The Citizen (Gauteng)
Sakeet to bounce back
DISTANCE: DROP TO 1000M COULD BENEFIT DE KOCK-TRAINED RUNNER Vaseem, Captain Morisco look the main dangers.
Al Sakeet could benefit from the return to 1000m in Race 7 on the Vaal Classic track tomorrow. Mike de Kock’s charge looked well above average when winning his first two starts impressively, but then failed to find the final kick when running in the Grade 3 Man O’ War Sprint over 1100m on the Standside track at Turffontein last month.
The Var gelding ran third, beaten 5.25 lengths by Celestial Love. The winner, however, looks top class, as she has won five of her eight starts and finished second in the other three. In fact, she went on to frank the Man O’ War form with an emphatic three-length victory in the Grade 2 4Racing Camellia Stakes over 1160m on Champions Day.
In fairness to Al Sakeet, Celestial Love was weighted to beat him in the Man O’ War Sprint so that was not a bad effort for his third start.
This time he runs in a Graduation Plate, and while not favourably handicapped, could enjoy the return to 1000m. Luke Ferraris takes the ride for the first time.
The danger could come from former stable companion Vaseem, who had a promising debut for trainer Roy Magner when a 0.75-length second behind Garden Party in a Progress Plate. He also seemed to enjoy the return to 1000m in that event.
Vaseem has always shown ability but has had his issues and that seems to have kept him back.
The Vercingetorix four-yearold is the second-best weighted runner behind filly Sweet Sensation, so that is another element in his favour.
Interestingly, Magner will run him in blinkers for the first time. Randall Simons rode him last time and is back aboard.
Captain Morisco was beaten by Celestial Love in the NonBlack Type Gold Rush Sprint over 1100m in March and is another who will benefit from the return to the minimum trip. Ashley Fortune’s charge has run six times over 1000m for one win, three seconds and two thirds, so you would expect him to be in the top three again.