Vaal Thursday Tips and Race Previews
PUBLISHED: June 27, 2019
Vaal Thursday June 27 Tips and Race Previews by David Thiselton…
Vaal Thursday Tips and Race Previews by David Thiselton
Preview: BLUE SPARK (1) ran on late on debut over 1200m and should improve in a step up in trip he will appreciate. SWAGGER JAGGER (12) was green on debut over 1400m and was only 2,75 lengths back in third so can improve although he has a tough draw. MAGIC VISION (5) has run some fair races over 1600m and now gets blinkers on over 1450m although he also has a wide draw. (David Thiselton 1-12-5)
Preview: ORCHID STREET (1) gets the blinkers off and after some good runs over 1200m tries 1600m again, which he has a chance of getting being by Judpot although his British-bred dam was a 1200m to 1400m horse who won the Grade 3 Champagne Stakes (1200m). VERDI (5) has run second twice over this trip. ZARBAJAD (3) over raced early last time over 1400m but if able to settle from pole position can earn here. (David Thiselton 1-5-3)
Preview: SWEPT OFF MY FEET (14) has gone close in two starts over 1200m and from pole position is the one to beat over a step up in trip she should relish being by Querari out of a Cordoba mare who won up to 2000m. CHARLIE’S JET (7) can improve on her debut where she was slow away over 1500m and finished 5,25 lengths back. AT YOUR REQUEST (9) ran a fair race last time when stepped up to 1450m and should enjoy the further step up in trip on pedigree although she does have a tough draw. (David Thiselton 14-7-9)
Preview: PIDGEON ROCK (1) is knocking on the door and has a plum draw. Two-year-old IRREVOCABLE DREAM (10) made a good debut in an open maiden and was a touch unlucky so should go close from a plum draw. GUNNER RUNNER (9) has not been far off two decent sorts and can be in the shake up despite a wide draw. (David Thiselton 1-10-9)
Preview: CROWN GUARDIAN (1), who is best in at the weights, won well over this trip on his Highveld debut in his penultimate start and although he now gets blinkers on and has a tricky draw he is the one to beat again. SNOW BOARDING (2) has his second run after gelding and has a first time tongue tie on and he will be a threat. BIG BLUE MARBLE (4) has always been well regarded and was a touch unlucky last time. (David Thiselton 1-2-4)
Preview: SEVENTH SON (11) can win this race if reproducing his penultimate run. ICE EATER (6) ran a fair race over this trip in his penultimate start and is three points lower in the merit rating with S’manga Khumalo now aboard. MOSHAV (3) is a consistent sort who should be thereabouts again. (David Thiselton 11-6-3)
Preview: OPERA (3) was not far behind the subsequent Post Merchants winner La Bella Mia last time out and is the one to beat. ELBI (5) has plenty of pace and is in hard knocking form, although he has not raced for 142 days. SOUL OF WIT (4) has ability and although disappointing lately is interesting over a step down in trip. (David Thiselton 3-5-4)
Preview: PRIVATE RULER (3) went close over this trip in April and from a good draw can be thereabouts if producing his best. STREET FLYER (5) came into his last race off the back of a hattrick and over an ideal trip can go close from a more favourable draw this time, although on the weight turnaround from their last meeting he has a tough task with Private Ruler. SLEEPINSEATTLE (8) is drawn in pole and steps up to a trip over which he has finished second before. (David Thiselton 3-5-8)
Preview: KNIGHT OWL (2) won well when stepped up to this trip for the first time last time and looks capable of overcoming a six point raise. SLAY THE DRAGON (5) ran on well from last in his handicap debut and it was also his staying race debut, so he can improve and a wide draw should not be a problem as he can be dropped out again. HIGHLANDER (3) is always thereabouts and was not disgraced last time in a stronger Pinnacle Stakes race. (David Thiselton 2-5-3)
Barahin gets a plum draw
PUBLISHED: June 26, 2019
Yeni said: “Six is a very good draw and I appreciate getting it, particularly as I am drawn among the fancied horses like Rainbow Bridge and Hawwaam…
Muzi Yeni was delighted to find, soon after his arrival at Kenilworth yesterday, that Barahin had collected one of the plum draws.
He said: “Six is a very good draw and I appreciate getting it, particularly as I am drawn among the fancied horses like Rainbow Bridge (4) and Hawwaam (3) while I have Richard Fourie on Do It Again on my outside at ten.”
Barahin will be Yeni’s seventh July ride whereas Keagan de Melo on Head Honcho will be riding in the great race for only the second time. He had mixed views about picking up slot 19 and said: “It’s not a good thing but on a front-runner it’s not a bad one either. I am just going to have to make my own luck.”
Doublemint, one of Justin Snaith’s five-strong armada, will be July ride number six for Corne Orffer who said: “Twelve is better than 18 but I would have preferred eight (the draw of Magnificent Seven) but I am going to make the best of it.”
Last year’s winner Do It Again is the ninth in the July for Richard Fourie who won on Legislate (drawn 11) five years ago. “Ten is brilliant,” he said. “I prefer being drawn out a little because the inside is a big tussle.”
