In contrast to some breeders, Varsfontein Stud invariably comes up with interesting names for the horses they breed. The latest is three-year-old Abbacadabra who is expected to weave her magic at the Vaal on Tuesday.

Some excellent Varsfontein names which spring to mind are two from last year’s National Yearling Sales — On The Guest List out of the mare Party Crasher and Shoemaker out of the mare Moffytwoshoes. Add in Kimball O’Hara (from Rudyard Kipling’s book) who is out of the mare Secret Mission.

Abbacadabra, who runs in Tuesday’s second race, started favourite for her debut at Turffontein in September and finished second behind Permesso Avanti. The daughter of Judpot should go one better this time.

Of the horses to have raced in the 1,000m contest, Eyes On Tiger and French Rebel boast the best form. However, with five seconds to her name, Eyes On Tiger is not one on whom to risk your monthly salary.

Johan Janse van Vuuren trains Abbacadabra and also runs the debutante Spanish Spirit. He told Winning Form that the filly is “immature and will need the run”.

Two horses which earned owner Chris van Niekerk more than R3m between them — Chimichuri Run and Ikigai — boast the Hollywood Syndicate silks in the seventh race. Sean Tarry trains the duo and also the four-year-old colt Flying Carpet.

Though Chimichuri Run has the hefty weight of 62kg, it looks significant that the six-year-old — fourth in the Computaform Sprint in May — will be partnered by Lyle Hewitson.

The champion jockey knows he can expect a challenge from seven-time winner Mr Flood who reverts to 1,200m after an unplaced run over 1,450m at Turffontein. The gelding is 1.5kg better off with Vaseem compared to their recent clash.

Nevertheless, Roy Magner has Vaseem in great fettle and — with 54kg on his back and Muzi Yeni in the saddle — it would be no surprise to see the son of Vercingetorix complete a four-timer.

Riverstown won his penultimate start for the powerful Paul Peter stable, but disappointed next time out in the race won by Cornish Pomodoro.

Peter and Warren Kennedy have a better prospect of success with unbeaten Mufasa in the sixth race with the trainer reporting that the son of What A Winter is “working well”.

Still, it is a worry that Mufasa has not raced since June and it may be best to include Grappler (another new Hollywood acquisition), Whafeef and Buck’s Fizz in jackpot and Pick 6 perms.

Grappler, a son of Trippi who cost R475,000 as a yearling, boasts an admirably consistent record and is probably a safe banker for punters in the place accumulator.

• The Victoria Racing Club has announced that — as part of a government trial — a total of 10,000 spectators will be allowed to attend Australia’s most famous horse race, the Melbourne Cup, scheduled for November 2.

Last year the race was run behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The crowd in 2019 was 81,408.


1st Race: (9) Shimmerlindt (8) Love Bite (1) Quick Run (4) Beltway

2nd Race: (13) Abbacadabra (1) Eyes On Tiger (2) French Rebel (3) True Brit

3rd Race: (4) Rainy Season (1) Jacob’s Ladder (5) Wedding Bliss (6) Royal Mazarin

4th Race: (1) Willow Express (4) Stormy Winter (6) Bold Jazz (5) Ululate

5th Race: (1) Starrywinternight (7) Ablaan (2) Cavalier King (8) Indigo Winter

6th Race: (1) Mufasa (2) Grappler (5) Whafeef (7) Buck’s Fizz

7th Race: (8) Vaseem (1) Chimichuri Run (2) Mr Flood (4) Flying Carpet

8th Race: (3) I Dream Of Genie (4) Diamonds n Dust (8) La Valliere (6) Hey Gorgeous


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