There look to be some fair opportunities for punters at the eight race Vaal Classic track meeting tomorrow.
The first race is a Workriders maiden over 1450m and Karakoram looks the one to beat. Last time over this trip on the Turffontein Inside track when wearing first-time blinkers he had to jump from draw ten of ten and was caught wide for a bit just before turning for home, so he did well to stay on for a three length fourth. He has a better draw this time and faces an uninspiring field. Latest Craze finished well back in his first two starts against good horses. He improved after gelding and with first time blinkers on last time to finish second and should earn again in this field. My Kingdom ran a fair race on debut over this distance and should improve.
In the second race over 1450m Constantia looks the part. She has improved in her last two starts and last time out over 1200m, despite a tardy start, she ran on strongly for a 0,90 length second. She looks likely to relish the step up in trip and she has a good draw. Empress Josephine was scalped on debut and caught without cover when making a fair debut over 1200m. She has a speedy pedigree being by Crusade out of a Listed-winning sprinter so this step up in trip is not certain to suit. However, she is drawn in pole and is sure to make a bold bid from the front or a handy position. Notquitethereyet ran on well for a place last time from well back and is interesting with blinkers on.
In the third over 2000m Flaming Duchess looks ready to win. She stayed on well for a 1,40 length third from a wide draw over 1600m last time and, being by Duke Of Marmalade out of a five-time winning Jet Master mare who won up to 1800m, she should enjoy this step up in trip. She has a fair draw and Callan Murray has his third ride on her. Smiley River is by the Vodacom Durban July winner Pomodoro but she has a speedy female line. However, she stayed on late over 1600m in hr penultimate start after being slow away and was never a factor last time over 1450m, so might be looking for this trip. Nazareth was caught late over 1800m last time and being by Black Minnaloushe and a half-sister to a horse who won over 1800m she has a chance from a good draw.
In the fourth race over 2000m Sell High has been knocking on the door over 1600m and has finished third over this trip before so looks the one to beat from a good draw. Arnica Montana has been expensive to follow but being by Flower Alley out of a placed full-sister to Mother Russia she might be looking for this trip. Turf Master has done well from the front before and in this uninspiring field he could earn if finding the front from a wide draw.
The fifth race over 1800m is wide open although Captain Flynt has a good chance. He has been knocking on the door over 1600m and should enjoy the step up in trip being by Captain Al out of a Silvano mare who won a Listed race over 1800m. He has a good draw too. Meeraas caught the eye when winning his maiden cosily over 2000m three runs ago. He has then disappointed twice over 2400m, so the step back to 1800m should see him firing again. He will be a threat from a fair draw. The consistent Hidden Agenda has been staying on over shorter and does have a good record over this trip, so he will be dangerous under an accomplished 4kg claimer, although he does have a tricky draw. March To Glory has become a bit in an out, but on his on days he is capable of staying on well. Warren Kennedy is the perfect jockey for him and proved this in his penultimate start when going close over 1600m, so him being back aboard is a bonus. Corrido is capable of being involved in the finish here and so is Zeal And Zest, while Snorting Bull is interesting dropped in trip as he can turn it on well. Bosphorous will also be a factor over this trip.
In the sixth race over 1600m At Hand stayed on strongly over this course and distance last time and Warren Kennedy is now up off the same merit rating and from a similar draw. In The Game stays this trip these days and gets his first good draw for a while, pole position, so he will be a threat. Youcanthurrylove won cosily third time out and the form was then franked so he also has to be included.
In the next race over 1000m Singforafa was a facile winner last time over course and distance when well weighted and she is well weighted again. Fly Away also won impressively last time over the same course and distance and recorded a faster time than Singforafa despite carrying more weight, so she has a big shout too. Tropic Sun made a promising debut and could also be involved.
In the last race of the day over 1200m Big Blue Marble is chosen as the best bet of the day. He has always been well regarded and was far from disgraced last time over this trip in a race where he had the like of Grade 1 winner Eden Roc behind him. He was dropped a couple of points by the handicappers and has pole position which will suit as he has won from the front before. Purple Diamond stayed on well over 1000 last time and will prefer this trip so has a shout from a good draw. Sporting Monarch has run well fresh before so he has to be considered from a good draw over an ideal trip.
By David Thiselton