Unfolds. She needs only to repeat that effort to return to winning ways. (1) BOOMPS A DAISY, her stable companion, was a fluent winner over 1,000m last start, when fitted with blinkers. She should make her presence felt if building on that effort with the headgear retained. (4) DARK CRYSTAL and (2) ON CAPTAIN'S SIDE have set a good standard and will keep those principals honest.

RACE 11 (1,800M)

(2) BARAHIN comes off a lengthy layoff. If fit and fresh, he could take advantage of the moderate field to score. (6) RUNNING BRAVE gave her best with a gutsy effort when a clear second to Summer Pudding in the Summer Cup. The mare should go well again. (1) ZILLZAAL and (3) DIVINE ODYSSEY disappointed in their last start, but they are capable of doing a lot better. (4) CHIJMES was not disgraced in his comeback run and should make his presence felt.

RACE 12 (1,600M)

(1) SO FLAWLESS and (3) KUNMING ran well in a stronger race over the course and distance on their handicap debut. They need only to reproduce those efforts to play leading roles. (2) BLACK SILVER opened her account over this trip and should improve to pose a threat. She is well bred. (6) TWO PENNIES and (5) WINTER'S AWAKENING are closely matched on recent form. They could stake a claim.

RACE 13 (1,800M)

(4) VICTOR LAZLO impressed when winning his maiden race at his third start. He looks to have plenty of scope for improvement. (1) VALIDUS could be underrated. Watch for a good effort. (2) GIMMETHEGOAHEAD was not disgraced in his first run as a gelding. He can only improve. (8) PAMUSHANA'S PRIDE and (7) TROOPER worked hard for their maiden wins and can go on with further progress.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2021, with the headline 'Namib Desert all set to go one better'. Subscribe