The Vaal stages a low key eight race meeting and the Pick 6 looks catchable as it includes three plate races.
The first leg is an Assessment Plate over 1400m for fillies and mares and Vistula is a nice type who comes off a good effort over 1200m, running second to the decent La Bella Mia. She is by Ideal World so should not only be improving but should also enjoy the step up in trip. She has already proved the latter as she finished a close fourth in the Grade 3 Three Troikas over this distance. It is hard to choose between her and Anneka, a progressive sort who ran a cracker in her penultimate start over this course and distance against the boys. Vistula gets the nod only due to her slightly better draw. Both have low draws which tend to be unfavourable but only a small field of eight face the starter so it will hopefully not have a dramatic effect. If it does then Westwing Belter could pick up the pieces as she has caught the eye in both of her starts to date and could rise above her lowly current merit rating of 70.
In the next race, an Assessment Plate for fillies and mares over 1000m, Dalai’s Promise was undone by a low draw last time in a handicap and has an easier task here at the weights and also has a plum high draw of seven out of seven so she should bounce back. The only filly better in at the weights is topweight Summer Afternoon, who unfortunately has draw one. Operetta can also be included in the Pick 6 as the form of her recent races has worked out well.
The third leg of the Pick is a handicap over 1000m but punters needn’t go to wide as Scoop and Topmast stand out on form and have fair draws. Gallactic Warrior can be included by the risk averse as a hard knocker who is competitively merit rated and distance suited.
The next race is a difficult fillies and mares handicap over 1600m and punters will have to go as wide as possible. Topweight Abelie is the choice as a progressive sort with good form. She is also drawn well over a suitable trip and Muzi Yeni looks to have chosen her above Rabia The Rebel. The latter is also improved and can be included. Virginia is well regarded and has some class, but has been a touch disappointing so is interesting returning from a rest as such types can benefit from a layoff while maturing. Those are the first three choices but going as wide as possible is the suggestion.
In the next race over 1600m Private Ruler is distance suited and drawn high and comes off an unlucky second. He can beat home the progressive Gone With The Wind, who has talent but makes breathing noises. Norland is always thereabouts so is a must include. Winter Crusade could still improve and Sovereign Reign can never be ignored as one with plenty of ability. Molleloa and Refuge can also be considered.
The best bet on a tricky card is chosen to be Kayla’s Eagle in the last over 1600m. She has a fair draw and having not been disgraced last time in fifth when doing the donkey work in her first attempt at this trip she can do better with a more conservative ride. However, she cannot be made a banker and Oh So Cold and Wild Thoughts must also be included.
By David Thiselton