The Vaal Classic track meeting tomorrow has some interesting races including three good class handicaps for fillies and mares.
The seventh, a MR 92 Handicap over 1450m, is a particularly fascinating contest as it sees some up and coming fillies clashing with some proven older females. Stage Dance is the selection. She is a daughter of Duke Of marmalade so will be improving. She has been close up in her last five starts to some good horses including Celtic Sea, Green Top, Snow Palace, Mount Laurel and Rio’s Winter. She now has a first-time tongue tie on from pole position and her merit rating of 91 is attractive. Promise is a five-year-old but keeps on defying the handicapper and has won five of her last seven starts. She had a bit in hand when winning at Scottsville last time in soft going and has been raised only two points.
The six-year-old mare Rouge Allure has raced over 1800m and 1600m in her last two starts and has come down four points in the merit ratings which will make her dangerous from a plum draw of two as this is her best trip. Kay Tee Perry caught the eye when winning her maiden second time out over 1160m, beating the promising Cornish Pomodoro, so she should go on to win a few races, but this is her first time around the turn and she faces a decent field from a tough draw. Makara has caught the eye since day one and races as if she will stay this trip, so she is interesting in her third run after a layoff. but on the downside she has a tricky draw and on pedigree, being by the speed influence Soft Falling Rain out of a Var 1000m specialist, there is a slight stamina doubt.
The Fifth Wave stayed on well over 1200m last time after a slow start so can’t be ignored from a good draw. Gallic Princess is a decent sort but looks held by Stage Dance on their last meeting over this course and distance. Gimme Hope Johanna has come down in the merit ratings and has two wins and a third over this course and distance so is hard to leave out. Bullsade has been off form but has come down the merit ratings and from a wide draw is capable of finishing strongly from off the pace.
In the fourth race, a MR 91 Handicap over 1800m, Machali looks the one to beat. She was found wanting last time in the closing stages over 1600m after turning for home in a handy position, but that was a strong field and she should relish the step up in trip being by Dynasty out of a Jet Master mare who won over this trip. Topweight Destiny’s Game won going way last time over 1600m and has won her only start over this course and distance so this progressive daughter of Master Of My Fate should be able to handle the five point raise she was given.
Pretty Ballerina has also won over the course and distance before and has a plum draw. Moroccan Flame is a progressive daughter of Ideal World who is drawn well over a suitable trip so she might be able to handle a four point raise, although she was well beaten by Pretty Ballerina in her penultimate start over this trip. Elusive Butterfly has a bit to find with Destiny’s Game and there might be a stamina doubt considering her speedy female line, but she is by Elusive Fort so there is a chance she will enjoy the trip and she is drawn in pole.
The sixth is a MR 92 Handicap over 1000m and Double O’ Eight can make it a quick double. She was given a five point raise for her beating of a good Pinnacle field last time and is set to carry a welter 64kg but the 4kg claim of Philisande Mxoli alleviates that. Rainbow Haze has eyecatching pace and will be dangerous with a 2,5kg claimer aboard off an 83 merit rating. Ocean City can never be ignored over 1000m as she is capable of blitzing a field.
The rest of the card is competitive too.
Belle View should enjoy the step down in trip in the first and should offer some value.
Pluviophile and Bella Rosa should fight out the second.
Latin Opus enjoyed stepping up to middle distances last time so has a fine chance in the third, although G.I. Joe should have come on from his last run and will be a threat, while Fort Alado can improve too.
In the fifth Flying High should be too good at the weights, although Magic Mila is progressive and could give her a run for her money.
In the last Crime Scene, Putin’s Promise and Creation are up and coming sorts while The Makwakkers is off a decent mark and Written In Stone will relish the step back in trip but has a tough draw.
By David Thiselton