Round two of battle between trainers De Kock and Peter
Vaal battle of the three-year-olds will be led by in-form MK’s Pride with champion jockey Warren Kennedy in the saddle
Just five days after the Gauteng Guineas, racing fans have got an “action replay” at the Vaal on Thursday with two talented three-year-olds from Mike de Kock’s stable taking on one from Paul Peter’s yard. ’
If the bookies have got their sums right for the sixth race, Peter, second with Catch TwentyTwo last weekend, is going to get his revenge with MK’s Pride set to defy the top-weight of 61kg.
MK’s Pride’s close second behind Catch TwentyTwo in the Tony Ruffel Stakes is certainly form which reads well and the son of Willow Magic looks certain to go close in the hands of champion jockey Warren Kennedy.
Nevertheless, because of his merit-rating of 112, MK’s Pride has to give 3kg to Forever Mine and six to Aussie import Al Muthana.
Following Malmoos’s victory in the Guineas, Forever Mine’s second behind him in the Graham Beck Stakes is also outstanding form, but the fact remains the Vercingetorix gelding has not been seen in action for 18 weeks.
This brings the spotlight onto stablemate Al Muthana, who looks hugely overpriced at odds of 9-1. Yes, he is held by Forever Mine on Graham Beck running, but the fact the Aussie import reverts to a sprint trip looks all important.
Al Muthana is a son of Deep Field, who is steadily making a name for himself in Australia. One media report in June 2020 stated: “Boom young stallion Deep Field is shooting the lights out with his first crop who are just three-year-olds. His results are so impressive he is tracking towards breaking the Australian record for individual winners sired by a second crop sire.”
So, if Forever Mine is ring rusty, it is Callan Murray on Al Muthana who could throw down the gauntlet to MK’s Pride.
Tropic Sun, one of three fillies in the race, bumped a useful sort in Rio’s Winter last time out and the daughter of Skitt Skizzle could earn another place cheque.
Jamaheery is another good mount for Murray with the Dynasty filly stepping into handicap company for the first time in the fifth race. The three-year-old could be anything after winning a Work Riders event at Turffontein last October.
The same remark applies to David Nieuwenhuizen’s maiden winner Snow Symphony, who could also be overpriced at 12-1. The three-year-old is a half-sister to recent winner Rio’s Winter.
The Fifth Wave — weighted to turn the tables on May Queen — has to be included in exotic perms along with Brooklyn Bridge and Flower Of Scotland.
Gavin Lerena was stood down after the fourth race of the Vaal meeting on Tuesday, but if he is fit again he should capture the third race on Johan Janse van Vuuren’s filly Irish Willow.
Trainer Lucky Houdalakis sends Wedding Bliss over a longer trip and the Futura filly — the mount of Piere Strydom — may rate the main threat provided she stays the 2,000m.
Another of Futura’s progeny, Future Lady, is likely to top the betting boards in the second race following three placed runs. The Candice Dawson inmate is likely to be fully extended by Dorrie Sham’s filly Bat Out Of Hell.
1st Race: (8) Ace Of Spades (1) Deanagelo (3) Freezing Fast (2) Just As Rich
2nd Race: (7) Bat Out Of Hell (1) Future Lady (2) Sabrina Fairchild (9) Lucy In The Sky
3rd Race: (1) Irish Willow (4) Wedding Bliss (3) Mirren (2) Electric Boots
4th Race: (1) Soldiers Song (7) Orus Apollo (3) Light Without (8) Parallax
5th Race: (9) Snow Symphony (7) Jamaheery (3) The Fifth Wave (11) Brooklyn Bridge
6th Race: (5) Al Muthana (1) MK’s Pride (3) Forever Mine (4) Tropic Sun
7th Race: (3) Rock Of Africa (4) Spanish Boy (7) Fitzwilliam (11) Crown Guardian
8th Race: (8) Bahlebonke (16) Fantasy Flower (4) Dogliotti (6) Louis The Seventh
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