by Wayne Currall
Blythewood trainer Michael Brennan’s team has been in good form of late and Naughty Maravu has a second to none chance of keeping the ball rolling for the stable in tonight’s Larkhill Vets Conditioned Handicap SS Pace (2503m) at Gloucester Park.
The six-year-old bay gelding put the writing on the wall at his last start when he sat parked outside of leader and eventual winner Franco Rayner in a 1730m sprint at headquarters last week. The last 800m was carved out in 56.4 and Naughty Maravu never gave up the chase, finishing a brave 3.9m second behind Franco Rayner. It was a gutsy effort and full of merit and Naughty Maravu’s previous runs have all been against top-class horses.
Prior to his second, he raced against horses of the calibre of Ohoka Punter, Heez On Fire, Galactic Star and Shandale. Tonight’s race is a drop in class for Naughty Maravu and Brennan has him poised to score his first win in this campaign.
He loves the stands with his 22 starts from the tapes producing six wins and ten placings. Punters should disregard the fact that Naughty Maravu hasn’t saluted since October last year. Brennan tipped the horse out of work after he finished fifth in the Tabtouch Australasian Young Drivers Championship at GP in early December. Naughty Maravu had a long campaign since May, 2016 and was ready for a break but the horse should be cherry ripe after five runs back from a spell.
It’s hard to imagine any of Naughty Maravu’s 11 rivals being able to sit outside of a horse of Franco Rayner’s ability and still be there when the whips are cracking in the home straight. Driver Shannon Suvaljko is good at getting them away from the strands and if Naughty Maravu can step on terms with them from his 10m handicap then he appeals as the horse to beat.
Winning chances should also be given to reliable beginner Importer Exporter, who seems to be working back into form, has the services of champion reinsman Chris Lewis and steps from the front, the consistent stand performer Assassinator off 10m from the stables of leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, and backmarker Waltzing With Cullen, a seasoned standing-start specialist who is alone on the 20m mark and is returning from a spell.
Approved By Dean Baring www.harnessbred.com
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