Punters should get off to a good start at tomorrow’s Vaal meeting, which two races beyond a mile are around the turn and the rest are down the straight.
Weiho Marwing sends out Adorable Alley in the first, a Workrider’s Maiden over 2000m, and she will be ridden by the top workrider Sam Mosia. She is an impressive specimen by Flower Alley, a stamina influence, and was only caught late last time when stepped up to this trip by a promising sort in Smoking Hot. She was also beaten by Super Duper but was only 0,80 lengths off the winner. It was only her third career start and she has plenty of scope for further improvement. She jumped from draw 14 out of 14 last time so was probably forced to lead, but from draw seven out of 16 this time she can be ridden a touch more conservatively. Ever Fair has some fair form but was beaten nearly seven lengths by Adorable Alley last time. Miss Cap Mala ran on for a one length third over this trip last time and beat Ever Fair by 1,75 lengths, but she had a plum draw that time and now has to negotiate a tricky draw, as does Ever Fair.
In the second race over 1200m Candice Dawson and Warren Kennedy could continue their good form together with Little Rain. This Captain Al filly has caught the eye from day one but has bumped some decent sorts. This will be the least inspiring field she has faced and she should get off the mark over an ideal trip. St. Joseph’s Lily nearly caused a 20/1 shock last time and it is interesting to note that in early December she beat Little Rain by five lengths over this course and distance. It is thus going to be an interesting clash but Little Rain is given the nod as that defeat was her second run after a six month layoff and her performances have improved significantly since then. Birdwatcher made a fair debut over this trip and could earn with expected improvement.
In the third race over 1400m Bravo One went close in his penultimate start over this course and distance and Nooresh Juglall is on board again. He should be enough to get punters through the PA. Akwaan has been expensive to follow, failing three times as favourite in four starts. He hasn’t raced since November last year but the rest and gelding should have helped. He gets blinkers on for the first time. Eppagilia has 3,2 lengths to find on Bravo One from their last meeting over course and distance but could earn in this field.
In the first leg of the Pick 6 Crank It Up is interesting stepped down from 2000m to 1400m. He went close over 2000m at Greyville but has also earned over as short as 1000m, so he should enjoy this trip. Curious has some fair form over this trip and Khumalo sticks with him. Opening Gambit comes off a fair second over 1600m on Saturday but he was beaten 2,5 lengths by Curious when they last met over this course and distance, which was in soft ground. Trend Master should go close if Bravo One wins the previous race as he was just half-a-length behind him over this course and distance in soft ground in early January. Bassam looks capable of improving and should relish the step up in trip.
In the first leg of the jackpot Curvation is capable of a strong finish and got there just too late over this 1600m trip this time after being dropped out from a wide draw. Going down the straight will make her task easier. The Flower Alley filly Fire Flower is interesting after making a decent debut over 1200m as she should relish the step up to a mile. Rock You also has decent form and should go close despite not having raced for 86 days.
In the sixth over 2400m Before Noon just failed in his penultimate start when flying up over this trip after being dropped out from a wide draw. The horse who beat him, Imperial Ruby, has come out and won since. Gold Griffin was well beaten by Imperial Ruby in a race won by Out Of Your League but last time out he beat Out Of Your League. Warren Kennedy stays aboard and he carries just 52kg. Odd Rob is always a must include in staying events as he has class on his day. Pilgrim’s Progress and Fife are the only two females in the race and are both well weighted. However, the former is out of form. The latter can be included. Major Return, Palace Green and Mr Greenlight are worth considering too.
The seventh over 1400m looks to be a match race between Rock The Globe, who finished third in the Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Stakes last season, and the up and the progressive filly Isle De France. The former gets the vote but both can be included in the Pick 6.
In the next race the enigmatic Perfact is doing well with blinkers on and might well relish the slight step down in trip as she has been racing strongly over 1600m and placing. The enigmatic Lazarus Tree could have it go his way over a course and distance he has won over. Bockscar is unreliable but can turn it on his day and can’t be ignored. Liberado, Windy Flight and Pop Icon should also be considered.
In the last race over 1400m Encryption has been catching the eye over 1200m and should enjoy the step up in trip. Westwing Belter has shown signs of class and has her easiest task for some time over a suitable trip.
By David Thiselton