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The Vaal Outside track has an eight race card today. Punters usually have to weigh up form against draw bias here as the standside is usually favourable and those caught on the inside of horses often struggle.
Very high draws ensure a standside rails run. However, from anywhere else it is difficult to predict where the horse will end up. Jockeys are aware of the superior going on the standside and even seemingly well drawn horses who like to run handy or in midfield can sometimes be continually shuffled inward.
A horse who has everything in his favour on the day is Lakahal, who runs in the sixth over 1000m. She has good pace plus a kick and from a perfect draw in the gentle hands of Andew Fortune she will likely stay all the way to the line, unlike last time when fading from 200m out over 1200m from an unfavourable draw.
Fortune should have a good day. In race two he rides Mexican Sun, who was staying on steadily over 1200m on debut after being left a bit flat footed as the leaders went for home. He will relish the step up in trip here to 1400m and is drawn on the right side.
In the third Fortune is also drawn perfectly on the speedy Linda Honey. The form of her last race over this 1000m course and distance has worked out well and from a plum draw Fortune could steer her to a start to finish victory.
In the first race the likely outsider Oblivion has a plum draw of nine in a ten horse field and his best recent run was over this trip. He used to stay on well on the Vaal sand and has done the same recently from handy positions on the turf. He could be finishing strongest of all and this might be the key in this weak field.
Another interesting runner on the day is Tales Of Mambo who runs in the seventh. She impressed with her turn of foot back in March when winning a race on the Greyville poly over 2000m. Since then she has been one paced in the finish and her saddle also slipped once suggesting she was too strong in the running. A drop in trip to the 1600m of tomorrow from a good draw might be what she has been looking for as this will allow her to sit in behind and use her good turn of foot again.
Also interesting is the Australian-bred Choisir gelding Hard Ball in the fourth race over 1200m. He started 3/1 on debut but faded out and has been gelded since. He looks a nice type and has a good draw against a weak field so could make amends.
The fifth is a tricky race and Dragon’s Breath has been selected after being merit rated only 61 after beating a weak workrider’s maiden by six lengths. He didn’t start well that day so could make it a double if jumping on terms, although his draw of nine is tricky. Oculus has a plum draw here with Gavin Lerena up and he is dropping in class. His merit rating has dropped to an attractive mark. The course and distance is suitable too and everything points to him bouncing back to form.
Lerena could win the last race on the in form Analyse This. This five-year-old goes well for Lerena and is well drawn over a suitable distance. Shot has a plum draw and as a handy type who prefers further he could plug on into the places.
Race previews Vaal Thursday Aug 25 by David Thiselton
Race 1: (3) Oblivion (9) Sammi Moosa (2) Jackies Joy
PREVIEW: OBLIVION is capable of a resolute finish and he is drawn on the right side over the course and distance of his best recent run. SAMMI MOOSA was coughing after running a fair race over 1400m last time and can improve. Jackies Joy is a moderate front running sort but could earn from a fair draw in this weak field.
Race 2: (7) Mexican Sun (3) Muntu (5) Ego Amigo
PREVIEW: MEXICAN SUN was staying on over 1200m last time and should enjoy this step up in trip, so has a big shout from a good draw. MUNTU ran a good race the last time he tried this course and distance and is drawn towards the favourable outside with a 1,5kg claimer up. EGO AMIGO is by top Australian stallion Redoute’s Choice so should have some speed but is drawn on the wrong side.
Race 3: (3) Linda Honey (9) Captain’s Girl (10) Fingers Crossed
PREVIEW: LINDA HONEY has plenty of pace and with Andrew Fortune up from a plum draw should go close. CAPTAIN’S GIRL was backed to odds on last time over course and distance but reared in the stalls so can make amends here from although the draw is tricky. FINGERS CROSSED finished strongly last time over course and distance so the penny is likely dropping and she is drawn on the right side.
Race 4: (8) Hard Ball (9) Jet Sailor (11) Refuge
PREVIEW: HARD BALL found support on debut but disappointed and was given a layoff. He looks a nice type and could make his presence felt from a good draw here in a weak field. JET SAILOR is likely to come on from his debut in which he was not disgraced and is drawn on the right side. REFUGE has gone close in his last two over 1160m at Turffontein. However, he had a plum draw last time and now has a bad draw so Jet Sailor might be able to revers form with him.
