Favourite Cirillo didn’t do punters any favours last Wednesday as he blew out of the back door and punters will be looking for better from stable companion Putontheredlight in the card opener at the Vaal tomorrow who is also likely to start favourite.
Sean Tarry dominates with four runners in a seven-horse field but stable elect is something of a puzzle. Putontheredlight showed last season that he had top class potential but his last run is cause for concern. He was pulled out of the race by seasoned rider Piere Strydom and the course vet found nothing to report. Strydom has been switched to Pure State but needless to say, if Putontheredlight brings his best, he does rate the horse to beat. Track & Ball are not taking any chances and have priced him up 15-10 favourite ahead of stable runners Rock The Globe and Cordillera with Pure State, the outsider of the Tarry runners – according to the books.
Pure State won well at second time of asking and Strydom stays with the ride. He is unexposed but does appear to have some scope.
Mr Greenlight was well thought of by the Howells yard before moving to De Kock and had a few pressured races for Howells to get him into some of the bigger features. Mr Greenlight has his first start for his new stable, one that is firing, and the 7-2 on offer may be good value. He has had two runs since being gelded and if anywhere near racing fit, he should have the measure of this field. Veteran Finchatton seldom runs a bad race and although he has a big weight he should be right there again along with Nordic Rebel, the two fighting it out at the top of the boards.
Apprentice Philasande Mxoli is no stranger to the winner’s enclosure, albeit in the rural former Transkei where he was a champion in their local ‘bush races’ winning over 90 races. The opposition in those races may not have been much to write home about but on the flip side he is not short of racing experience.
Mxoli has a chance to get off the mark as a professional rider when he partners Galactic Warrior in the seventh. Mxoli’s relative inexperience at this level will account for the 16-1 mark-up, but Galactic Warrior is back over his best trip and now tries blinkers. He looks worth a small punt and is not one to leave out of your exotics.
Aristachus has been priced up as luke-warm 22-10 favourite and although never far off them the alumites are back on and he may prove a worthy favourite although sentiment will lie with stable companion and old soldier Talktothestars who takes a major drop in class.
The Mike de Kock entry Riqaaby will likely start favourite in the last, given the stable form at present, but she was a well-beaten second at her last outing and it may be worth backing up with By Chance that has improved with each outing and should enjoy the extra. Hear The Tempest was running on nicely at her first start over ground and can do better and is a must inclusion as she should be a threat while Miss Cap Mala, although she has had plenty of chances, is never far back and a change of pilot could make a difference.
Results have not been kind to exotic bet punters in recent weeks with some real bombers putting paid to all tickets. Again, this is not an easy card and one needs to structure exotics, going light in some legs and filling up in others, and hopefully getting through to a big pay-out – the choice is yours.
By Andrew Harrison