One of the first things punters look for nowadays when studying a race card is whether jockey Warren Kennedy and trainer Paul Peter team-up.
The pair are on a hot streak, combining for two winners yet again on Saturday at Turffontein during the annual Phumelela Christmas Tree race day.
Well, the pair could add to their tally of winners tomorrow at the Vaal when Kennedy takes the ride on Pelican Bay in Race 6, a MR 72 Handicap over 1600m.
Pelican Bay recorded three seconds and a third in a five-week period before he was given a well- deserved two-month break. Returning to the track tomorrow, this Seventh Rock gelding is expected to record a second career victory in his 22nd start.
He is already priced up at 22-10 for the win making him the favourite among bookmakers in this 16-runner field.
The biggest challenger should be Contrail. Although this Sean Tarry- trained runner has had three outings, the first two must be ignored. On debut he lost two lengths at the start and was green, going down by 11.75 lengths to Tallinn.
On his second attempt he-man aged to get rid of jockey Calvin Habib. Finally, at the third time of asking, this Count Dubois colt screamed home, beating Earth Shaker by more than a length despite being bumped at the start.
That was two weeks ago. With a bit more experience, he could become a very big runner. The main attraction on the day is Race 7, a MR 96 Handicap sprint over 1000m where Aristachu should have the measure over his rivals.
Apprentice Cole Dicken will be holding the reins for a sixth consecutive time and his 2.5kg allowance should make the world of difference. Aristachus has never finished outside of the money over the distance, with two wins, a second and a fourth coming from four starts.
While Pillaroheearth and Scoop are the main dangers, both have not seen the inside of the winner’s enclosure for quite some time – 446 days and 362 days respectively.
But both have recorded victories over the course and distance, so don’t draw a line through them. It might also pay to add Winter Storm to exotic bets considering it’s the Kennedy/Peter combination behind this What A Winter gelding.