Gentleman’s Wager blossoms with experience

PUBLISHED: 31 January 2020

Gentleman's Wager (Candiese Lenferna)

Tonight’s meeting at Greyville is as competitive as ever and the exotics should pay rewarding dividends.

The Johan Janse Van Vuuren-trained Gentleman’s Wager has always struck as one who would blossom with experience and he won his first start on the poly over 1900m with consummate ease, beating no slouch in Northern Route by 4,25 lengths. He was given the maximum raise of eight points and is also 1kg under sufferance but he could still be ahead of the handicapper and can win the fifth race from a good draw of five under Ashton Arries. Railtrip has class and has dropped to a competitive merit rating, so can make a bold bid for an inform yard from draw four. However, the Gavin van Zyl yard elect appears to be the hard-knocking Just Cruised In. Land Of Mystery ran on well when stepped up to 1800m last time and should also be a threat. Sunny Bill Du-toy is the most interesting of the rest as he has some class and now has his peak run following a one-and-a-half year layoff.

Gentleman's Wager (Candiese Lenferna)
Gentleman’s Wager (Candiese Lenferna)

The meeting starts with an intriguing maiden for fillies and mares over 1200m.  Path To The Stars has not been disgraced in two much stronger fields than this in Johannesburg and should go close from a plum draw under a 4kg claimer. Brunilda is improving and should be running on strongly from a high draw. At Your Request has been knocking on the door over 1400m and should handle the step down in trip. 

The second is a tricky maiden over 1600m. Grey Linngari wears first time blinkers and this should help over a distance on the sharp side of his range. Great Warrior made a fair debut in Jo’burg and could be in the shake up as can the hard-knocking Academy Award.

In the third over 1600m, an uninspiring maiden for fillies and mares, Leanna could be an outsider to consider having her third run after a layoff as she has shown good ability in the past, although it depends on whether she starts on terms and settles well in the running. The one to beat on form is Warren Kennedy’s mount Duchess Of Malfi.

In the fourth over 2000m War Office showed big improvement when stepped up to this trip from sprints third time out and can beat Impressive Master.

The sixth over 1200m is the highlight of the evening, being a MR 96 handicap over 1200m, and the classy Wave can win it, although pole position is not always a good draw on the poly. Di Mazzio loves this course and distance and has a plum middle draw and the well regarded Euphoric is interesting over a course and distance where he has a first and a second from two starts.

The seventh over 1200m could be won by Peppermint Tea who has good pace and stays on. Then Highveld raider Solar Flare is speedy and is interesting on her poly debut from a low draw.

In the eighth over 1200m Someone Exciting produced an exciting finish last time from off the pace on the Greyville turf and she has run second on the poly before. Diamondsandpearls is drawn three and having run a pearler to win her maiden over course and distance she should be in the shake up from draw three. However, it is ultra-competitive and going wide is the suggestion.

By David Thiselton