The Vaal Classic track a stages nine race meeting tomorrow and it is a typically low key but competitive August card.
Punters could get off to a good start with the Sean Tarry-trained Therecanbeonlyone. This horse was outpaced in the finish over 2000m last time but stayed on and although just a young three-year-old looks to be crying out for the trip already. She has plenty of substance so should be improving all the time and being by Twice Over out of a Captain Al mare who won up to 1950m her pedigree also suggests she should get the trip. Weiho Marwing is an expert with stayers and the Lateral filly Laconia has earned a cheque in her last five starts over staying trips. She is starting to threaten a win and with top work rider Sam Mosia now aboard from pole position she will be a threat to Therecanbeonlyone, Shezahotti has had bad luck with draws and it continues here as she is drawn six out of six. She is bred for this trip being by SA Derby winner Irish Flame out of an Among Men mare who is out of a Rakeen mare and she could earn.
In the second race Serendipity can be forgiven her last start as she attained a speedy cut during the race. She is now drawn two over a favourable trip of 1500m and faces an uninspiring field so if recapturing her previous form off an effective two-point lower merit rating she is the one to beat. Passion Peach has been quite frustrating to follow over sprints as she finishes well but usually does it too late. She has failed in two attempts at this distance category but is by Ideal World so might be able to stay it now as a five-year-old. She has a fair draw with Muzi Yeni up. Empress Rock is never far off them and now has a 4kg claimer up so could also be in the shake-up.
In the third over 1200m both Brigtnumberten and Golden Lion will have to carry a fair amount of deadweight and therefore Pidgeon Rock is preferred. This four-year-old won well in the maidens last time over this 1200m trip and Dennis Schwarz stays aboard. His opening handicap mark looks manageable. Brigtnumberten has plenty of pace and has a fair draw. In the current fast conditions he can kick on. Golden Lion’s big weight of 63kg will be alleviated by the 4kg claimer of apprentice Syster. He won from a wide draw over the Turffontein Inside track over this trip in his penultimate start and is now drawn in pole off just an effective two-point higher mark, so will be a big threat.
In the fourth over 1600m Stop For Nothing is the form choice. He was four lengths back over 1400m last time and on pedigree should enjoy this step up in trip, although a concern is the breathing noise he made. The Riddler steps up from 1200m and should enjoy it on pedigree so can be involved from draw two. Tiki Taka has also shown signs of ability. However, this race could produce an upset as the first three choices don’t inspire confidence.
In the fifth over 1600m Smiley River moved up well on debut over 1400m after a slow start but did not find the necessary extra. She should improve and does not have a lot to beat. Readysetglo is usually thereabouts but is quite exposed. However, she is drawn in pole and should enjoy the step up to this trip being by Traffic Guard. The one who could upset the applecart is Anagram. She stayed on well over this course and distance last time from the same good draw of two and that was only her third start so she can improve.
In the sixth over 1600m Waqaas drops back to the course and distance of his best run and he is drawn in pole in an uninspiring field. Grindelwald has finished fourth in his last two starts over this trip and has been dropped a further three points so could get closer. Pelican Bay’s merit rating has been dropped another two points and he had excuses last time so could earn from a good draw.
In the seventh Perfect Light won well over this trip last time and off a lenient merit rating and jumping from pole she can follow up. Tombola has failed twice over middle distances before but having made a good start to her career in a Highveld yard she can be given another chance. This is particularly in light of her being by stamina influence Irish Flame and also the manner in which she won going away over 1600m last time. Destiny’s Game won well when stepped up to 1800m last time and looks likely to enjoy the further step up in trip, so she has a chance despite having to carry topweight off an effective six-point higher mark.
In the eighth over 1000m Before The Dawn starts off handicapping on a reasonable mark having won easily with first time blinkers on over this trip last time and with a 2,5kg claimer up could follow up. Phillydelphia is none too consistent but carrying a featherweight she could be in the shake up if producing her best, although she is 1,5kg worse off than she could be as she is half-a-kilogram under sufferance and the 4kg claimer Syster carries 1kg overweight. Queen Of War, Claremorris and Ottawa are also capable of winning this race.
In the last race over 1000m Mr Hugo has not been disgraced in two starts won by useful sorts. He has pace and can improve. Touch Of Fate has ability and can be involved if starting better than usual. Sunburst is having his 17th start but could earn here and Pure Wisdom and Anatolio can’t be ignored either.
By David Thiselton
Image: Ryan Munger rides Serendipity in the second race at the Vaal racecourse tomorrow.