Just as we were salivating of the prospect of watching 26 horses thunder down the Vaal straight, a cavalry charge to the line from 1475m away, the news came of some scratchings, writes Gary Lemke for GGGaming.bet
The R300 000 Grand Heritage has always been special for a few reasons. No race in South Africa allows more than 20 runners in a field and the 1475m is a unique distance in the country. It also sees lower merit-rated runners, in this case, Power Ranger (MR 71) up against some top division horses, an example the 106 MR-rated Mardi Gras.
In true handicap terms, there should be a 17.5kg weight difference between the No1 and the No26, but there’s only 8kg which means Power Ranger is hopelessly out at the weights.
In fact, there should be a 5kg difference between No23 Excellerator and Power Ranger, whereas they’re at level weights. All of which seems to make the punters’ job that much easier.
However, that old chestnut applies: races are run on grass and not paper. The fact that 26 horses were in the field, and there’s a stampede stretched right across the track, means one needs a lot of luck in running to prevail.
Then, six horses were scratched: All of Leopold, Stormy Winter, Wonderwall, Rock The Globe, Bowie and I Dream Of Genie are listed as card scratchings. This now reduces the final field to 20 and it no longer is that unique big field that we were looking forward to.
Still, the quartet might be the way to play, and one could include Bold Jazz, Silver Tycoon, Willow Express and Fromheretoeternity in the calculations.
The Cape meeting is at Kenilworth on Saturday but it’s very much the calm before next week’s storm where the Gr1 Cape Guineas (for three-year-old colts and geldings) will be contested.
GGGaming.bet is the main sponsor to the red-hot Candice Bass-Robinson stable, Bass Racing, and she will be hoping that her classy colt Trip Of Fortune can deliver Guineas glory.
She also has a number of runners with winning chances this weekend though.
Her juvenile filly making her debut in the third race is said to be quite capable, so keep an eye on Fun Zone, who is by the new boom sire Rafeef. There’s normally plenty of speed from his side.
Ma Black (pictured), is a three-time winner from only 11 starts and looks to be back to her best after losing her way a bit, Despite winning her last two starts she is still only on a 73 merit rating, having been as high as an 82 after winning her maiden. She will make a bold bid to complete her hat-trick.
Charlie Squadron is yet another who would go close for Bass Racing. He should have probably already shed his maiden by now and Saturday is his eighth start already. But, he should be a banker in your exotics. Expect him to be running on strongly at the finish.