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Picture: 123RF/LUKAS GOJDA
Picture: 123RF/LUKAS GOJDA

Former champion jockey Weichong Marwing — forced to hang up his saddle on medical advice — joined the training ranks in March and welcomed his first winner when 16-1 chance Desert Crusader won at the Vaal.  

The Free State track could be the venue of another winner from Marwing’s stable as his three-year-old Picture Perfect, a 10-1 chance in early betting, has a chance of upsetting the leading fancies in the eighth race.

A son of Trippi, bred at Nadeson Park Stud, Picture Perfect made no show in the SA Classic but will have benefited from last month’s run behind Vegas Hi Rise. The three-year-old finished fifth and was dropped two points by the handicapper.

Interestingly, Marwing bought Picture Perfect’s half-brother (by Twice Over) for R125,000 at the CTS Premier Yearling Sale in February. Twice Over is the sire of dual Durban July winner Do It Again.

Cool Winter has contributed more than R100,000 to Paul Peter’s stakes tally this season and it is no surprise the son of What A Winter has been priced up second favourite. However, he is a two-year-old giving weight to older horses so he is no certainty to notch his second win.

S’manga Khumalo — in fourth place in the national jockeys’ log — is riding at the top of his game and is sure to get the best out of Mike and Adam Azzie’s runner High Born Lady. The filly is the 9-2 favourite for the race.

With Khumalo in the irons, the daughter of Master Of My Fate won her last start at the Vaal beating Gilded Butterfly and that form was franked when Stuart Pettigrew's filly won last week.

Marwing is not without a chance of landing a double as his sixth race runner, Looking Hot, has an each-way chance after being placed in her past two starts.

Nevertheless, this is a competitive handicap in which On Cue, Meet The Captain, Samoa and Spiritofthegroove are all on the shortlist of possible winners. The last-named could spring a surprise with promising youngster Joshwin Solomons in the saddle.

Top weight On Cue is a model of consistency and is overdue for a third win. Ashley Fortune’s filly is weighted to turn the tables on recent Turffontein winner Samoa.

Pashasha has more than paid her way this term for owner Gerald Sadleir and Roy Magner, who did this column a good turn with a treble last week and will be expecting another bold showing from the three-year-old in the fifth race.

Apprentice Kaidan Brewer will jump from pole position on Pashasha but will know he faces a tough rival in Sean Tarry’s recent Turffontein winner Bit Of Fun.

Owner Michael Javett had to go to R500,000 to acquire the son of Querari whose dam Larking Around is by the Epsom Derby winner Montjeu.

Bit Of Fun’s half-brother (by Vercingetorix) was bought for R400,000 by Hollywood Syndicate at this year’s CTS sale so there is every likelihood the colt will race for the Tarry stable.

Tarry will be hoping his Trippi filly, Sweet Pepper, can build on her win at Turffontein in December and run well in the first race where only seven juveniles will face the starter.

The field includes Paul Peter’s What A Winter filly Blue Waters, who is sure to start favourite after her three lengths debut win at Turffontein last month.

SELECTIONS

1st Race: (1) Blue Waters (3) Sweet Pepper (2) Miss Daisy (7) Sparkleinhereye

2nd Race: (1) River Queraress (2) Mercantour (3) Aniara (5) Fish Eagle

3rd Race: (7) Manz Knight (1) Big Five (3) My True North (2) Pomodoro Hills

4th Race: (1) Quest From Afar (6) Angelofthemorning (2) Country Flame (3) Jane Wilson

5th Race: (2) Bit Of Fun (4) Pashasha (3) Kool Baikal (9) Crusade To Royalty

6th Race: (7) Spiritofthegroove (1) On Cue (10) Meet The Captain (11) Love Bite

7th Race: (6) Bequest (3) Alabama Anna (7) Imbewu (5) Midnight Gem

8th Race: (2) Picture Perfect (1) Cool Winter (4) High Born Lady (7) Funky Music

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