Greasepaint might not have the class of some of his opponents but is weighted to win Race 5 at the Vaal tomorrow, a MR 96 Handicap over 1000m. There is no doubt that the Gary Alexander pairing of Champagne Haze and Kangaroo Jack are the class of the race but they have been allowed “train-stopping” weights of 67kg. It is not impossible for them to win but it would be quite a feat to do so over a distance well short of their best. Neither has raced over 1000m, let alone win.
This is clearly a warm-up for the Grade 1 Mercury Sprint to be run over 1200m at Greyville on Saturday 15 July. Kangaroo Jack has not raced since finishing an 8.50-length seventh behind Legal Eagle in the Grade 1 Horse Chest- nut over 1600m at Turffontein on 1 April. Champagne Haze went down to Durban to run in the Grade 2 Drill Hall Stakes and al- though finishing in eighth spot, was just 2.45 lengths behind Marinaresco.
While Greasepaint has not raced against the same level of op- position, he is useful over 1000m and has won six times over the distance. He is set to carry 60.5kg but is used to that kind of weight. Piere Strydom takes the ride for the Roy Magner yard and has quite a good record on this son of Kahal. He has ridden him 10 times for three wins and four places.
Looking past the top three Tandava and Ronnie Rocket look the best of the rest. Tandava has been racing in Zimbabwe but made an excellent debut in South Africa when winning over this course and distance two runs back. He got a 3.5kg penalty and that might have affected his chances last time when we could only manage a 5.25-length h behind All Night Flight last Thursday.
This is not an easy card and finding a stand-out bet is not easy but perhaps the outcome of Race 1 Greyville yesterday could provide some pointers.
The race was won by Celestina from the Sean Tarry yard, and she was notching up her second successive victory.
She has raced in feature races while still a maiden so she is obviously above average.
When she finally won her maiden in her penultimate outing, she beat Eurythmics by 0.75 lengths and that could point to Louis Goosen’s charge being the one to beat in Race4 at the Vaal,a Maiden Plate over 1000m.
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