Two expensive Aussie imports set for Vaal debuts
FORMER champion trainer, Mike de Kock, introduces two Australian-bred three-year-olds for Thursday’s eightrace programme at the Vaal.
In the first race, De Kock sends out Springhills who is a son of worldrenowned stallion Redoubte’s Choice. Last season’s leading apprentice, Callan Murray, has been booked for the ride.
While the market will be the best guide to Springhills’ chance, the colt would not have to be anything special to open his account at the first time of asking as his rivals have not achieved a lot to date.
The other Australian three-year-old, who will have cost plenty as a yearling, is Al Hamid who makes his debut in the third race. JP van der Merwe will be in the saddle.
While the big three-year-old races are still some way off, De Kock will want to get these expensive purchases started and — from a lowly introduction at the Vaal — both imports could go on to greater things.
Another De Kock first-timer on Thursday is Crown Court who is a (8) Springhills (4) Mind Shade (7) Jim Cobb (10) Pipkin (3) Rivarine (6) Red Rock (1) Ronnie Rocket (4) Roqueburne (6) Al Hamid (3) Flying Fool (7) Bono (10) Grey Of Wilton (9) Anna Pavlova (12) Crown Court (13) French Legend (1) Countess Jemina (6) Banking April (4) In The Web (2) Matilda’s Daughter (11) Jackie's Joy (3) Hidden Agenda (4) Henry Higgins (5) Rocky Stallone (1) Kingmambo’s Legacy (12) The Red Light (9) Star Of Caesour (1) Malala (2) Caitlin’s Answer (10) Racing Socks (6) El Bombero (1) Stunned (9) Shot daughter of former champion sire Fort Wood. Weichong Marwing has ridden many winners for the stable and he is entrusted with the ride on the threeyear-old filly.
Marwing can expect a strong challenge from trainer Roy Magner’s runner, Anna Pavlova. She boasts some consistent form and Magner has called up in-form jockey Gavin Lerena for the ride. French Legend and Countess Jemina will both have their supporters in this race so it is not an easy first leg of the jackpot for punters.
One of the best races at the meeting could be the second which features two veteran members of the jockeys room — Andrew Fortune and Piere Strydom — who can still teach their younger opponents a trick or two.
Fortune, who is going flat out to win the jockeys championship for the second time, rides Rivarine for trainer Michael Azzie while Strydom partners Red Rock for champion trainer Sean Tarry.
Although Ronnie Rocket can be given an each-way chance, this looks a match between the two top stables and both Rivarine and Red Rock will be having their first outings in the new campaign.
Trainer Brian Wiid and jockey Chase Maujean teamed up to win the last race at the Vaal on Tuesday with Streetwear and they could repeat the feat with Racing Socks in today’s eighth race.
With Sean Tarry’s runner El Bombero likely to start favourite, Racing Socks should start at attractive odds and the gelding could well be a banker bet in the place accumulator.
Henry Higgins has been a stalwart member of Paul Peters’s stable for a long time and the gelding makes his 73rd racecourse appearance in the sixth race. While there will not be many punters leaving the gelding out of their exotic bets, he faces a formidable opponent in Scott Kenny’s runner Hidden Agenda.