The Vaal Classic track eight race meeting tomorrow begins with a Workriders Maiden Plate over 1600m for fillies and mares and Heart Stwings can be bankered in the Bipot despite being the only two-year-old in the field. On debut she was caught wide but still managed to stay on well for second in a Workrider’s maiden for fillies and mares over 1400m. She has scope for improvement and Sam Mosia is back aboard from a good draw of two against an uninspiring field. The main danger will be Jay Bomb, who stayed on last time from a handy position over this trip on the Turffontein Inside track for second behind a firecracker in Perfect Storm. The latter was returning from a rest and showed a lot of improvement. This time Jay Bomb jumps from pole position and should finish in the top two.
In the first leg of the PA over 1000m Anton Marcus has the first of four rides on the day for Mike de Kock. He is aboard the first-timer Quick Wit, an R80,000 Philanthropist filly who is out of the twice Listed Syringa Handicap (1600m) winner Saucy Savannah (Kahal). She has been priced up 3/1 favourite by Track And Ball. The Ashley Fortune-trained Before The Dawn made a good debut when slowly away and running on over this trip. This Oratorio filly is out of the Grade 2 Post Merchants winner Varikate and should improve enough to reverse form with the speedy but exposed Allmyloving. Quick Wit and Before The Dawn should be enough to get punters through the PA.
In the first leg of the Pick 6 over 1450m Marcus is aboard Fort Carol. Last time out he was pushed from the off from draw eight out of 12 over 1600m but ended up being trapped one wide in second place. The early exertion took its toll as he found no extra late and faded into fifth, beaten four lengths. He now has a plum draw of three and with Marcus up can be more effective from the front this time and although by Elusive Fort the step down in trip might suit too as he is out of National Emblem mare Hot Ember, whose two wins were over 1200m. Jet Storm beat Fort Carol by two lengths in the aforementioned race when getting the run of the race from pole position. However, he made a breathing noise and might not have it as good this time from draw five. Atomic Blonde looks a nice type and is also a must include after making a good debut over 1400m and now jumping from draw two. Youcanthurrylove made a fair debut over 1200m and looks to have scope for improvement, so can be involved over a step up in trip he should enjoy, although he does have a tough draw of ten. Country Squire ran a fair third last time out when stepped up to 1400m, although he was finding no extra late, so might be a little stretched by the trip.
In the first leg of the Jackpot over 2400m Horace can continue his romp through the divisions having taken to staying races like a duck to water. He is drawn two and looks capable of handling a six point raise for his easy last win. American Indian could be dangerous in his first start for Stuart Pettigrew, who does well with stayers and this horse has performed well enough over this trip before. Wonderous Climber is a decent stayer too and can also be considered.
In the fifth race over 2000m Pettigrew could win it with Gottalottaluv, who has always struck a one with a touch of class. She disappointed over 2400m last time but that was against the boys and she might have gone a bit fast in second place. She can make amends here back against her own gender over a course and distance she has run three times for three seconds. Lady Val has always been held in good regard and Marcus rides here from pole position over a trip which should be ideal, considering she is by High Chaparral out of a Giant’s Causeway mare. Pretty Ballerina has won win and a second over course and distance and has a shout, although she has a tough draw. Pretty Border finished fourth in the Grade 2 Gerald Rosenberg over this trip but was given a hefty ten point raise. Tehuano can also be considered first time out the maidens as she sneaks into the handicap with the minumim weight and is drawn well.
In the sixth race over 2000m Itsmydarlin is the one to beat if repeating her storming finish from off the pace over this trip last time. Ex’s ‘N Ohs and Big Myth look to be the dangers. All I Got and Live In Love are capable sorts too and must be included in the Pick 6 and Jackpot.
In the seventh race over 1000m Dalai’s Promise is in fine form and can make it a hattrick. Double ‘O’ Eight has always been well regarded and has been in good form on the Highveld so can be included and Winter Watch has a chance on the weight turnaround with Dalai’s Promise. Kissable can’t be ignored in the current fast conditions and Ulla is a consistent course and distance suited horse who can be included.
In the last race over 1450m Reconnaissance is interesting stepped down in trip with blinkers on in an uninspiring field. Royal City and Pieces Of Gold have the ability to go close. Sleepinseattle has a tricky draw but could be involved in this field and In The Game and Prince Jordan can also be considered.
By David Thiselton