Race 5: (7) Dragon’s Breath (5) Occulus (3) Trip To Paradise
PREVIEW: DRAGON’s BREATH won a workrider’s maiden by six lengths despite a slow start so although it was a weak field he could have a chance in this open race from a good draw off a mere 61 merit rating. OCCULUS has been off form but on best ability will have a big chance off this reduced merit rating in a lower class race especially as he has a plum draw. TRIP TO PARADISE is in good form and won from an unfavourable draw last time so might do the same here in an uninspiring field.
Race 6: (7) Lakahal (9) Angie Bee (10) Imperial Party
PREVIEW: LAKAHAL has it all in his favour from a good draw to a good jockey and a competitive merit rating over an ideal trip. ANGIE BEE has dropped to an attractive merit rating and is well drawn over an ideal trip. IMPERIAL PARTY is always drawn towards the right side and has run well over course and distance before.
Race 7: (2) Tales Of Mambo (5) Polar Secret (3) Tricia Dupont
PREVIEW: TALES OF MAMBO is interesting over this drop in trip from a good draw as he showed a good turn of foot on the fast Greyville poly surface over 2000m in his last win in March but has been one paced in the finish since then, so coming from off them over shorter might be what he wants. POLAR SECRET has been showing good pace over 1800m so is interesting from a fair draw over slightly shorter. TRICIA DUPONT is effective over this trip despite staying further and should be running on well after perhaps being dropped out from a tricky draw.
Race 8: (1) Analyse This (10) Shot (11) De Lujo
PREVIEW: ANALYSE THIS is in fine form and is drawn well with Gavin Lerena up over a suitable course and distance. SHOT is a handy type and should be effective over this slight drop in trip from a plum draw. DE LUJO is an honest sort who is never far off them and he has a plum draw over an ideal trip.
Drakenstein Stud has a stallion band at present which would be the envy of many breeding operations in the world and includes their newly crowned National Champion Sire Trippi.
What better way could the latter have celebrated his new status than by the birth of a first foal to the former darling of the South African turf, Beach Beauty.
The diminutive Dynasty filly gave birth to a Trippi colt last week on Monday and stud manager Ross Fuller said, “He is a very nice size, has good legs and all is good.”
There would have been much relief from a few quarters.
Last year Beach Beauty’s foal by Duke Of Marmalade was still born, much to the sadness of the stud owners and staff as well as the broodmare’s former racing connections.
Beach Beauty of course provided one of the all time fairytales of the South African turf. The story is well documented but a new verse can now be added as her first foal was born on the birthday of Hannah Armitage, daughter of the late Mark Armitage in whose honour Beach Beauty raced.
The colt is likely to be blessed with exceptional speed as well as class.
Trippi won seven races, including five major stakes events, from 1200-1800m. His best trip appeared to be 1400m, the distance of his win in the Gr 1 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park. Interestingly, the horse he beat by half-a-length in that race was More Than Ready, who is the sire of South Africa’s newly crowned Champion Freshman Sire, Gimmethegreenlight.
Beach Beauty won five Gr 1s, three over a mile and two over 1800m, and had an exceptional turn of foot.
Trippi, who is by Mr Prospector-line sire End Sweep, made an immediate impact at stud in the USA. In 2005 he finished eighth on the North American first-crop sires list. The following season he was third on the North American second-crop sires list and in 2007 was third on the third-crop list. He was later as high as 20th on the general North American Sires list.
He landed in South Africa in 2008 and remains the most expensive horse ever imported to this country.
He has been worth every penny as is proven by last season in which he produced eleven individual black type winners of 18 stakes races. Among these winners was Inara, who won a Gr 1 weight for age mile event in all of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Real Princess was another Gr 1-winning daughter of Trippi during the season, landing the City Of Pietermaritzburg Sprint over 1200m, before finishing third against the boys in the Gr 1 weight for age Mercury Sprint. Trippi also produced the winner of the most expensive race ever run in South Africa, the CTS Million Dollar, won by his son Illuminator in January.
Trippi has to date produced three individual Gr 1 winners in South Africa and one in the USA. Furthermore, his daughter Jealous Again won the Gr 2 Queen Mary Stakes over five furlongs at the Royal Ascot meeting from pillar to post by an impressive five lengths in 2009.
End Sweep’s pedigree includes the Northern Dancer-Mr Prospector nick and so does Beach Beauty’s.
