THIS is the time of the year that you must be a horse-racing fan in Port Elizabeth.
The festival of racing gets into full swing next weekend but what a build-up awaits us. We start with a meeting at Arlington today followed by another Arlington fixture on Monday.
Next Friday sees the running of the Racing Association Stakes at Fairview. Past winners of this race include Paris Perfect, Big City Life, Bold Silvano and Run For It. The race could produce yet another superstar.
The Fairview meeting will also mark the official launch of the new polytrack.
On the Sunday is the Eastern Cape's biggest raceday with the Algoa Cup the feature attraction.
The last time a Port Elizabeth stable won this race was in 2009 when trainer Jacques Strydom teamed up with jockey and brother Piere to win with Surfin' USA. Let us hope a PE horse can do it again.
The good news about the racing festival is that you do not have to be a racing fan to enjoy it. You can get involved on the charity side and support the East Cape Horse Care Unit.
The cocktail party next Friday night will include an auction to raise funds for the unit. But back to today's action and looking at the eight races it is difficult not to think about the Algoa Cup again.
Strydom has had a long-term plan to get the six-year-old gelding Gianduja in the field for the big race, and a win today might just clinch a place for him.
I will go with Gianduja because his owners are really a nice bunch to have at a big raceday.
Punters' Pal tips for Arlington:
Pick 6 R1280