Oceania to land the odds
THE Vaal has a 10-race meeting tomorrow and a lot of homework will be needed to land a slice of the exotic dividends as the racing is generally competitive.
The best bet of the day is selected to be Oceania, running in the first leg of the PA. She stayed on well from way back when drawn wide over this 1400m trip on debut to run third. She should be closer to the action down the straight and being by Ideal World will be improving.
The Assessment Plate over 1000m is next up. Scoop has been selected to win as he looks to be going places and the form of his two comeback wins has worked out well.
However, if he is not bankered it is wide open.
Topmast has some decent form and in a handicap would only be receiving 1kg from Scoop but is receiving 4kg so it might be wise to include him.
The only older horse in the field, State Trooper, has always been well regarded and was highly tried as a three-year-old.
His only two career wins have been over sprints so he can’t be ignored trying the minimum trip for the first time.
Heavenly Risk is the joint second best in at the weights together with Topmast.
He does looks held by Scoop on collateral form so some would want to leave him out. Basilius also has to be included as he is not only the best weighted horse on official merit ratings but on the evidence of his last start will appreciate the step down to the minimum trip and he might try and run them of their feet in his second run after a layoff.
Colour Of Light
The first leg of the Jackpot could be won by Colour Of Light who has pace and an accompanying kick, meaning she is ideally suited to this 1000m trip.
She has dropped to a mark six points lower than her last win and showed signs of a form return in her third run after a layoff last time, so she should be cherry ripe. Lily Theresa has been most disappointing in her last two starts.
However, she was found to not be striding out both times and if bouncing back she will have many of this field beaten on the form of her first run on the Highveld, which was over 1000m on the Turffontein Inside track.
Those two are chosen to get punters through the Pick 6. For the less risky bet, the Jackpot, more runners can be included headed by See You Tyger, who won her maiden easily.
Opera, Memphis Belle, Lady Of The World, Vine Street Star and Illegal are the others to consider.
In the next race Alpine Glacier is a consistent sprinter who has been given a two point lowering by the handicapper and he also has a 2,5kg claimer up, so can get it right over his ideal 1000m trip.
Brigtnumberten had some useful earlier form and has plummeted 18 points down the ratings since last May so is also a must include in his second run after a layoff over an ideal trip. Sugoi looks a lot like his father, Noordhoek Flyer, who was a well muscled and athletic red chestnut who had a lot of speed.
Noordhoek Flyer has been a disappointing sire but if Sugoi produces either of his best two runs he could be in the shake up. Those three are chosen to get punters through the Pick 6 but the former Cape Town horse Tarsus made a decent Highveld debut and can be included in the Jackpot.
In the seventh race over 1400m the SA Fillies Nursery and Starling Stakes winner Ronnie’s Candy was caught wide in the Fillies Mile but showed how good she is by still managing to stay on for third.
Then last time in the Three Troikas over this trip she cost herself by racing too strongly from a wide draw and she not surprisingly faded out.
If Karl Zechner can settle her in behind horses this time she will be hard to beat, but on the evidence of those last two starts she is not an easy ride.
Blossom is by Silvano out of the Triple Tiara winner Cherry On The Top and looks promising. She does still have a lot to prove but should be improving all the time and could be the chief danger along with Greener Pastures, whose recent form has been franked.
In the last leg of the Jackpot, What A Joker brings decent Cape Town form and looks to be running off a suppressed merit rating so is the selection over a suitable 1400m trip.
Lazarus Tree has run seven times and has won comfortably three times.
He has otherwise run ordinary races. He has made respiratory noises in his last two defeats, so that might explain it. He will go close if all goes well.
Lock Him Up has turned the corner since the blinkers were removed and has to be included. Rocky Path, Street Flyer and Old Man Tyme also make some appeal and can be included.
The last leg of the Pick 6 is competitive. Manhattan Cocktail looks to have some class and is the selection to beat the more experienced handicappers Sovereign Rein, Manitoba, Bold Coast, Judd’s Rocket and Master Boulder, who are all in form and distance suited.
RANDALL SIMONS rides Oceania