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Picture: 123RF/ventdusud
Picture: 123RF/ventdusud

Rabada was a serious racehorse and his son, Arbitrator, could thwart Umthombo Wolwazi’s bid to land a hat-trick in the fifth race at the Vaal on Thursday.

Priced up at a generous 6-1, Arbitrator has been given only a two-point penalty for his recent Turffontein win which will please trainer Paul Matchett.

Rabada, retired to stud in 2018, won two grade 1 races — the Daily News 2000 and Premier’s Champion Stakes. His five wins were between the distances of 1,400m and 2,000m.

No surprise that Clinton Binda’s runner, Umthombo Wolwazi, has been priced up favourite as the son of Elusive Fort (sire of Kommetdieding) has already recouped the R100,000 he cost the Hollywood Syndicate as a yearling.

While Ridgerunner is proving costly to follow, trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren puts the pacifiers on which could result in an improved performance from the son of Canford Cliffs.

Trainer Fabian Habib had a winner at the Vaal on Tuesday and his runner, Mover And Shaker, rates an each-way chance with S’mango Khumalo back in the saddle. He won the BSA Cup on the son of Rafeef at Greyville on Durban July day in 2022.

Another horse who ran that day is Laguna Verde who returns to action with blinkers fitted in Thursday’s eighth race. Considering that the son of Gimmethegreenlight finished only two lengths behind Cousin Casey (fourth favourite for the WSB Met) he looks a great each-way shout at the opening price of 9-1.

Bookies make Vanderbilt favourite with owner Suzette Viljoen having returned her five-time winner back to the care of the Peter stable — now with new trainer Tony Peter. The son of What A Winter ran two seconds and a third while with Robyn Klaasen.

With Siyanda Sosibo claiming his 4kg, Vanderbilt will carry the same weight as Laguna Verde and the two appeal as an attractive boxed exacta.

Meridius — a R150,000 son of Canford Cliffs — got a four-point penalty for December’s Turffontein win and is better drawn than either Laguna Verde or Vanderbilt.

The well-bred British mare, Good Queen Bess, has cost punters a packet and returns from a 14-week break. There has to be a chance she could take a hand in the finish.

Tony Peter will be hoping his grey filly, Ghost Ship, can open her account in the first race — a Work Riders event over 1,450m.

This looks a competitive opener with all of Bushveld, National Star and Sky Velocity possessing chances if producing their best form.

Keagan De Melo continues to boot home the winners and this season’s leading rider has winning chances on Silver Mensa (second race) and Pragmatist (third). The latter failed to justify favouritism last time out and now faces a serious rival in Alec Laird’s runner, Atticus Finch.


1st Race: (7) Ghost Ship (3) Bushveld (2) National Star (4) Sky Velocity

2nd Race: (1) Silver Mensa (4) Rockingthetimeaway (2) Regina Bellissima (3) Heart And Mind

3rd Race: (3) Atticus Finch (4) Pragmatist (1) Argo Alley (5) Bowl First

4th Race: (3) Puerto Plata (9) Broadlands (12) Turnthebeataround (6) Wonderworld

5th Race: (7) Arbitrator (4) Umthombo Wolwazi (6) Mover And Shaker (2) Ridgerunner

6th Race: (5) Wings Of Nike (7) In The Ether (3) Siberian Steel (2) Stormy Seas

7th Race: (7) Celtic Rumours (9) Fly Isabella Fly (2) Golden Aspen (1) Intoxicating

8th Race: (5) Laguna Verde (1) Vanderbilt (8) Meridius (10) Good Queen Bess

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