Delpech is still lin­ing them up

The Star Early Edition - - RACING - AN­DREW HAR­RI­SON

ANTHONY Delpech is a shoo-in for the Na­tional Jockey’s cham­pi­onship and with just a fort­night to run to the end of the cur­rent sea­son he is 38 win­ners ahead of near­est ri­val Gavin Ler­ena and is likely to add to his tally at The Vaal to­mor­row.

Be­ing so far ahead in the cham­pi­onship race one could for­give him if he called time on his mid-week trips to the Highveld un­til at least the start of next sea­son.

How­ever, Delpech is also first call jockey to Wil­ger­bos­drift and Mau­ritz­fontein and will be aboard Dal­ley for his spon­sors and Lucky Houdalakis in the Mid­dle Stakes over 2 400m, sev­enth race on the card.

The daugh­ter of Ideal World has de­vel­oped into a use­ful stayer and was hardly off the bit when win­ning over course and dis­tance last time out. She was given a six-pound penalty for the vic­tory but that does not look to be enough given the qual­ity of to­mor­row’s field.

Dal­ley looks head-and-shoul­ders above the op­po­si­tion, the only pos­si­ble dan­ger be­ing top weight Ban­dola.

Ban­dola

Weiho Mar­wing has a way with stay­ing horses and al­though Ban­dola has only won a work rid­ers maiden she will im­prove on her last ef­fort and has a pedi­gree that sug­gests that she will be at home over the ex­tra ground.

Delpech can round off his af­ter­noon aboard Sess for Mike Azzie.

The Aus­tralian-bred son of Breed­ers’ Cup Ju­ve­nile win­ner Pluck, was touched off over course and dis­tance last time out and looks set to go one bet­ter this time around.

While Dal­ley and Sess look the pick of Delpech’s four rides, his other two are far from out of it.

He teams up with Ice Art for Azzie in the All To Come Maiden plate and af­ter two promis­ing sprints the daugh­ter of Quer­ari is set to shed her maiden at third time of ask­ing al­though you will prob­a­bly have to take skinny odds.

More dif­fi­cult could be Nordic Rebel for Erico Ver­donese in the www.It­sarush.co.za Hand­i­cap. The three-year-old was an easy maiden win­ner two runs back but was ex­pected to do a lot bet­ter in his hand­i­cap de­but where he fin­ished tailed off be­hind Min­nesota.

That run was ob­vi­ously way be­low ex­pec­ta­tions and Ver­donese has given him an even stiffer task in this MR82 Hand­i­cap.

A bet­ter propo­si­tion could be St John Gray’s filly Shim­mer­ing Sea.

She is a sea­soned cam­paigner and was full of run­ning when beat­ing Spring Won­der over course and dis­tance last time out.

Also in the hunt is Golden Man from the Grant Maroun yard.

He has been close-up in his last two and was nar­rowly beaten by the speedy River­ine last time out.

A re­peat of that ef­fort will see him in the mix.

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