Towards the end of last year trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren could do no wrong. The winners flowed from the stable and it looked a matter of time before he would finally give owner Laurence Wernars an elusive Grade 1 victory.
But those exploits emphasise the need to enjoy the highs of racing when things are running for you. Early this year the yard was hit by a devastating virus and many of his previously prominent performers were trailing in at the rear of the field.
It takes a lot of hard work, patience and resilience to steady matters but Janse van Vuuren does not lack in those areas and finally everything seems to be getting back on an even keel.
She’s A Giver looked to be an absolute star when winning the Grade 3 Starling Stakes over 1400m at the Charity Mile meeting, a day on which the stable had four winners including the Charity Mile with New Predator.
Janse van Vuuren then sent her to the Cape to contest the Grade 1 Cape Fillies Guineas but she drew badly and finished down the field. Two more races in the Cape went awry for the daughter of Philanthropist and she then returned to the Highveld.
She’s A Giver has only raced once since her return, over 1200m at the Vaal where she finished a neck second to Angel’s Power. The winner franked that form last Saturday when winning Race 9 at Turffontein.
Tomorrow She’s A Giver will take on the boys again in a Progress Plate over 1200m on the Turffontein Inside track and on merit ratings, holds a healthy weight advantage of at least 4.5kg over her male counterparts.
This will be her first start at the course but she should enjoy racing around the turn and is expected to get back on the winning track. Randall Simons rides.
The next best-handicapped runner is Matador Man form the Sean Tarry yard and he must have an excellent chance if he jumps on terms. He has a history of losing ground at the start and over this sort of distance, it is very hard to recover. He has run on this course, in the Grade 3 Tony Ruffel Stakes over 1450m in which he finished a 0.60-length second behind Ektifaa. However, he may have won had he not had to come from last. Apprentice Lyle Hewitson takes the ride.
Janse van Vuuren also saddles Doosra, who also has a decent chance with first-time blinkers. However, he is held by Matador Man on Tony Ruffel Stakes form – he finished 3.50 lengths behind Ektifaa in third.
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