The Grade 2 Victory Moon Stakes to be run at the Vaal over 1800m tomorrow is a good pointer to the Grade 1 Gauteng Summer Cup and although the weights have been set for the latter race a condition of that event states that the weights may change up to the time of declarations on 19 November.
Soqrat carries topweight but is the ultimate professional, a horse who relaxes beautifully in the running and then runs on strongly in the straight. He has a plum draw and can make it another Graded success. AL Mutakawel is a full-brother to the SA Derby winner Al Sahem and although officially out at the weights the best has not yet been seen of him and he can rise above his current rating. He has a sustained finishing run and was not suited to the tight Turffontein Inside track last time. He will relish the step up in trip on this galloping course and has a fine chance.
Shenanigans was also not suited to the Turffontein Inside track last time and should be staying on strongly down the long straight if he is able to find cover. He proved when running on well in the Jubilee Handicap that he is effective over this trip. Roy Had Enough is capable of a strong finish too although he should come on for the run being an entire whose target is the Summer Cup. Green Haze won emphatically when tried over 1800m again last time and is interesting stepped up in trip again.
Divine Odyssey is capable of a strong, sustained finish and is well drawn over a suitable trip in his second run of the season. Noble Secret often disappoints but with the blinkers now on he might start showing the class he has always possessed. Seville Orange should come into her own this season being by Duke Of Marmalade and not only is she distance suited but she is the best weighted horse according to official merit ratings.
In the Listed Gardenia Stakes over 1000m Dancing Queen could be the one to beat over a course and distance she has had two wins and a second on in three starts. Ulla is a decent, consistent sort and steps back up to the trip of her penultimate win. Singforafa is capable of blitzing a field and will be dangerous over this quick 1000m track. Green Plains deserves topweight and can never be ignored. Dalai’s Promise has speed and class and has won twice over the course and distance. Montreal Mist ended off last season well and makes her seasonal reappearance here.
A difficult day’s racing starts with a workrider’s maiden over 1200m where the improving Malteza has a chance and Madame Patrice should also be right there.
The next over 1000m can be fought out by two promising sorts, Capitiana and Masaaqaat.
The third over 1400m sees the debut of the French-bred five-year-old Tzaritza, who is a half-sister to Whisky Baron. She does not have a lot to beat and Flower Of Scotland and Emerald Crest are the two raced horses who make most appeal.
In the first leg of the Pick 6 Tulip Way is an improving daughter of Captain Al and is selected to beat hard-knocking Virtuosa and first-timer Intimidate, a Pomodoro filly who is a half-sister to stakes-placed speedster Leta’s Bonnet.
In the fifth race Illusion should be fit after his first two outings and looks likely to relish the step down in trip. True To Life has plenty of class but it is her seasonal reappearance. Ikigai also has promise although it will be a touch on the sharp side.
The sixth race is a tricky sprint handicap but Old Man Thyme, Life Is Good and Chief Of State have looked the part lately.
The last leg of the Pick 6 is also tricky and as many as possible should be included.
By David Thiselton