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Failure to win on Saturday would put coach Ian Foster and captain under pressure in terms of their future with the team
If Lucy English stands her ground and competes in Thursday’s eighth race at the Vaal, punters who backed the filly to win on Tuesday are likely to play up their winnings on Lucky Houdalakis’s three-year-old.
A daughter of Duke of Marmalade owned and bred by Drakenstein Stud, Lucy English romped home by four lengths to notch her second win and signal she was on course for a successful career.
Just last week Drakenstein announced Duke Of Marmalade, a five times grade 1 winner, had been pensioned from stallion duties on veterinary advice. The stallion stood at Coolmore Stud in Ireland from 2009 to 2013 before joining Drakenstein for the 2014 breeding season.
In the absence of Lucy English — still a confirmed runner at noon on Wednesday — a three-year-old filly who could take advantage is Abalus. The filly is a daughter of Jackson, who is standing at Heversham Park Farm in Gauteng.
Following five consecutive seconds, Abalus finally won a race at Turffontein in August and followed that with a creditable fourth behind Bronco Blitz at the same track.
Two other interesting runners in this 1,000m contest are Singfosusie and Alula’s Star. The first-named impressed with a debut win at the beginning of the month while the latter opened her account on her second start in August and now makes her handicap debut.
With Lyle Hewitson not riding at the meeting, trainer Sean Tarry has been promising apprentice Joshwin Solomons five rides. Unfortunately, Dark Vision, who had a good chance in the fifth race, and Mounia (second) have been scratched.
Solomons is carded to ride Tarry’s four-year-old Ushuaia in the fourth race, and the son of Pomodoro has been gelded since his last appearance in June. Still, he looks to have a tough task against Funky Music and Lion Of The Desert.
While Bella Chica is chasing a five-timer and has excelled in recent months for Ashley Fortune’s stable, a runner who makes plenty of appeal is recent Turffontein winner Naarah. Roy Magner has his team in good order and the Randjesfontein trainer will be delighted with the way the daughter of Vercingetorix quickened away from her rivals at the city track.
Another of Vercingetorix’s progeny, Big Eyed Girl, rates an each-way chance though she is rising in class and has had breathing complications in her last three outings.
It’s strange that a top jockey like Gavin Lerena, who rides Naarah, has only three booked rides at the meeting, but his seventh race mount, Corvette Captain, should be involved in the finish. While this Dynasty gelding has his limitations, his rivals are very much in the same boat with the exception of the lightly raced three-year-old Edward Longshanks.
Mike de Kock’s two-time winner Run As One has been priced up as favourite for the sixth race, but a long shot who could surprise is 16-1 chance Valencia.
An inmate of Weiho Marwing’s stable, the four-year-old failed to capitalise on a good draw last time and was at the rear of the field turning for home. The gelding made significant late progress to finish fourth behind Dancing Arabian.
Both Irish Rain and Capetown Affair warrant inclusion in jackpot and Pick 6 perms in a race in which an upset looks very much on the cards.
1st Race: (3) Pink Legacy (1) Gilda Gray (2) Fort Snow (5) Covermeinsunshine
2nd Race: (3) Naarah (2) Bella Chica (6) Big Eyed Girl (5) Muleta
3rd Race: (4) Scottadito (1) Global Player (2) Ra’ed (3) Orgetorix
4th Race: (6) Funky Music (1) Lion Of The Desert (9) Noble Striker (5) Euro Cent
5th Race: (5) Timbavati River (2) Sergei (1) Bureau Des Legende (3) Flinders Range
6th Race: (5) Valencia (1) Run As One (9) Irish Rain (10) Capetown Noir
7th Race: (4) Corvette Captain (2) Edward Longshanks (1) Touch Of Fate (3) Informative
8th Race: (5) Lucy English (7) Abalus (3) Singfosusie (9) Alula’s Star
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.