The Vaal straight course has a competitive eight race meeting tomorrow, although the exotics look catchable.
The first race will form the first leg of the Bipot and some of the many first-timers look to be the ones to side with. Upcloseandpersonal by Captain Al, Blessed Rain by Soft Falling Rain and Capetown Dream by Capetown Noir are the three which make most appeal on pedigree.
In the first leg of the PA In The Dance can be bankered. This Gimmethegreenlight filly has an exceptional turn of foot, like her half-brother Capetown Noir, and is weighted to win this Assessment Plate over 1200m easily.
In the first leg of the Pick 6 over 2000m both Julep and Hit For Six are up and coming three-year-olds who will relish this step up in trip and they can fight it out with Mighty Rock who is proven over the trip.
In the first leg of the Jackpot over 1600m Latin Opus is a scopey son of Pomodoro and he should relish the step up to this trip after staying on last time over 1400m. He is still maturing so should continually improve and is the one to beat. He could be a banker consideration from a good draw. Verdi ran well in his penultimate start over this trip but has a wide draw to overcome. The Makwakkers was beaten by Verdi in that race but was a touch unlucky and could reverse form from a plum draw here, so he can also be included. The Greatest Wish has shown signs of ability and should be ideally distance suited so he warrants consideration from a good draw. Colonel Caramel is a long-striding sort who is capable of a strong finish and he is a probable outsider to include.
In race five over 1600m Approach Control makes appeal from a fair draw. He was not disgraced in either the Gauteng Guineas or SA Classic and before that was touched off by useful sorts Green Haze and Hero’s Honour in two respective races over this trip. Officially he is 3,5kg under sufferance with Alyaasaat but he beat the latter at level weights in both the Guineas and the Classic and now receives 3kg from him. Alyaasaat beat Soqrat over 1450m at the beginning of the season but has disappointed in the Graham Back, Guineas and Classic since then. He could bounce back in this lesser company. Protea Paradise is a progressive sort who will find this a touch sharp but he should be running on and can be considered. Ghaalla is the best weighted horse but gained her rating from her Grade 3 Fillies Mile win where the form could be questioned as second-paced I Like it was lowly rated and third-placed Ronnie’s Candy did not have luck in running that day. She was also well beaten into third when well weighted on Saturday, although she was nearly brought down in that race so could be forgiven. Anjom disappointed badly last time having struck as one who did have scope for improvement.
In the sixth race over 1600m Dame Kelly has always struck as one with class and she won going away in commanding fashion last time over this trip. She can follow up off a merit rating of 82, which she has proven before to be better than. My Dream Chaser also has a touch of class and is progressing. She can rise above a 77 merit rating and is well drawn. Flying Fable carries topweight but has ability and is well drawn over a suitable trip. Believe Me is progressing in the typical style of a Silvano filly and is capable of coming from off the pace from a tough draw, so she has to be included in the Jackpot and Pick 6. Only To Win is an honest sort who can’t be ignored either, despite a wide draw, and Lady Val is well regarded so could also be in the shake up. State Star should be right there too.
In the seventh over 1000m Dalai’s Promise caught the eye in the preliminaries last time and then only just failed behind the promising Mr Whatson, so she should go close with a 2,5kg claimer up. Miss Khalifa is well regarded and this speedster will have a chance of blitzing the field now that she is back on a relatively quick Highveld track. Dancing Queen has come into her own and can go close too. For wider Elbi, Opera and Ulla can also be considered.
In the last race over 1200m Palace Assembly is capable of still improving and gets the vote over an ideal trip. Certifiable has to be included over a course and distance he enjoys. Sugoi is a well built sprinter and on pedigree he should enjoy stepping up to 1200m. Moon Warrior is close to Certifiable on form and Sporting Monarch also has to be included in the Jackpot and Pick 6 over an ideal course and distance.
By David Thiselton