Calling Ormond Ferraris a veteran is a huge understatement and this octogenarian could give most of the top trainers a master class on how the job should be done.
So when he decides to send a two-year-old to KwaZulu-Natal to compete in a Grade 1 sprint one has to believe that youngster has ability. That was the case with Vivir who competed in the Grade 1 Alan Robertson Sprint at Scottsville over 1200m on 26 May.
This daughter of Philanthropist ended up finishing seventh behind Mighty High, but she was beaten just 5.10 lengths. She also won’t be the last horse to fail in their first run at the Pietermaritzburg course but her debut performance was good enough to indicate there is a lot more to come from this filly.
On debut, over 1200m at the Vaal in April, she beat Railtrip by 0.40 lengths with Crimson Royale another 0.60 lengths back in second. Jailhouse Jazz ran fourth, beaten 4.40 lengths. All three have come out to win their next start. Railtrip beat Favourite Model by 4.50 lengths, Crimson Royale beat Picture Me (also a winner since then) by 1.05 lengths while Jailhouse Jazz beat Pachanga by 2.25 lengths.
Her two performances have impressed the handicappers enough to see her racing off a merit rating of 93.
Vivir will be in action in Race 7 at the Vaal tomorrow, a MR 92 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1200m, and could prove to be the value of the day. Apprentice Luke Ferraris, a 4kg claimer, takes the ride which should bring her weight down to just 49kg but he weighs in at 49.5kg so will have to put up 0.5kg overweight.
The danger could come for three-year-old Pretty Penny, who has only run three times for two wins and a 1.15-length third behind La Bastide on debut. Alec Laird’s charge has also been carded to carry 53kg but she runs off a rating of just 79. Muzi Yeni takes the ride.
Sean Tarry trains a talented filly in Image Award who is also lightly raced. She won on debut at Scottsville on 7 June last year but only had her second run in June this year. She hovered around the 8-1 mark in her race on the Turffontein Inside track but after giving the starters a bit of a tough time, ran on strongly to run a 1.25-length second behind Frederico’s Dream.
She has to be a contender unless she is hit by that second-run-after- a-rest syndrome. Lyle Hewitson takes the ride.
Others to consider are Maple Syrup and Rouge Allure.