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Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Former champion trainer Sean Tarry won two categories at the recent highveld season awards and one of them was champion stayer, which went to his Gold Bowl winner Nebraas.

A son of Vercingetorix, six-time winner Nebraas has been entered for the Hollywoodbets Durban July and will bid to advertise his claims for the famous event when contesting the fifth race at Turffontein on Thursday.

Though the handicapper has bumped up Nebraas’s merit rating to 116, the five-year-old is still the best-rated horse in the 2,400m race and could be followed home by African Adventure and his stablemate Before Noon.

Tarry has a realistic chance of winning three legs of the jackpot at the city track. Aryaam (sixth race) and Black Thorn and Willow’s Wish (eighth) boast good consistent form.

While he only has a rating of 88, Before Noon is worth including in exotic perms, as he finished only a length-and-a-half behind Nebraas in the Gold Cup at Greyville last July. This time the gelding is a staggering 9,5kg better off at the weights.

Tarry’s Dynasty filly Aryaam is one of several runners with chances in the sixth race. Others on the shortlist are Flying First Class, Rule Book, Arlington Action and Pottinger. On her latest outing, Aryaam was beaten by Flying First Class, but can turn the tables at 2kg lighter. Keagan de Melo retains the ride on the four-year-old.

Both Arlington Action and Rule Book ran well behind Light Of The Moon on their latest starts and both could take a hand in the finish. Pottinger has something to prove after failing to justify heavy backing at Turffontein last month. The gelding will not sport blinkers this time.

Black Thorn and Willow’s Magic give Tarry a strong hand in the eighth race and there may be little to choose between the stablemates at the end of the 1,800m contest.

While Black Thorn would probably prefer a longer trip, he is a versatile performer and is another good mount for De Melo. Three-time winner Willow’s Wish will have Richard Fourie in the saddle for the third time.

Brett Crawford — successful with Irish Tractor at the Vaal last week — runs his four-year-old, Kaptein, who is better drawn than both Black Thorn and Willow’s Wish.

Chopsticks was an expensive purchase at R600,000 so trainer Alec Laird will be pleased with the filly’s third start in which she finished a close second behind Shikoku. With that run under her belt, the daughter of Vercingetorix may prove too smart for her nine rivals in the fourth race.

The opposition is decidedly moderate with the possible exception of Sparkleinhereye, who has an attractive pedigree and may improve after a poor debut last month.

In the final race at the meeting, the advice is to have an each-way punt on bottom-weight Lucy English, who will appreciate reverting to the minimum distance.

Selections

1st Race: (5) Ridgerunner (1) Anfields Rocket (7) Querulous (3) Drop Of Time

2nd Race: No Selection

3rd Race: (9) Toffas (2) Copernicus (1) The Brief (8) Poldark

4th Race: (1) Chopsticks (10) Sparkleinhereye (6) Act Of Mercy (2) Girl Scout

5th Race: (1) Nebraas (7) Before Noon (4) African Adventure (6) Captain Chorus

6th Race: (5) Aryaam (1) Flying First Class (11) Arlington Action (9) Rule Book

7th Race: (6) Black Thorn (9) Willow’s Wish (10) Kaptein (4) Imperial Master

8th Race: (2) Twice As Splendid (1) Irfaans Boy (3) Double Magic (5) Dronfield

9th Race: (12) Lucy English (7) Godswood (8) Kwite A Trip (4) Bard Of Avon

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