We are racing in the Inside track at Turffontein today although we were meant to race at the Vaal, but the weather has not played ball so we had no option but to move the meeting. That resulted in a change to the structure of the race as Turffontein cannot take a 28-horse field.
That saw the Grand Heritage turn into the World Sports Betting Grand Series.
As a result, we now have two races of 14 runners in each event, both still over 1475m. It also means the draws will play a part on a very tricky card.
Our features for the days are those two Non-Black Type races of R500,000 each that make up the two legs of the Grand Series. Leg 1 is Race 7 and the main runners to follow, taking the draws into account, are Divine Odyssey, Soldier On and Lake Kinneret. Those three need to be included in the Place Accumulator but there are others with some sort of form which makes it a competitive race.
For the Pick 6 try to include as many as you can with the main ones being Purple Diamond and Sail For Joy. I ride Kings Archer who has the worst of the draws and I just hope he can earn some stake money.
Watch out if either of the reserve runners gets in as they are quite capable of winning a race of this nature.
Leg 2, which is Race 8, should also be a tricky race to find the winner but in this case Mardi Gras looks to be the “real deal”. He has the scope for improvement and looks a hard horse to beat. Even though he has a wide draw he has some speed on his inside so Gavin Lerena should be able to get him well placed.
Banker him in all bets!
Moving back to the beginning, Race 1 is a Maiden Plate and one has a choice of going with the horse with the best exposed form, Vi Va Pi Pa, or going with the well-backed first-timer. Isle De France is from the Mike de Kock yard and could get Gavin Lerena off to a winning start. There is talk in the jockey room that this daughter of Var has ability and if not green should win.
She is out of SA Oaks winner Ilha Bela so it will be interesting to see what her best distance will turn out to be.
Epic Dream, who was due to run in Race 2, looked the best bet on the card but he was scratched yesterday afternoon. That probably makes Turf Master the best of the raced runners but there are also three unraced horses with chances. There has been money for Sean Tarry-trained African Daisy who was quoted at 16-10 at the time of going to print.
Race 3 is a fillies handicap but the form does look a little bit tricky. Insignis is the improver and should have the beating of this field even though there are a couple of others with fair form, for instance Only To Win and Being Fabulous. Chariot Of Gold could be the dark horse but despite all that Insignis does look to be a Place Accumulator banker.
I ride Comme-Ci-Comme-Ca who is held on form but I’m hoping she can run into the money.
Race 4 is an Assessment Plate but it is quite tricky as your two top handicapped horses are both coming off rests. For that reason I will include Rule The Night and Carbon Atom as my two PA horses. For the Pick 6 you need to put in Social Order and Silver God and if you want to go wider in the Pick 6 then Patrol Officer and Seville Orange can be included.
Race 5 is another fillies handicap and my first choice is Chitengo. Unfortunately, she is coming off a rest and has a wide draw so include Samarra in the PA. For the Pick 6 consider Barbie Doll, Wings Of Light as well as Until Dawn.
Race 6 is the WSB Grand Series Consolation (Non-Black Type) Consolation Race, which has a number of horses with decent form. My three main PA horses are Catkin, Just As I Said and Flying Winger. You might want to add an extra runner into the PA so I will mention another few horses with chances and they are Big Mistake, Wrecking Ball, Penny Royale, Strawberry Pavlova, Regal Graduation and Gimme Hope Johanna.
I’m aboard Jubilee Line who will be carrying overweight. He is held on form and might struggle on this quick Inside track as well. I will be over the moon if he manages to run a place.
Race 9 is a stakes race where your best handicapped horses should come out on top and in this case that is Parisienne Chic. But there are some other runners who have finished close up so you probably need to include Glamorous Scandal as back-up in the PA.
For the Pick 6 add in Knysna Rose and if you think you need more than that then you should consider taking the whole field.
I ride Emerald Bay who is held on her last couple of runs but on her best form could run into the places.
Race 10 is a difficult handicap with main selections being Master Magic, Bosphorus, Mutrib, Judd’s Rocket and Volcanic Sunset. I ride Street Flyer who is held on form. Hopefully the seven-year-old can improve and place.