Dragon Vein can blow ém away over 1450m on sand

With Pylon going overseas, trainer Mike Azzie is looking for a new sand star and that could be Dragon Vein, who has excellent form on the surface and is still improving.

Her mettle will be tested to the full in Race 6 on the Vaal sand, a MR 103 Handicap over 1450m. She will not have everything her own way from draw No 12, but the Tiger Ridge filly will carry just 50kg with apprentice Jarryd Penny’s 4kg claim and reverts to what could be her best distance.

Dragon Vein has only raced on the Vaal sand track and won her first three starts, including getting the better of stablemate Magic Smoke (6kg worse off) over this course and distance in May. She has not done half as well over further in her last three starts but did much better last time, when a distant third behind Henry Higgins over 1800m. She should finish in the money.

Storm Surf has won four of his last six outings and was narrowly beaten in another. Kom Naidoo’s charge has only been beaten once over this course and distance and last time out beat Eugenes (1kg better off) by 1.75 lengths. He will be partnered by red-hot jockey S’manga Khumalo and could win again.

Right Beauty nearly always runs a good race and is weighted to beat both Follow The Piper and Magic Smoke. He met Magic Smoke over 1600m at this track last month and was beaten 1.75 lengths into third. He meets his rival on 2.5kg better terms and could reverse the form.

Next time out, in a 1200m race won by Across The Ice, he finished just a neck behind Follow The Piper and should take her measure this time, with a 2.5kg swing his way.

It has been more than a year since Right Beauty last won a race and this could represent a good opportunity for the Mike de Kock-trained gelding.

Follow The Piper is now back to best and, with three of her 10 wins coming over this course and distance, she is not one to discard lightly, while Magic Smoke was given a penalty of only 1.5kg for his last win and should still be competitive off his new mark.

Punters should rely on promising Melli Mou as a Pick 6 banker on a tricky card. The Stuart Pettigrew-trained filly runs in Race 8 over 1000m.

She has been a trifle problematic, having been rested after her first two starts but made a promising comeback after a two-month holiday over 1200m last month, when a well-beaten third behind Weekend Special. She will strip fitter this time.

Cyber Space could be second best. The Paul Peter-trained two-year-old was well beaten in her third career start but went lame close home and faded badly. She had previously opened her account with an 8.25-length win over Rebel Assault in a 1200m sprint at Flamingo Park. Two winners have come out of that formline and providing she is pain-free this time, Cyber Space will earn a portion of the stake.

Dennis The Menace looks a safe Place Accumulator banker in Race 5 over 1200m. He is in fine fettle at the moment and should again beat Hang Fire, who finished third behind him over this 1200m in May and is 1.5kg better off.

Pinot Noir is a big threat, having beaten Dennis The Menace over this course and distance in June. There is not much between them at the weights, though.

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