De Kock’s Noble Secret returns
THE Vaal stages a ten race meeting tomorrow and the highlight will be a Progress Plate over 1 200m for three-year-olds, which has attracted some classy sorts. Mike de Kock must have one of his most powerful ever crop of three-year-olds and this race sees the return of the exciting Dynasty colt Noble Secret.
He showed an effortless turn of foot on debut over this course and distance and with Randall Simons looking over his shoulder sauntered to a 9,25 length victory.
He was accorded a merit rating of 88, which he will surely rise above in time.
Simons has been given the ride again and although Noble Secret has not run for 119 days his class will give him a good chance.
The officially best weighted horse is the Mike Azzie-trained Down To Zero, who showed pace throughout when winning a Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1 200m by a comfortable margin in June.
He had the classy Surcharge beaten in that race and will appreciate the step back to this trip, having been well beaten in the Grade 2 Golden Horseshoe over 1 400m in July.
Rebel’s Champ looks to have the beating of the top weight So Var on paper, although it could be a different story at the races.
Rebel’s Champ was beaten 1,5 lengths by So Var over 1 160m in June and is now 5,5kg better off.
However, So Var subsequently beat the classy Alfolk, despite giving him 2kg, and was then runner up to another classy sprinter in Al Mariachi, whom he also gave 2kg.
The concern is that he made a breathing noise in his comeback run last month, so Rebel’s Champ is given the nod for third.
Rebel’s Champ made a fair comeback against older horses two months ago over 1 160m and has subsequently been gelded.
Another interesting runner having his first outing since gelding is Pinnacle Peak from the Dorrie Sham yard as he ran two decent 1 000m races in his first two starts in Port Elizabeth.
The De Kock machine should also win the fourth race over 1 200m with Afdeek.
He was a touch unlucky on debut over this trip as the winner crossed his path at a crucial stage.
He does not have a lot to beat and should have improved with that run.
The three Pick 6 legs following the Progress Plate are all fillies and mares handicaps and punters will have their work cut out getting through the exotics.
However, De Kock could possibly claim a quick hattrick in the sixth race over 1 200m with Rajasthani Queen.
She is not an imposing sort, but ran on well to win over 1 000m on debut and the horse she beat, Schippers, then went close next time out over 1 160m.
Rajasthani Queen was accorded a reasonable merit rating of 76 and will appreciate the extra 200m.
The topweight Momo is by Ideal World so should be coming into her own as a four-year-old. In her last two runs she was widely drawn at the Turffontein Inside track so can be forgiven those runs. She has been dropped two merit rated points and can bounce back and go close.
Kungfoofighting went close on her Highveld debut and although raised four points for that run she has to be considered along with her stablemate An Air Of Success and Amoretta, who lost her jockey last time but before that won her maiden in good style and runs off a mere 61 merit rating for the in-form Paul Peter yard.
In the seventh race over 1 000m the Dorrie Sham-trained Lawdy Miss Clawdy could be the one having also made a fine Highveld debut.