I am looking forward to today’s Grand Heritage meeting at the Vaal because it contains massive fields and is very different from all previous meetings I have ridden in. It also helps that I ride Arctica in the R750,000 Betting World Grand Heritage over 1475m who I consider to have a big chance.
I worked him on Tuesday and gave him his final gallop on Thursday. He doesn’t give you much at work, he seems to save his best for the day, but he has a beautiful action. He is very well weighted. Last time he should have beaten Bulleting Home and he is now better off at the weights with Bulleting Home as well as Moofeed who finished behind us so we should beat them again.
I think this straight course is ideal for him because when he unwinds he keeps finding. You don’t want to break his action and because he’s running down the straight you can jump out, get a position and keep him going.
The field could split in two with runners going either inside or outside. I’m drawn towards the outside and I’m very happy with that because a lot of horses with the best chances are drawn on my side.
I think there will be speed on both sides. I just hope there’s not too much interference. It’s not a concern if everybody rides to the rules, so I think it will be okay. My horse has the pace and hopefully it works out well.
I make Lunar Approach my main danger. He’s a horse with serious ability. I worked him at home and he is very good. He closed about nine lengths on Kangaroo Jack who I rate the best 1200m horse in the country. He can only come on from that and will enjoy the extra distance.
Kings Archer is another with a big chance because he’s so well handicapped. He is 2.5kg better off with Arctica for a 2.10 length defeat so he is weighted to beat us. The concern is that he’s drawn on the inside where he doesn’t really have much to beat.
Then you have to look at the heavy weights. Moofeed is a big solid horse, Bulleting Home I should beat but I think he will be there and while Pivotal Pursuit carries top weight he has a big heart and will run well. Donny G carried 62kg last time but that was too sharp and he will enjoy 1475m. I make him a big runner.
There is little to choose between Durban raiders Celtic Captain and Humidor at the weights and they both have decent form. I think it will depend on how they travel.
For the Place Accumulator I will go with Arctica, Lunar Approach and Kings Archer. For the Pick 6 add in Moofeed, Donny G, Thrust, Chepardo, Front Rank and Awesome Adam.
Although he has not raced for a while I will go with Just As Frisky to win Race 1. I think he has powerful form and if just 80% right should win.
The dangers are Charleston Hero and Together Forever but keep an eye on first timer Bush Pilot. He is a half-brother to True Master and I wouldn’t be surprised if he won.
Most people are leaning towards Elusive Strike in Race 2. She gives a beautiful feel at home and she’s definitely a big runner.
But I like Smiling Blue Eyes. I remember her first run. She was green, ran off a bad draw and got caught three deep. She’s got a tongue tie this time which will help. I’ve seen her work and she looks good so I’m going with her to win. I believe she has a lot of ability.
I ride Queen Of Lords. I’m hoping she can run in the first four but this is a lot stronger than her previous races.
In Race 3 I can’t see Doosra losing. He’s a big, strong beautiful horse. He looks very smart and I think he’s going places. I make him a banker in the Place Accumulator. I ride Machete who is a first timer and I know nothing about him.
Keep an eye on the first timers Romi’s Boy and Pilou, who is a full brother to Bichette.
In Race 4 I can’t separate Trip Tease and African Ruler. Trip Tease has run well in races of this nature but African Ruler finished second behind Graduation Day and I think will appreciate the drop to 1000m. I rode Graduation Day in a gallop and he is outstanding. It’s probably the best gallop I’ve ever had.
I’m leaning towards African Ruler but I make it a two-horse race so put both in the PA and Pick 6.
In Race 5 I’m going to go with Seattle Singer. She’s brilliant against the boys and girls. She has run against some of the best of her age group in the country including Hack Green. She is a class above this field and will take a power of beating.
For the PA I will banker her. For the pick 6 I will add Drifting Dusk, Lumya and Paree. I ride Lumya and I rated her highly. I won with her at a night meeting and she thrashed the field. She lost her way a bit but I think she’s coming back. She puts her tongue over the bit so the tongue tie has done well for her. Her work yesterday was very good and on that she is in with a good chance.
She’s a small filly and has a heavy weight which is my only worry but I do expect her to be in the first three.
Race 6 looks very open but I’m going with Flying Myth. I galloped this horse before his last run. He is pure class and he’s the champion of the field. Something went wrong last time but one should ignore that run. He is a lot better than that.
For second I’m going with my mount, Kingoftheworld. He has some very good ability. He’s been off for some time but Mr Spies says the horse is well. He won easily at this meeting on the sand last year. Third in that race was Noah From Goa so that was a great run.
Amazing Strike is the class horse and my other two fancies are Duke Nukem and Seattle Lady. For the PA go with Kingoftheworld, Duke Nukem and Flying Myth and for the Pick 6 add the other two.
My agent tried to get me the ride on Prince Of Orange in Race 8. He works like a superstar and Candice Dawson brings them out to win. He is my first selection. I also like Silver Class and Nephrite. Silver Class has run against the colts before and I like Nephrite with 52.5kg on his back. He is the best work horse in the Lucky Houdalakis yard, not one horse can work with him so the day he decides to run he will blow them away.
Yankee Captain is consistent and still very immature but now that he’s four, he will start to blossom.
For the PA go with Prince of Orange and Nephrite and for Pick 6 add in Forest Fox, Silver Class and Yankee Captain.
I think Race 9 is going to be very interesting. I spoke to Randall Simons and he makes Green Pepper a top filly. With 52.5kg on her back – I know it’s against the colts – she will be a hard horse to beat. Rivarine won his last start with consummate ease. He has done nothing wrong, you can’t leave him out. Bonnie Dawn beat British Royale and he won well on Thursday.
For PA’s I will go Green Pepper and Rivarine, and for Pick 6 add Wrecking Ball and Bonnie Dawn. I ride Lotus Elan. He is a smart horse and will get better but I think 1000m will be too sharp. He could run in the first four.
Var Agtig had a brilliant first run. I worked her before that race and I thought she would win. But she’s difficult to work with. Hopefully she’s come on since then and has settled down and she must be a big runner in Race 10. Ordained is the danger. She was coughing last time and hopefully the tongue tie will help.
Turaathy is a full sister to Rafeef. I haven’t worked her but on breeding she should give a good account of herself.