With 28 runners in the line-up, the WSB Grand Heritage very much represents the charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava in the 1854 Crimean War, sans the cannons and bullets.
That said, the jockeys will be out to dodge any bullets in the run down the Vaal 1475m straight and it will be every man for himself come the final 400m.
Sean Tarry has eight runners in the race, 10 if you add the reserves, but his best bet of a victory could come with Social Order. Tarry has an enviable record in feature events and always has long-term plans for his runners. Social Order put in a cracking effort behind stable companion Tierra Del Fuego in a strong Pinnacle Stakes last time out and although he carries joint top weight, he has earned it.
Glen Kotzen saddles the mare Elusive Heart who has shown that she was not far off the best of her generation last season. There is not much of that stature in tomorrow’s contest although this is a handicap with a big field to boot.
She put in a tremendous effort first crack out of the box this term when second to accomplished sprinter Sunset Eyes in receipt of only 4kg. She has shown that she is effective up to a mile so if Stuart Randolph can track the pace and find a clear run to the line, she must be a big runner.
Another KZN raider is Desolate Road and Tony Rivalland has his gelding primed for this. Desolate Road made steady progress into his recent victory where he made most of the running to hold off The Master. He has drawn on the extreme outside of the field giving Mark Khan a box-seat view of the runners on his inside.
Both KZN runners are among the 33-1 supposed no-hopers.
Paul Peter and Warren Kennedy could team up with the stable cat and win this and Riverstown is the early favourite, although 6-1 odds in this line-up look decidedly skinny. Lightly raced, he has not finished out of the money in four starts. He was doing his best work late when beaten by Ikigai in a Graduation Plate last time out but not far behind him that day was Russian Beat who was giving him 2kg. They meet at level weights here and Russian Beat is double the odds.
Runners from the De Kock yard can never be discounted and Fired Up, second call at 7-1, will be looking to build on his last two wins but given recent trends, his inside draw, two off the paint, could prove a disadvantage with jockeys generally heading for the outside going at recent meetings.
By Andrew Harrison