Fork Lightening can strike if Purple Rain precipitates

Fork Lightening can strike if Purple Rain precipitates

<p>JACK MILNER<br /> WHEN Fork Lightening ran at Greyville on Canon Gold Cup day, he was the talk of the racecourse. Trainer Sean Tarry was bullish about his chances and the seven-year-old Rambo Dancer gelding was supported from an opening call of 12-1 to 9-2.&#160; When Gavin Lerena moved up to leader Modern Monet it looked as if he would sweep past but the KZN Guineas third-placed runner kept finding and held on to beat a fast-finishing El Padrino and Fork Lightening in a three-way photo-finish.<br /> <br /> Photo: Brett Smith rides Purple Rain.</p>

<p>Tarry’s runner gets a chance to redeem himself at Turffontein today when he takes on a field comprising many runners of his own age group in Race 7, a MR 100 Handicap over 1600m on the standside track.&#160;<br /> <br /> That good run was not out of turn as in his penultimate start, Fork Lightening finished on the heels of the placed runners when a 2.25-length fifth to Arabesque Dancer over 1450m at Clairwood.&#160;<br /> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; <br /> He has won over the course and distance, although that was back in December 2004. Fork Lightening has contested some of the country’s top races in his time and as long as he is still working well, should be able to dispose of this opposition.<br /> <br /> Gavin Lerena is not riding at the meeting and Marthinus Mienie is up on Fork Lightening.&#160;<br /> <br /> One young horse who is in top form is Robbie Sage’s Purple Rain. He looked to be a useful three-year-old but things went awry. However, he has come back well and is unbeaten in three starts since being equipped with blinkers.&#160;<br /> <br /> Two of those wins were over this course and distance but he has been penalised 6kg for those three victories and will have to give 0.5kg to Fork Lightening.<br /> <br /> At eight, Connoisseur is the old man in the race but Gary Alexander’s runner has lost none of his zest for the game. He remains competitive and is certain to contest the finish.&#160;<br /> <br /> Connoisseur is in the fortuitous position of getting 5kg from Fork Lightening, despite being the only nine-time winner in the field. With Mark Khan away in Mauritius, Brandon Lerena gets the ride.<br /> <br /> Aussies Captain has been a good servant to trainer Erico Verdonese and has only run out of the places once in his last 10 starts. With Devin Habib hungry for winners, he cannot be left out of the reckoning.&#160;<br /> <br /> Fair Brutus tries 1600m for the first time and there is little in his form to suggest he will see it out. In his last run, over 1450m on the sand, he had nothing to come when beaten seven lengths by Braggadacio.&#160;<br /> <br /> Access Code was backed from an opening call of 16-10 to even-money in his last outing but was beaten 0.75 lengths by Cathay Prince. He runs in a Novice Plate over 1400m and should get the Pick 6 off to a good start for punters.&#160;<br /> <br /> Apprentice Derrick David gave Resolutivo a confident ride at the Vaal yesterday and could score another victory on Geoff Woodruff’s runner as he moves inexorably closer to the magic number of 50 winners. Currently he gets a 1.5kg allowance and that is of great value.&#160;<br /> <br /> Urban Reason comes back from a 215-day layoff but Alec Laird’s runner beat Access Code when shedding his maiden and is in with a chance if fit.&#160;<br /> <br /> The other runner to consider in Race 4 is Roy Magner’s Eragon, who ran a 2.25-length second to highly regarded Eiffel over 1200m at the Vaal earlier this month. He was third behind Volley To Victory over 1450m on the inside track so he should have no trouble staying the distance.</p>

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