Drakenstein’s stallions also include former European Champion Older Horse Duke Of Marmalade, who is the first sire to have an English classic winner while standing in South Africa; two Equus Horses Of The Year in Legislate and Futura, who like Beach Beauty are both by Dynasty; Equus Champion Sprinter What A Winter; Kingsbarns, the first Gr 1-winning son of the immortal Galileo to stand in South Africa; and middle distance racehorse Philanthropist, an outcross sire who won a Gr 3 in North America and produced a champion as well as a Gr 1 winner in his first crop over there.
Beach Beauty is certainly spoilt for choice will be covered by Duke Of Marmalade this season.
Inara has arrived at Drakenstein and an announcement will soon be made regarding who will cover her.
Greyville has a nine race meeting on the polytrack today where there should be some opportunities for punters.
Michael Roberts felt it was a “disgrace” his charge King Of Random was not included in the BSA Million Sprint and this King Of Kings gelding has the chance to prove the point in race two, a Maiden Plate over a suitable 1200m trip. The chestnut gelding is drawn well in four and has caught the eye in his last two starts with his resolute action, including when finishing a decent third in the KZN Yearling Sale Million over 1300m at Greyville on Vodacom Durban July day.
In the fourth race, a maiden for fillies and mares over 1600m, the Alistair Gordon-trained Maggie Muggins was caught wide early last time over course and distance from a wide draw and took a while to settle. However, she still managed to stay on well for second. This time she is drawn in pole so has a fine chance, especially as she is by Dynasty and is a half-sister to some fair sorts like Donnie Brasco and Carlito Brigante, so should have plenty of scope for improvement.
In the seventh race the Gavin van Zyl-trained Tyron’s Jet looks to be a potential classic horse. Her stride covers plenty of ground and after being challenged on debut, when leading from the off over 1200m on the poly, she pulled clear late to win by 4,25 lengths. The A P Answer filly is a nice sized horse and looks a certainty to rise above her current 76 merit rating in time, although it is never easy for a young three-year-old to take on older horses in handicaps at this stage of the season.
These are the three horses which make appeal as the ones to base all bets around for the meeting.
Ashton Park, considered good enough to run in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, is under consideration for the R750 000 Grand Heritage at the Vaal on October 1.
Candice Bass-Robinson said: “I won’t run Night Trip in the race as he has 69kg but perhaps Ashton Park (62.5kg) could run while Night Trip may go for a 1 450m Grade 2 (the Jo’burg Spring Challenge) at Turffontein.
“They would run from our new Summerveld yard. We have 24 horses there at the moment including 15 that we sent from Cape Town.”
The yard has 30 boxes and Robert Fayd’Herbe is staying on in KZN to run it. Five two-year-olds based there are being syndicated at R27 500 a share which includes all costs for the first five months.
> Aldo Domeyer, forced to miss two Andre Nel winners at Kenilworth last Saturday, will be back in action there this Saturday when he has five booked rides including Viking Voyage and Cuduiari for Nel.
He said yesterday: “My back troubles me now and again. I had to see a specialist to make sure that everything is in order but I am fine again now.”
Anthony Delpech will be crowned KZN champion jockey at the KZN Awards ceremony at the Elangeni Hotel on Friday night and it will be richly deserved as he likely broke two South African records during the season, and maybe a provincial one too.
South African racing records are not well kept, but a look through the archives reveals the stakes earning of R24,653,750 which Delpech’s mounts accumulated for the 2015/2016 season is almost certainly a record. It also reveals he likely broke his own record.
Delpech’s stakes earnings in the 2010/2011 season of R21,038,304 were likely the first time the R20 million mark had been reached and it was not until this season that it was reached again. All of Delpech, Anton Marcus (R24,128,025) and the National Champion Jockey S’Manga Khumalo (22,929,675) reached the mark last season. The lucrative Sales races must have something to do with this being achieved. Of these sales races Delpech won the R2,5 million Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes on Budapest, while Marcus was placed in no fewer than six of the R1 million-and-above sales races.
The other record which Delpech might well have broken was the number of wins on one track during a season. Last season he rode no fewer than 125 winners on the Greyville polytrack.
Delpech’s 172 winners in KZN during the season, which saw him beating Anton Marcus to the provincial title by 30, could well be a KZN record.
Marcus beat Delpech in the number of Gr 1 wins in South Africa last season, seven to five, although Delpech’s were on five different horses while Marcus’s were on four horses.
Delpech holds the record for the most winners in a South African season, a phenomenal 334, which he set in the 1998/1999 season.