Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IAN FORSYTH
Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IAN FORSYTH

Over the years owner David Makins and the Spies stable have been a formidable combination with top performers such as Yardmaster, Fast Gun, Mysterious Hal and True Words excelling on the racetracks.

Many of the winners racing in the colours of octogenarian Makins and his wife Mertha have been bred at their Breedon Stud and that’s the case with three-year-old Laird Of Breedon, favourite for Tuesday’s seventh race at the Vaal.

A son of Crusade out of the mare Mhlonishwa, Laird Of Breedon began his career in May this year with two seconds and a fourth. It suggested he would win races but probably wasn’t grade 1 material.

That assessment had to be changed when — after a second behind Sean Tarry’s Equus award-winning filly Rain In Holland — Laird of Breedon ran a creditable fifth behind Good Traveller in the grade 1 Premier’s Champion Stakes at Greyville at the end of July.

As a result of that run, it’s no surprise that the three-year-old has the highest merit rating in the Vaal race, but both Makins and Spies will be aware they face a live threat in the form of Mike de Kock’s Aussie-bred four-year-old Al Muthana.

Al Muthana is the best-bred horse racing at the Free State meeting as a son of the popular Australian stallion, Deep Field, out of the Redoute’s Choice mare El Daana. He races for the Shadwell company so is expected to progress to grade 1 company.

The worry for supporters of Al Muthana is that the gelding has not been in action for seven months. His last race was a fourth place behind MK’s Pride at the Vaal in February.

Perhaps the best way to bet is to box the two horses in the exacta.

Another well-bred colt in this 1,450m contest is Whafeef — a R320,000 son of Rafeef trained by Stuart Pettigrew. The three-year-old signalled he was above average with a decent effort in his first venture into handicap company, but he faces no easy task meeting Laird Of Breedon at level weights.

Candice Dawson will be pleased with Eliud’s easy win last week and she runs recent maiden winner, Slings And Arrows. The son of Trippi holds Whafeef on a line of form through Val D’orcia.

Spies and Kennedy also team up with Covermeinsunshine in the fourth race, but the filly's latest run is a worry. The daughter of Twice Over may battle to beat both Global Louise and De Kock’s runner Monashada.

A daughter of Silvano, Monashada is the only mount at the meeting for Kabelo Matsunyane and he will have to be at the top of his game to beat Smanga Khumalo on Global Louise.

Michael and Adam Azzie will be most disappointed if the stable does not take the R42,000 first prize in the third race. They have three runners in Zaviah (Lyle Hewitson), Cap Estel (Kennedy) and Raffanetti ( Khumalo).

With Cap Estel set to receive 3.5kg from her stablemates, she  may prove the pick of the trio and certainly appeals as a place accumulator banker.

The final race on the card is a tricky handicap over 1,600m but punters should get a good run for their money from Valencia, who sports blinkers for the first time and has a favourable draw.

SELECTIONS

1st Race: No Selection

2nd Race: (4) Soweto Rose (9) Quick Run (1) King's Spear (2) Trust The Fire

3rd Race: (7) Cap Estel (4) Zaviah (1) Joe Harman (2) Mister Blue Sky

4th Race: (3) Monashada (1) Global Louise (2) Covermeinsunshine (7) Eshraaq

5th Race: (2) Leshawes (1) Indian War Dance (6) Imperious Light (7) Sabre Rattler

6th Race: (9) The Brass Way (3) Run As One (1) Anatura (4) Elusive Swann

7th Race: (4) Laird Of Breedon (3) Al Muthana (6) Slings And Arrows (5) Whafeef

8th Race: (7) Valencia (1) Bit Of Fun (6) Sergei (5) Time For That

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