There are two midweek meetings on the Highveld this week, both at the Vaal. Today’s card is tricky – the first five races are all for maidens – but here are a few thoughts from our in-form tipster.
Race 1: A work riders maiden, never predictable and very open look. Lady Calavera had breathing issues last time when showing pace and has a tongue tie now, could feature.
Race 2: First-timer Sequoai is well-bred and represents the powerful Mike de Kock-Callan Murray combination. There are five first-timers in this field of seven two-year-olds.
Race 3: Another 2yo race with five of the seven being first-timers. Betting moves might be significant. Take Control has had the one run, behind the highly-rated Dockofthebay, and should improve on that effort.
Race 4: White Fang was odds-on when compounding to finish 37 lengths back last time. Has Lyle Hewitson aboard and is second favourite so obviously has ability, but is hard to trust on that last run. Shadow Creek could run into a place.
Race 5: Fifth race on the card and we’re still in with the maidens. Senescence is always supported in the betting and has been placed 6 times in 7 races, although has never finished closer than 2 lengths back. Masaaken is the De Kock-Murray combo again …
Race 6: Shout out to trainer Gary Alexander. Odd Rob is a 9yo and has had 57 runs but remains competitive. Here he has Hewitson aboard. I fancy Port Key and Gold Griffin to fight it out though.
Race 7: A few of these have just come out the maidens and hard to see where they fit in. Tartan Dancer has already had 29 starts but fought on well to win in the wet at the Vaal last time and has Hewitson up here.
Race 8: Travelling Wilbury followed up her maiden with a fair effort and should improve more. She’s A Cracker is lightly raced and comes off a win that was franked by Chenopod so could follow up, while Liverpool Legend will appeal to the EPL watchers!
Race 9: Three scratchings here and Push Off is a weak favourite. Very open race. Galactic Warrior is the top weight but gets 2.5kg taken off with Josh Solomons claiming. I’m looking for Ice Eater and Harrys Secret to be running on when it counts most.