Jika may have been beaten by Infamous Fox in his last two starts but based on the recent performances of the winner, Sean Tarry’s charge looks the runner they will all have to beat in Race 6 on the Vaal Classic track today.
In fact, Jika will be taking a slight drop in class when he lines in a MR 80 Handicap. In his last start Jika raced in a MR 88 Handicap over 1600m. That was the first time he raced in blinkers and for the second successive time he found Infamous Fox too good.
However, Candice Dawson’s charge went on to back up that form with a very impressive win in Listed Greyville Convention Centre Handicap over 1600m on the turf at Greyville on Vodacom Durban July Day, beating the likes of dual Grade 1 winner Eyes Wide Open, Grade 2 Daisy Guineas champion Perovskia and last season’s Grade 2 Golden Horseshoe winner Purple Diamond.
With that sort of performances punctuating his form lines, it makes Jika a very hard horse to beat in Race 6. He has run well on this track so will have no issues adapting to it and in that race over this course and distance this son of Jay Peg finished just a neck behind Infamous Fox.
In his last run Tarry fitted Jika in a set of blinkers and although he was beaten even further by Infamous Fox, Jika did show good pace.
Apprentice Lyle Hewitson takes the ride and he jumps from gate No 1.
Soldier On ran well behind Infamous Fox as well and ended up 0.40 lengths behind Jika. Remarkably, thanks to the change in the weight-for-age scale, Jika is now 1kg better off. However, that was Soldier On’s first run after having been gelded so we could see a better performance from Stuart Pettigrew’s charge.
Marco van Rensburg takes the ride.
Jackman runs well for jockey Piere Strydom and the pair have been reunited. Brian Wiid’s charge has run reasonably well at this course but Strydom will have to deal with a No 9 draw.