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Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

It is very much a case of keeping it in the family when trainer St John Gray runs his filly Devilish Dancer in the fifth race at the Vaal on Thursday.

The four-year-old daughter of Silvano is out of the mare, Dancewiththedevil, who might well be Gray’s favourite horse.

She certainly did him proud on the racetrack winning five grade 1 races which prompted the Randjesfontein trainer to fly her to the UK to contest a race at Royal Ascot. Sadly, that plan went up in smoke when Dancewiththedevil suffered a pelvic injury and  was sent home.

It is understandable that Gray chose a top stallion such as Silvano for his mare and he must be a little disappointed that Devilish Dancer has only managed two wins from 14 starts.

With the blinkers fitted, that total could rise to three on Thursday and it is amazing that the filly’s opening price is 10-1. Don’t expect those odds to be available for long.

There are a number of rivals in this 1,600m contest with sound claims on form and they include Sun Bird, Courante and Brett Crawford’s filly Halloween.

Sun Bird carried owner Colin Bird’s colours to victory at Turffontein in December, but the daughter of Querari hasn’t been seen in action since that win.

Courante, a half-sister to Mardi Gras who runs in the seventh race, finished third behind Sun Bird that day so has a length and a half to find with Robbie Sage’s runner.

Crawford looks to have a good chance of winning the seventh race with Irish Tractor and Halloween should go close in the hands of Craig Zackey. The four-year-old is better off at the weights with recent course winner High Born Lady.

Stephen Moffatt’s gallant mare, Rouge Allure, makes the 99th appearance of her career in the sixth race and could chalk up her 14th win. She could turn the tables on another St John Gray runner, Ululate.

However, Zackey has another good mount in this race as Lucky Houdalakis’ filly, Terra Time, has been knocking on the door for her second win. The three-year-old will be fitted with a compression mask.

Grant Knowles’ Diesel Syndicate will be happy they picked up Irish Tractor for R200,000 as the son of Vercingetorix is chasing his sixth win when he takes on 10 opponents in the seventh race.

Those rivals include Mardi Gras whose big weight of 63kg will be reduced to 61.5kg with the claim of up-and-coming apprentice Kaidan Brewer. The seven-year-old could be the right horse for the exacta with Irish Tractor.

While the last leg of the Pick Six looks a trappy event, another Crawford runner, Tirpitz, could run well in his first venture into handicap company. A R350,000 son of Silvano, the three-year-old was a facile winner of his maiden race earlier this month.

Sean Tarry’s runner, In Cahoots, must be included in exotic perms along with Silly Fella who has been placed in each of his past five outings.


1st Race: (1) Mon Tresor (12) Super Secret (10) Nellie Bly (9) Vitosha

2nd Race: (2) Allaroundtheworld (16) Electric Gold (7) Gimme A Dream (4) Orgetorix

3rd Race: (7) There She Goes (3) Benguela Cove (2) Right Choice (8) Toto

4th Race: (3) Afraad (6) Flying Grace (9) Immeasurable (10) Secret Is Ours

5th Race: (12) Devilish Dancer (6) Sun Bird (5) Courante (11) Halloween

6th Race: (7) Tierra Time (2) Rouge Allure (1) Ululate (8) Belle Of Belize

7th Race: (2) Irish Tractor (1) Mardi Gras (7) Nordic Rebel (3) Kayla's Champ

8th Race: (7) Call Me Master (9) Silvery Blue (2) Into The Future (18) Java House

9th Race: (3) Tirpitz (4) In Cahoots (14) Silly Fella (1) Duke Of Rain


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