Tsitsikamma Dance is ready to turn it on
THE R250 000 WSB Grand Series Match Race over 1475m is an exciting winner takes all event starting at 13h15 and is the highlight of tomorrow’s meeting at the Vaal.
Match Race topweight Tsitsikamma Dance had good form in Cape Town including finishing 3,1 lengths back in the Winter Guineas behind Rainbow Bridge. He won both of his two starts on the Highveld, including the second leg of the Grand Series over 1475m when staying on well from a handy position. He showed last time he has class, staying on from the back over 1160m to finish just 3,1 lengths behind Legal Eagle.
His opponent Dan The Lad has run over this trip twice, winning the Heritage Consolation last year and losing this years Grand Series leg 1 by a whisker.
He is an honest sort but does not have the ability of Tsitsikamma Dance. The 4kg he is getting would not be enough in a normal race, but a match race can develop into a cat and mouse affair where tactics play a role. The confident Ryan Munger will be aboard Tsitsikamma Dance and twice South African Champion Jockey S’Manga Khumalo is aboard Dan The Lad. It will be a race full of intrigue but Tsitsikamma Dance is the tip to win.
The first two legs of the Pick 6 consist of a Maiden Plate and an Assessment Plate respectively, so it once again looks catchable. In the first leg over 1600m March To Glory is a son of Marchfield who has some substance and should have come on from his last start, which was his first as a gelding when staying on for third to Against The Grain over 1400m. He should also appreciate the step up in trip and is taken to be a banker.
In the second leg over 1600m there is a banker possibility in Invincible Lady. She is 3kg better off than the second best weighted Sand Princess on official merit ratings and this filly with a big stride should have come on from her last start.
The risk averse could include Mrs Simpson as she looks destined to be a fair sort having won well on debut over 1200m and on pedigree she will appreciate this step up in trip. In order to match Invincible Lady she will need to run to an 89 which is a big ask in just her second start.
In the third leg over 1600m Chepardo should be cherry ripe and having stayed on in two of his last three starts over 1450m and 1400m respectively he will appreciate stepping up to a mile.
Nordic Rebel won going away over 1400m last time and off a three point higher mark is another one who should enjoy the trip.
Changing Seasons is halfa-kilogram better off than Chepardo for a 0,2 length beating and will prefer this trip so also has a fine chance.
In the seventh race over 1400m Winter Storm should appreciate the step up in trip being by What A Winter out of a National Emblem mare who won over 2000m. This long-striding sort usually shows fair pace before finding no extra but this is likely due to him being outpaced in the closing stages than not staying. Bien Venue has disappointed in his last two starts having shown promise as a juvenile, but he will appreciate the step down in trip from the Dingaans.
He was up against exceptional horses like Hawwaam in the latter race so it will be a lot easier here too, so he can be given another chance to prove himself here. Olofberg can also be involved here if repeating his penultimate start.
The eighth race over 1200m Mount Keith was beaten narrowly by a useful looking sort in Carbon Atom last time over this trip so is the first choice. One should be able to afford to go wide here and State Trooper, True Words, Generous Notion, Twelve Oaks and William Nicol can also be included.
In the last leg Nicky Noo moved up well over 1200m last time but found no extra so might appreciate the step down in trip. Farraranga, who will definitely appreciate the step down in trip, will be a big threat and is the other to include in what is a Pick 6 which is not going to cost a lot to play.
TSITSIKAMMA DANCE and Dan The Lad go head-tohead in the Grand Series Match at Turffontein tomorrow.