Secret Palace takes on the boys

PUBLISHED: 09 May 2019

Africa Rising (Nkosi Hlophe)

The Vaal straight course stages a nine race meeting today where there are a few opportunities for punters.

In the first race over 1200m Secret Palace is an athletic type who stayed on well over this trip around the turn on debut in yielding going. She can win this with expected improvement, although it is never easy against the boys even if she is getting a 2,5kg gender allowance. The two dangers could be the well-bred first-timers Bold Over and Indy Go. Bold Over is by Twice Over and is a half-sister to the Grade 2 Golden Slipper winner Desert Rhythm and Indy Go is a R325,000 gelding by Captain Of All out of Grade 2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas winner Go Indigo.

Africa Rising (Nkosi Hlophe)
Africa Rising (Nkosi Hlophe)

In the second race Virtuosa caught the eye on debut running on strongly from way back and she does not face an inspiring field here. Spring Break is well bred being by Trippi out of the speedy mare Miss October and this R1,8 million filly could be the biggest threat. Allmyloving has some speed and can stay on and both Capetown Dream and Get Set have shown some ability.

In the third race over 1400m Therevada caught the eye in a workrider’s maiden on debut when staying on with long strides and Gavin Lerena now rides. He is made a PA banker.

The first leg of the Pick 6 sees Captain Of Tortuga and Rockin Russian renewing rivalry. The former won comfortably when they last met but the latter likely needed it badly that day as she was coming off a long break. There shouldn’t be much in it this time as Rockin Russian is now having her third run after a layoff. Fired Up caught the eye on debut as one who should be progressive but ran wide and over raced second time out over 1600m. Back to this trip he could make his presence felt again.

In the first leg of the Jackpot Virginia has always been held in good regard and she benefited from a layoff recently which allowed her to do some maturing. She should have come on from that good comeback run and her class can enable her to carry topweight here over a suitable 1600m trip. She can be made a PA banker, although Walnut Dash and Quebec Queen are decent sorts who can be included in the Pick 6.

In the next race over 1200m, a MR 104 Handicap, Danza is proving suited to this distance and is knocking hard so he is the one to beat. Clever Guy beat Danza by 0,70 lengths last time and is now 1kg worse off so there should not be much in it. He only finished 5,30 lengths back in the Grade 1 Computaform Sprint on Saturday. The switch from blinkers to cheek pieces helped in his penultimate start when beating Danza and the cheek pieces are back on. Africa Rising is an admirable sort with some class and a nice turn of foot and as one who stays further than this trip he should run a good race fresh here. Those three could get punters through.

Captain Of Tortuga (JC Photographics)
Captain Of Tortuga (JC Photographics)

In the seventh over 1100m the consistent Mademoiselle is off a nice merit rating and with a galloping weight of 55kg over a trip she should enjoy she is the one to beat. Pool Party has run three fine sprints against decent sorts in her last three starts, one of them a win and with a 4kg claimer up she will be a big runner here. Miss Pinkerton has been disappointing lately but she is capable and can also be included.

In the eighth over 1000m the two promising sprinting stablemates Winter Storm and American Hustle should fight it out, despite carrying topweight of 61kg. They are going paces and the big horse Winter Storm is preferred.

In the ninth over 1000m Farraranga has pace and can do better than last time. Generous Notion has done well against decent sorts in her last three starts over 1200m and now has blinkers on over 1000m so should be right there. Geographe Bay returns from a short layoff and is now running off a competitive merit rating. Reserve runner Claremorris is knocking on the door and must be included if getting in. Illegal has plummeted in the merit ratings and should now start being competitive. However, this is a wide open race and it would be wise to choose as many horses as possible for the Pick 6.   

By David Thiselton