As an exercise in how not to attract customers with a big race looming, the totalisator takes first prize. Punters have resorted to social media to protest against the shockingly low dividend about last Saturday’s Queen’s Plate winner Jet Dark.

Justin Snaith's three-year-old started at 12-1 for the grade 1 race but returned a measly R4.90 for a win on the tote. This is less than 4-1.

One of the country’s “majors” — the Sun Met — will be run in 18 days’ time and the talk on social media is that many horse players will be placing their bets with bookmakers.

Here are some of the posts on the Sporting Post website:

• “So for every R100 you bet on Jet Dark you lost R738. Great ad for swelling the stakes pool by betting on the tote instead of your friendly bookmaker.”

• “The tote payouts are ridiculous. How on earth does a 12-1 shot pay R4.90 for a win? The tote can surely inform us of any large wagers on Jet Dark and even at what time the bets were placed. Check the swingers and all other bets. Dismal payouts.”

• “This is exactly why I try to avoid betting on the tote and prefer known fixed odds via a bookmaker. Too many tote payouts shrink from about one minute before the off until publication of the payouts.”

This season's leading jockey Lyle Hewitson had a rare winless meeting at Turffontein on Sunday, but it should be a different story at the Vaal on Tuesday.

The 2018/19 champion has prospects of landing a treble on White Fang (first race), Dice The Bullet (fourth) and Eagle Alley in the final leg of the jackpot.

A R550,000 son of Silvano, Eagle Alley is unbeaten in two starts and — despite an eight-point penalty for December’s win — could still be ahead of the handicapper.

Eagle Alley’s chief rival is likely to be Paul Matchett’s four-year-old War Jewel. The son of Vercingetorix received a seven-point penalty for his last win but hails from a stable enjoying a purple patch.

Stormy Winter, who is chasing a hat-trick, and Samurai Jack are others with each-way chances in probably the best race on the eight-event card.

Hewitson was in the saddle when White Fang ran second in December and he will fancy his chances of going one better on the Azzie stable inmate in the opener.

The three runners likely to test the favourite are Watching Closely, Ball Rolling and Corné Spies’s representative Fast Draw.

Gary and Dean Alexander, who are relocating to Australia this year, send two runners to the Free State track and their filly, Dice The Bullet, should go close in the first leg of the jackpot. It’s another horse Hewitson rode last time out and a wide draw should not be too much of an inconvenience over 2,000m.


1st Race: (8) White Fang (10) Watching Closely (3) Fast Draw (1) Ball Rolling

2nd Race: (5) Western Fort (6) Captain Of Tortuga (3) Duke Of Spin (4) Full Mast

3rd Race: (7) Nabeela (4) Grazinginthegrass (1) FSquadron (2) Palace Green

4th Race: (7) Dice The Bullet (12) Liverpool Legend (3) Afraad (9) So Long Spring

5th Race: (3) Captain Hindsight (9) Che Bella (10) Singfonico (11) Visiway

6th Race: (11) Touch Of Fate (8) Godswood (4) Emerald Tiara (1) Oden

7th Race: (2) Eagle Alley (1) War Jewel (5) Samurai Jack (4) Stormy Winter

8th Race: (8) Contrail (1) Back To Black (5) Heart Of A Legend (6) Soul Of Wit


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