The Vaal straight course eight race meeting could start off with a victory for the back in action jockey Muzi Yeni aboard the Weiho Marwing-trained The Contractor.
This Time Thief colt was unlucky in his second career start over 1450m when showing a fine turn of foot and then staying on resolutely. Close to home he was carried out by the shifting Magic Blaze and the jockey also lost his crop. He still managed to narrowly beat Magic Blaze but the interference allowed Master Of Disguise to sneak down the inside and steal the race by a short-head. The Contractor should improve here in his third start and is the one to beat.
Champingatthebit was outpaced over 1160m on debut so should enjoy this step up in trip and should have improved for the experience. PRORZHEIM (9) also came from way back in that 1160m race and beat Champingatthebit by 0,25 lengths and he now gets blinkers on just his third career start. Of the first-timers Expression Session is by Duke Of Marmalade and is a half-brother to the well-performed Whiteline Fever. Blue Moon City is by Marchfield out of a twice winner in Cape Town from 1600m to 1800m. Lear Jet is by Marchfield out of a Port Elizabeth-based Jet Master mare who won four times.
In the second race over 1400m Mynage went close on debut when staying on over this trip and although she doesn’t look to be a superstar she should improve and go close. Swiss Bank didn’t have the smoothest of passages on debut over 1160m but stayed on in a stronger field than this and she should relish the step up in trip. Java House was slow away on debut when beaten 1,90 length by Mynage but has a nice action and looks to have scope too. Powder Puff narrowly beat her stablemate Java House in that race and now gets blinkers on, but the former could improve past her. Anything Goes is the most interesting of the first-timers being out of a maiden by Parade leader who was a half-sister to Capetown Noir.
In the third race over 1200m Incognito wore alumites all around for the first time last time and after a great break she led the whole way and was only caught late. With a similarly good break she is the one to beat. Birdwatcher was beaten three lengths by Incognito in that race but was reported to have suffered a head injury somewhere along the line and she looks to have scope for improvement. Ethel Rose has been kept to 1000m for all seven starts but she stayed on strongly on February 22 so is interesting over this step up in trip. She was also due to run on Tuesday.
In the first leg of the Jackpot Shadow Creek has a nice action and plenty of scope for improvement as he is still immature. He let the leader get too far ahead last time over 1450m and failed by a quarter-of-a-length to catch him and is now, interestingly, stepped down to 1200m with blinkers on. He doesn’t look to have much to beat of the raced runners. Intothemystic finished placed on Tuesday over 1000m and has placed over this trip before, so could earn again. However, the biggest danger might be Shadow Creek’s stablemate Barak, who is a R350,000 Master Of My Fate gelding out of a Captain Al mare who as merit rated 100.
In the next race over 1400m Riverstown has the race at his mercy according to official merit ratings. However, Expressfromtheus, who has a lovely big action, looked useful when winning his maiden third time out easily when stepped up to this distance category and he could pose a threat receiving 3kg. It should be fought out by those two.
In the sixth race over 1400m Lady Of Liberty is going from strength to strength and can claim a hattrick off a four point raised merit rating. Cut Loose won well third time out when stepped up to this trip and looks the chief danger. Miss Khalifa has been consistent from 1200m to 1400m recently and is also in with a shout.
In the seventh race over 1600m The Rising Legend has a string sustained finish and has his third run after a layoff over a suitable trip. Nordic Rebel won going way last time over this trip and will make a bold bid for hattrick off despite a five point higher mark. Bien Venue has a 2,5kg swing with Nordic Rebel for a 1,75 length beating and should also be in with a shout. Royal Italian is better than his last start and now gets a 4kg claimer aboard and is off a lowered merit rating. Greenwood Drive has won twice over the course and distance and Johnny Hero has won his only start over this trip, although he was also due to run on Tuesday.
In the last race Norland is admirably consistent and his formline reads well. Ice Lord is an up and coming sort who should be ideally distance suited. Gentleman’s Wager stays a lot further but in the maidens she turned it on impressively over this trip and has always been a horse with plenty of scope, so can improve more despite being five-years-old.
By David Thiselton