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

Forget about the tipsters, the only prediction highveld racing fans want to be correct on Tuesday is the weather forecast. After the loss of four meetings last week, it is hoped racing can resume at the Vaal.

Happily, the word from the national weather bureau is for “clear skies and sunny”. There is no mention of rain.

If the eight-race programme at the Vaal gets the green light, top trainers Mike de Kock and Sean Tarry have decisions to make about two three-year-olds, Lushozi Shoop and Silver Hills. Both are entered for the Vaal and at Turffontein on Wednesday night.

Understandably, the two conditioners are likely to wait until the Vaal meeting has got the go-ahead before making their decisions.

Lushozi Scoop — entered for the third race at the Vaal — is a daughter of What A Winter who cost Hollywood R800,000 when purchased as a yearling from Hemel ’n Aarde Stud.

The filly made a pleasing debut at Turffontein last month and the Vaal race — or the ninth at Turffontein on Wednesday evening — will reveal more about the three-year-old's ability.

While there is little difference in the prize money of the two races, De Kock might opt for the Turffontein tace as Lushozi Shoop is drawn in pole position in the 1,450m race. Her biggest danger is likely to be Weichong Marwing’s runner, Vitellius.

If De Kock decides on the Vaal race, the opposition will include Tarry’s daughter of Canford Cliffs, Whatyouwaitingfor.

Lushozi Shoop races in the colours of the Hollywood Syndicate and the KwaZulu-Natal betting operator was in the news last week with Turftalk revealing they intended injecting a further R10m into KwaZulu-Natal racing.

There has, however, been no word from Hollywood on whether the invitation to run their star filly, Make It Snappy, in the Breeders Cup in November would be accepted or declined.

Tarry is likely to favour Turffontein’s Egoli Mile for his Silvano filly, Silver Hills, as the first prize for the race is R109,375 compared with R68,750 at the Vaal.

The Turffontein race is a tougher contest with several useful three-year-olds in the line-up including Arividicio, Laguna Verde, Meridius and the KwaZulu-Natal raider, Captainofthegreen.

Apart from Lushozu Shoop, Keagan De Melo has six other booked rides at the Vaal and it is particularly interesting that he will partner Toffas rather than R7m buy, Celestial City, in the seventh race.

De Melo rode Celestial City in his most recent start when he failed to justify favouritism and it is likely Tarry offered him the ride again.

However, this season’s leading jockey appears to prefer the chance of Toffas who won his most recent race at Turffontein by two lengths. Kabelo Matsunyane will partner Celestial City for the first time.

Both Climate Control and Celestial City’s stablemate, Invincible Warrior, rate each-way chances in this 1,600m handicap.

De Melo rides Gavin van Zyl’s four-year-old, Mr Molony, in the final leg of the Pick Six but unfortunately the gelding is drawn practically in the nearby Vaal river. Black Lightning has a better barrier and — reverting to a shorter trip — can go well in the hands of apprentice Donald Geerthsen.


1st Race: (1) Simply Magic (7) Damned If I Do (3) Silk Garden (8) Have A Party

2nd Race: (1) Fish Eagle (2) Black Egret (4) Magic Prince (5) Giocatore

3rd Race: (1) Lushozi Shoop (2) Whatyouwaitingfor (3) There She Goes (7) Samoa

4th Race: (4) Silver Hills (3) Raratonga Rose (5) Quiet Rebellion (2) Kind Judy

5th Race: (1) Red Maple (8) Stunning Kitten (3) Tinder Dry (10) Angel's Wish

6th Race: (3) Go Flichity (2) Namaqua Blossom (5) Rosy Lemon (1) Dark Travel

7th Race: (3) Toffas (9) Celestial City (1) Climate Control (2) Invincible Warrior

8th Race: (3) Black Lightning (2) Just Eminent (4) Oyster King (1) Mr Molony

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