Klawervlei Stud gets 10 out of 10 for coming up with the name of Paton’s Tears, who runs in the seventh race at the Vaal on Thursday.
With the exception of Varsfontein Stud, SA breeders are not renowned for coming up with good names. But they have on this occasion.
Paton’s Tears is out of the mare Beloved Country, who takes her name from Cry the Beloved Country, the 1948 novel by SA author and anti-apartheid activist Alan Paton.
Judged on her recent facile four lengths win at the Free State track, there is every chance Paton’s Tears will make bookies cry. The R250,000 yearling buy looks certain to start favourite for the 1,600m race.
Gavin Lerena was in the saddle when Paton’s Tears won at the beginning of April, but it remains to be seen whether he resumes the partnership as he did not ride at Turffontein on Tuesday.
Trainer St John Gray is enjoying an excellent season and his runner Ululate, whose full-brother made R380,000 at the yearling sales, may pose the main threat to Lucky Houdalakis’s runner.
Ridden by apprentice Nathan Klink, Ululate won her last start at Turffontein despite the youngster dropping his whip in the closing stages. The form of that race has been franked by the runner-up, Making A Scene.
Castellano and Sultanah are two other runners with each-way chances — particularly the latter, who is well drawn and will have Luke Ferraris in the irons.
Punters will be dismayed to learn that champion jockey Warren Kennedy is considering an overseas move as he continues to boot home the winners and had a treble at Turffontein on Tuesday.
Kennedy has eight rides on the Vaal card and will hope to start the meeting with a winner when he partners Trying Times in the opening event. The gelding has finished second in his last two outings.
It looks significant that Kennedy has chosen Anne Boleyn over stablemate Greens in the third race, though both fillies may battle to concede weight to Sean Tarry’s runner, Dubawi Princess. The daughter of Willow Magic returns from a short break.
In the fifth race, Kennedy may battle to follow up his recent course win on Ideal Angel as his rivals include Un Deux Trois, who seems to run particularly well for S’manga Khumalo.
Another Tarry inmate, Maple Sugar, has plenty of scope for improvement as this Ideal World filly is having only the fifth start of her career. Her chance will be boosted if Trying Times wins the first race.
If Ferraris can overcome a wide draw, Mike de Kock’s runner Golden Spoon could take a hand in the finish, while the market will be worth a check regarding the twice-raced Act Of War filly Galaxy Raiders.
The favourite won the final race at Turffontein on Tuesday and that may be repeated at the Vaal as Tarry’s filly Senescence ticks all the right boxes in the final leg of the Pick 6.
1st Race: (2) Trying Times (4) Prince Alf (6) Grace From Above (1) Castle Corner
2nd Race: (2) After Hours (13) Hear The Trumpet (10) Greenhill (7) Blow Me Down
3rd Race: (6) Dubawi Princess (1) Anne Boleyn (3) Greens (2) Kayla’s Champ
4th Race: (1) Chloris (12) The Villa Grand (2) Glowtoria (10) Lucy In The Sky
5th Race: (6) Un Deux Trois (3) Maple Sugar (2) Golden Spoon (7) Galaxy Raiders
6th Race: (2) Funky Music (5) Roger The Dodger (1) Atomic Blonde (6) Shuckra
7th Race: (5) Paton’s Tears (9) Sultanah (2) Ululate (3) Irish Wonder Girl
8th Race: (1) Dawn Of A New Era (9) Zabarjad (4) Evening Rise (2) Oyster King
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