Zouaves — never out of the first three in his five career starts — can give punters a good run for their money in Saturday’s 28-horse cavalry charge World Sports Betting Grand Heritage at the Vaal.
Bought for R225,000 as a yearling, Zouaves will earn a first prize of R406,250 if successful in a race in which even the 10th runner home will receive R10,000.
Zouaves is trained by Geoff Woodruff, who has two other runners — Fellow Traveller and Starrett City — in the 1,450m race. The latter looks the pick of this duo following his recent fourth at Turffontein.
Book makers have Mike de Kock’s four-year-old, Elevated, at the top of the betting boards and there was plenty to like about the gelding’s win at the beginning of September. He should go well in the hands of Callan Murray.
Runners from the stable of champion trainer Sean Tarry have to be closely scrutinised in any big race.
Tarry will saddle five runners in total — Count Tassilo, Donny G, Social Order, Bold Viking and Yankee Captain. S’manga Khumalo rides Count Tassilo and he knows the five-year-old well, having already ridden him to two victories in 2017. Nevertheless, it could be Donny G who does best of the quintet as he tuned up for this contest with a promising effort behind Amazing Strike a fortnight ago.
Tarry’s lightly raced four-year-old Social Order has won two of his three starts and may have needed the outing when fourth behind Tandava last time out. The gelding finished three lengths behind Zouaves in that race and the pair meet on identical terms.
With such a decent prize up for grabs, it is a surprise there are not more raiders from KwaZulu-Natal, although Duncan Howells does send up Secret Captain, with Keagan de Melo booked for the ride.