Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Picture: GALLO IMAGES

If racing fans have any money left after preparing for the countrywide lockdown, they should lump it on apprentice Luke Ferraris’s mount Siren Of Greece in Thursday’s third race at the Vaal.

Thursday is the last chance for punters to bet on an SA meeting until April 16, and there is no certainty it will resume on that date.

Siren Of Greece, a member of Sean Tarry’s stable, is bred in the purple as the filly is a daughter of Duke Of Marmalade out of the grade 1 winning mare Siren’s Call. She won the SA Fillies Classic as a three-year-old.

Though still a maiden after two placed runs, Tarry has not hesitated in pitching the juvenile filly against winners, which suggests he holds her in high regard.

Both Fire And Ice and Luke Moonwalker won their most recent races and the first named, trained by Barend Botes, rates the main threat to Siren Of Greece unless there is support for one of the first-timers.

Trainer Paul Peter is approaching his century of winners for the season and he introduces a son of Marchfield bred at Moutonshoek Stud. Leading jockey Warren Kennedy has been booked for the ride.

Trainer St John Gray is enjoying a successful campaign — he is in 15th place in the national log — and he sends nine runners to the Free State track.

Gray likes to use Luke Ferraris whenever possible and the youngster was in the saddle when his Ideal World filly Magogo gained a photo-finish verdict on debut at Turffontein in February. However, this time the runner-up in that race, Mynage, will be 3kg better off at the weights.

Take swinger

St John Gray’s three-year-old, Abdul, has been priced up the short-priced favourite for the fourth race after his good run behind Latin Opus at Turffontein 12 days ago. Gavin Lerena rode the colt that day, but Warren Kennedy takes over this time.

If you believe in “brotherly love”, it might pay to take the swinger (or even the exacta) of St John Gray’s runners Undisclosed and Grindelwald in the final event on the card.

These two horses are full brothers, and Undisclosed, the younger of the pair, looks another good mount for Ferraris. Keagan De Melo won on Grindelwald earlier in March but is not riding at the meeting.

Trainer Joe Soma, who will still be on a high after his SA Classic win, will be hopeful African Adventure can win the second race of his career when the four-year-old takes on 15 rivals in the fifth race.

With no scratchings reported by noon on Wednesday, it looks as if reserve runner Latin Opus will not get a run. The main threats to Soma’s runner are thus likely to be Therevada, Capetown Affair and another Gray inmate, Highlander.

Mike de Kock’s three-year-old Akwaan ventures into handicap company for the first time in the seventh race and may be capable of defying top weight of 60kg.

There was lots to like about the three-year-old’s maiden win and another bold showing is on the cards with War Jewel and Waqaas his principal dangers.

Selections

First race: (4) Zuluonmystoep (2) Great Esteem (11) Pacific Dream (7) City Deep

Second race: (8) Mynage (1) Magogo (4) Cloth Of Ice (2) Zernez

Third race: (11) Siren Of Greece (1) Fire And Ice (2) Luke Moonwalker (10) The Eighth Lord

Fourth race: (1) Abdul (4) Grey Street (2) Kool Baikal (3) Capjack

Fifth race: (2) African Adventure (1) Therevada (7) Capetown Affair (3) Highlander

Sixth race: (12) Tombola (6) Green Dragon (4) Now You See Me (1) Heart Of A Legend

Seventh race: (1) Akwaan (3) War Jewel (9) Waqaas (8) Top Rank

Eighth race: (3) Undisclosed (7) Grindelwald (2) Roger The Dodger (6) Written In Stone