The Vaal stages a low key nine race card tomorrow but there look to be opportunities for both on the nose and exotic punters.
In the eighth race, an Assessment Plate over 1400m, Running Brave looks to be a ready made banker. She is well in at the weights here and this is an ideal trip. The only concern is she might just need the run having likely been freshened up after a busy campaign. Cordillera, who has two wins and a narrow second to her name over this trip, is one of the dangers. Afrostar could also be a big danger as a scopey horse who is having her third run after a layoff over a step up in trip she will relish. She is a good looking filly and will likely be going places. However, a chance is taken and the nuggety Running Brave is made a banker in all bets.
In the first leg of the PA over 1800m Moroccan Flame is a typically big and rangy daughter of Ideal World who failed on the head bob over 1450m on debut. She should relish the step up to this trip and can make amends from a good draw of two. It might be worth including Vijeta, who is drawn well and flew from last when stepped up to 1700m last time and being by Duke Of Marmalade she should also be improving continuously.
The first leg of the Pick 6 is an Assessment Plate over 1000m and Gimme A Wave has plenty of substance and struck as a nice type from day one. Last time out over 1200m he moved up well to hit the front against a decent field but was then run out of it. He was not disgraced finishing just 5,50 lengths in third behind the well regarded former Cape horse Crown Guardian. He should relish the step down to 1000m on the evidence of that race and is the one to beat. Big Blue Marble is well regarded and little went right in his Highveld comeback run last time out after a Cape Summer campaign. He must be respected and so must the well regarded Royal Cavalier, who has always struck as one who is better than his current mid-sixties merit rating suggests. He did well in first time blinkers last time and could be a threat to the two aforementioned three-year-olds.
In the first leg of the Pick 6 Romi’s Boy has a record of one win and two seconds over this 1200m course and distance. He has been competitive off a 106 mark and now drops one point to 105 so should be in the shake up in his third run after a layoff. Angel’s Power has a fine record over this course and distance and off a mark three points higher than his last win he is also a contender. The classy Monopolize returned from a rest to win over the sharper than ideal 1000m last time and he can follow up over this more suitable trip. Billy Silver is talented and is coming to hand. Danza disappointed last time but should go close if repeating his penultimate start where he was a touch unlucky.
In the sixth race over 1200m, an apprentice handicap, the talented Bockscar bounced back to his best last time and can continue fulfilling his potential off a three point higher mark. Casual Wear is a quick filly who might find this further than ideal but in the prevailing fast conditions she could be a threat. The in form Moon Warrior has to be included, especially as 4kg claiming apprentice Juglall knows him well. Written In Stone disappointed first time out the maidens but is much better than that and could be an outsider to consider here. Mount Keith has been back in form and Brigtnumberten is another quick 1000m type who could be dangerous in the fast going.
In the seventh race over 1200m What A Poet had been selected as the value bet of the day. Last time out he caught the eye taking a strong hold over 1400m and just found no extra late. He could well appreciate the step down to 1200m and he has Gavin Lerena up. However, it a lot will depend on whether the number one draw is disadvantageous on the day, as it can sometimes be. The suggestion is to go as wide as possible in this race.
The last race over 1500m is an apprentice handicap and the topweight Florida Quays makes most appeal as a hard-knocking sort running over a suitable trip. Tsitsikamma Bush can go close if repeating his penultimate start over 1400m. Shortstop stayed on well last time over this trip. Manhattan Cocktail, Supa Mufti and Visigoth are other to consider for the Pick 6.
By David Thiselton