The Vaal has a nine race meeting tomorrow and on paper Perfect Tigress stands out as a Pick 6 and Jackpot banker in the eighth race but a closer look shows that Chariot Of Gold and perhaps Crystal Stream should also be included.
The Where’s That Tiger filly has always been well regarded and is starting to fulfil her potential. She ran on strongly in the Grade 1 SA Fillies Classic over this trip to finish a 2,75 length fifth. According to official merit ratings she is 5,5kg better off than any other horse under the conditions of this race and she is drawn well in two. The one concern is that she did take a while to get going, so a slow pace will be against her, but she should be improving all the time. Chariot Of Gold is second best in at the weights and will be dangerous as she will likely be the one dictating the pace. She has run some decent races including finishing just four lengths behind Horse Of The Year Oh Susanna at level weighs when sixth in the Grade 1 Woolavington 2000. Crystal Stream is one with improvement in her and is another one to consider. She is drawn ideally in pole position for her front-running style and last time was looking for company in the straight. When a horse did pass her she picked up again and won going away, suggesting she is better than her bare form. However, she is 8,5kg under sufferance with Perfect Tigress.
In the first leg of the PA over 1200m Country Squire only just failed last time when handy throughout over 1000m. The impressive part of the run was that he jumped from the usually unfavourable draw of one down the Vaal straight. He nearly led from start to finish over this trip before that from this same number 12 draw and this field looks less inspiring. However, Tequila Man ran on well after a slow start over 1160m last time and could do the same from a high draw here, so he can also be included.
In the first leg of the Pick 6 over 1200m Boundless Deep had good form in the stronger centre of Cape Town over 1400m and is the one to beat having also run some fair sprints in KZN. However, this is his first run for the Botes yard and he returns from an 89 day layoff. He is also wearing a first-time tongue tie, so there are some negatives and he can’t be bankered. Varquera caught the eye on debut but then had to overcome draw ten out of ten on the Turffontein Inside course last time over this trip. He wasn’t disgraced and Gavin Lerena is now up. Catch A Glimpse has some fair recent form over course and distance and can also be included.
In the first leg of the Jackpot over 1200m Palace Chapel has a touch of class and looks capable of rising above his 95 merit rating. He has Lerena up but does have a low draw, so others have to be included. Life Is Good represents the flying Magner yard and looks to be off an attractive merit rating. Topweight Clever Guy has not been disgraced against some top horses lately and can also be included.
In the sixth race over 2600m Lerena is aboard Highlander who can always be relied on to finish strongly and stays the trip well. Master And Man disappointed last time but did not find cover the whole way and with better luck in running can go close. The Honey Badger is an improving sort who stays and he is the type who needs a good draw. He gets a good draw here and looks to be off a reasonable merit rating. Indy Ice was not disgraced last time in the Derby Trial and is interesting stepped up in trip as one who has stayed on over trips from 2000m to 2400m. Earth Sky is better than his last run and if bouncing back has a shout and Kings Cup has to be included in the Pick 6 and Jackpot.
In the seventh race over 2000m the R1,2 million Twice Over colt Palace Green won his maiden well and starts off on a reasonable mark with Lerena up from draw two. Pole position drawn Powered Beauty looks to be the one capable of upsetting him.
In the last race over 1700m I Am Batman caught the eye finishing with long strides over 1400m and should relish the step up in trip from a good draw. Culture Trip is also a longs-striding sort who should enjoy the trip from a good draw. Tarry horses make most appeal. Toastmaster is going the right way and is distance suited but has a wide draw to overcome. Wild Fire improved dramatically with blinkers and has to be considered and Manhattan Cocktail ran on well over 1400m last time so could also be thereabouts.
By David Thiselton