Lesedi La Rona, for whom great hopes were held this season after she won her only two starts last term including the Perfect Promise, finally returned to form with a comfortable success under Lyle Hewitson in the Pinnacle Stakes and looks set to stay in training as a four-year-old.
Mark Bass, representing sister, Candice, said: “We thought very highly of her but she injured herself in the Diana Stakes when she pulled muscles quite badly. We sent her back to Drakenstein but in her last start she choked so we fitted a tongue tie here.”
Kevin Sommerville, Gaynor Rupert’s racing manager, said: “We will sit down and discuss things but it’s likely that she will stay in training. There are some nice black type races for four-year-olds over today’s sort of trip.”
By Michael Clower
VDJ draws land big smiles
PUBLISHED: June 26, 2019
The last July log reflected the final field except for Grade 3 Track and Ball Derby winner Roy Had Enough coming from outside…
There were no real surprises in the announcement of the Vodacom Durban July final field at Gateway yesterday and later most of the top contenders landed draws which the connections were happy with.
The last July log reflected the final field except for Grade 3 Track and Ball Derby winner Roy Had Enough coming from outside the top 20, leapfrogging Camphoratus and Zillzaal, and filling the berth vacated by the scratched Hero’s Honour.
The connections of Camphoratus might have felt unlucky not to get in ahead of four-year-old fillies Miyabi Gold and Fresnaye as she won the Grade 1 Empress Club Stakes, where she beat Fresnaye comfortably, as opposed to the latter pair’s respective Grade 3 and Grade 2 wins. However, what likely worked against her was she was beaten by Fresnaye in the Grade 2 WSB 1900 in May by 0,60 lengths. They ran at level weights in that race and will run at level weights in the July.
There is very little separating Miyabi Gold and Fresnaye with latter winning the Grade 3 Victress Stakes over 1800m in December by 1,50 lengths from Miyabi Gold, from whom she was receiving 2kg.
Some would argue that Bunker Hunt, merit rated 112 and a strong-finishing third in the KRA Guineas, 1,65 lengths behind the fancied July horse Twist Of Fate, could have been included ahead of his stablemate Miyabi Gold. The latter is 2kg under sufferance carrying 52kg, whereas Bunker Hunt would have been only 1,5kg under sufferance carrying 53kg. Bunker Hunt is also a progressive three-year-old who should be starting to come into his own, whereas Miyabi Gold, merit rated 105, is quite an exposed four-year-old. On the other hand Miyabi Gold did win the Grade 2 Gold Bracelet over 2000m at Greyville and the Listed Scarlet Lady over 1750m, whereas Bunker Hunt is yet to win a stakes race.
However, all in all there won’t be too many gripes.
The favourite Hawwaam drew three and his Mike de Kock-trained stablemate Barahin also drew well in six.
The defending champion Do It Again drew ten and his Justin Snaith-trained stablemate Made To Conquer, runner up last year drew one outside of him in eleven. Another Snaith-trained horse Doublemint drew one outside of them in 12 and the other two stablemates Magnificent Seven and Miyabi Gold drew eight and five respectively.
Eric Sands was very happy with his draw of four for third favourite Rainbow Bridge.
The Sun Met third-placed Head Honcho, trained by Andre Nel drew badly in 19.
Joey Ramsden has in the past seen the funny side of the perennial wide draws he tends to land at the VDJ final field and draw ceremony but yet another couple of bad draws was too much for him this time and he was clearly unhappy. His charges Twist Of Fate and Fresnaye landed draws 17 and 13 respectively.
Dennis Drier was hoping to land a draw from one to ten so was thrilled with draw nine for his filly Lady In Black.
Sean Tarry’s charges Tilbury Fort and Return Flight landed draws one and two respectively and stablemate Legal Eagle draw seven.
The Frank Robinson-trained Roy Had Enough landed draw 15 and the Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained Divine Odyssey is drawn 16.
Glen Kotzen, winning trainer ten years ago with Big City Life, watched on as Eyes Wide Open drew wide in 18. However, he was philosophical and said at least he could stay out of trouble and added there also appeared to be a lot of pace around him.
The reserve runners, the Robbie Hill-trained Camphoratus and the Sean Tarry-trained Zillzaal, drew 14 and 20 respectively.
By David Thiselton
Draw sets up the July
PUBLISHED: June 26, 2019
Africa’s greatest racing event will be run over 2 200m at Greyville in Durban on Saturday, July 6 and the annual betting frenzy…
Most of the top horses in the betting for the 2019 Vodacom Durban July drew well when the final field for the R4.25-million, Grade 1 event was announced at a public function at the Gateway Theatre Of Shopping at Umhlanga on the North Coast just outside Durban at midday today.
Africa’s greatest racing event will be run over 2 200m at Greyville in Durban on Saturday, July 6 and the annual betting frenzy on the iconic race will now move into top gear heading the betting splurge across Southern Africa that will see more than R200 million being wagered on the special day.
There were no real surprises among the 18 horses named to contest the race and the inclusion of the Frank Robinson-trained Australian-bred colt Roy Had Enough was expected after his impressive victory in the Grade 3 Track & Ball Derby at Scottsville on Saturday. However, having made the final field, he did not fare well when it came to the draw and he will have to jump from at best the 14 barrier position.
Justin Snaith, who has five runners in the race, showed satisfaction with the 10 draw position for defending Vodacom Durban July champion Do It Again when he personally did the draw for his runners with the other four members of his team set to start from positions 5 for Miyabi Gold, 8 for Magnificent Seven, 11 for Made To Conquer and 12 for Doublemint.
Mike de Kock, who will saddle favourite Hawwaam, drew three for his star performer and big race favourite and six for his other three-year-old colt Barahin while Joey Ramsden was physically unimpressed with the 13 and 17 draws which he made for his two runners Fresnaye and Twist Of Fate.
Sean Tarry pulled top draws for three of his four horses with Tilbury Fort to jump from the inside pen with stable companion Return Flight alongside of him. The seven-year-old Legal Eagle got the seven draw while the three-year-old colt Zillzaal drew 20 which matched his carded number as the second reserve runner.
Journalist: Richard McMillan.
The latest betting on the Vodacom Durban July as posted by Track & Ball is: 1.7-1 Hawwaam; 4-1 Do It Again; 4.5-1 Rainbow Bridge; 6-1 Barahin; 16-1 Twist Of Fate; 20-1 Legal Eagle; 25-1 Doublemint, Magnificent Seven; 28-1 Head Honcho, Eyes Wide Open, Made To Conquer; 40-1 Tilbury Fort; 50-1 Divine Odyssey, Return Flight; 55-1 Lady In Black, Miyabi Gold; 66-1 Fresnaye; 75-1 Roy Had Enough.
Point Of Sale to ring up the register
PUBLISHED: June 26, 2019
Point Of Sale, sporting earmuffs, was in the paddock a good 10 minutes before the rest of the field and left the paddock five minutes before…
Point Of Sale did not have a barrier trial which had some observant punters hot under the collar when she made her debut at Scottsville earlier this month but officials have cut some slack regarding problem horses at a trainer’s request.
Point Of Sale, sporting earmuffs, was in the paddock a good 10 minutes before the rest of the field and left the paddock five minutes before them but showed no signs of being unruly. However, Glen Kotzen, on veterinary advice, was given special dispensation because he had been struggling with the filly’s shins.
In any event, she turned in a cracking first run, gong down narrowly to Angel Bouquet. Warren Kennedy will again be aboard and they can go one better when she lines up in the third, first leg of the Pick 6, on the Greyville poly this afternoon and she is already odds-on in the ante-post market.
Jack’s Bird did have a barrier trial where she was allowed to run along in the hands but turned in a smart debut when finishing second to Captains Love at long odds last month. Other than these two, the field is a little thin on form but the year-older Duchess Lane is far better than her last effort when finishing behind Jack’s Bird while Cop That should prefer the extra.
Miss Jagger has drawn up Marriott Road but should have a bright chance in the fourth. Chesney van Zyl has taken a little time to get to grips with the Summerveld routine since re-locating from the Highveld but his horses are finally turning the corner. Miss Jagger had shown steady improvement before the move and she trialled well.
She will also much prefer today’s 1600m trip but Isikhwami Sami, who has the form to be a big danger, has a plum draw at 2. Her two best runs have been over course and distance and she is a must inclusion in any exotics. Ruby Slippers and Hey Jude look pick of the balance.
Stuart Pettigrew is an accomplished trainer of stayers and American Indian has his first run for the Randjiesfontein trainer after showing consistent form for Ormond Ferraris. This is Pettigrew’s only runner on the day and if American Indian can carry his form through, he is likely to be difficult to beat although he will not be short of opposition.
Silver God was down the field in the Cup Trial but was just over a length back to Eyes Wide Open in the WSB 1900. Silva’s Bullet has been costly to follow but is still marginal favourite with Track And Ball and it is only a matter of time before he lands another victory.
Cape Bluebell has come to hand again and was doing her best work late when beaten less than a length by the promising Marsanne jumping from the worst of the draw. She is back to a sprint when she lines up in the sixth but has drawn mid-field which should help her cause. Call Me Winter tried to make all when stretched to 1400m again but ran out of petrol in the last 100m. She is well suited to today’s trip and should be right there from a good draw. Of the balance, Dream Dancer, current ante-post favourite, was narrowly beaten last run in spite of losing a shoe in the running while top weight Tweed Valley is consistent but does seem best over a furlong shorter.
The seventh is a Fillies and Mares 62 Handicap, a minefield if ever there was one. Blue Flower was not far back in her poly debut and boast some useful Cape form. Written is better than her last effort and has been doing well against stronger. The extra furlong should suit and the Highveld form is generally a little stronger when it comes to the lower divisions.
In the last, another Fillies and Mares 62 Handicap, Oloye is way better than her last effort when drawn badly and she is back on her favourite surface. Current favourite Cherry Pop may have found her last run a touch far but back over shorter with first time blinkers could see her home.
By Andrew Harrison