Renegade can defy the handicap in sand sprint

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Renegade can defy the handicap in sand sprint

Jockey Piere Strydom.

NICCI GARNER
RENEGADE is two points under sufferance with Mentor in Race 6, a Pinnacle Stakes over 1000m at the Vaal Tuesday, but relishes the soft sand track and rates the one to beat. The Dominion Royale gelding will be ridden by Piere Strydom, who was in hot form at Turffontein on Saturday and looks sure to continue riding the crest of the wave.

<div> <p>A versatile sort who seems nearly as good on the turf as he is on the sand, Jan Breedt’s charge made a good comeback from a three-month holiday over 1000m on the Vaal turf last Tuesday when he injured himself in the stalls but still managed to finish a 0.50-length second to Lightning Lecture after trying to make all. He will strip fitter for that outing and would not be running again if he hadn’t recovered from that injury.</p> <p>His sand form is impressive and includes a 0.75-length second to Alimony in the Emerald Cup over 1450m at this track back in September. Good though that effort was, his form over sprint distances on the sand is even better. It includes win over American Emblem (this trip) and Keanu Beach (1200m).</p> </div> <div> <p>A second placing behind Gun Powder ‘N Grit over this course and distance back in August last year gives him an edge over in-form Space Link and Stirling Highway. Brett Webber-trained Space Link finished 4.25 lengths behind Renegade in sixth place and is 1.5kg worse off, while Stirling Highway was another 1.75 lengths back and is 1kg worse off with the selection.</p> <p>Arabesque Dancer has only run twice on the Vaal sand with the better effort coming over 1200m where he finished a 0.35-length third behind Red Mist. His subsequent form has been a trifle erratic, but he will be re-equipped with blinkers and Charles Laird’s runner looks sure to make his presence felt in the race for minor money.</p> </div> <div> <p>Woelfin will be cherry-ripe in her third run after a layoff and Corne Spies’ filly could now regain the form that saw her make nearly all to beat Copper Jet by 2.25 lengths over this course and distance in July last year. She went on to win at Flamingo Park four days later and has placed only once since, when beaten 0.50 lengths by Luna Rossa over 1000m in Kimberley. She will be ridden by 2.5kg claimer Nicola Welch and the light weight will be to her benefit.</p> <p>Mentor has run only once at the Vaal, finishing unplaced behind E-Fuel over 1450m. He was not at a peak then, though, and stumbled at the start, so could improve dramatically. He seems better over further, though.</p> </div> <div> <p>Jet Alert in Race 3, a MR 72 Handicap, is another possible banker. The Jet Master filly ran a shocker over 2450m at Turffontein in her last outing back in December but had previously finished a four-length third behind Bell Harbour over 1800m at this track. She had Wood Medley, Dress Smart and Wild Russian far behind her in that race and the form has been franked.</p> <p>Jet Alert has made a breathing noise in her last two starts though and those not convinced that Geoff Woodruff’s filly will make the grade should consider including at least Seraph, Captain Butler and Zackly in permutations.</p> </div> <div>Charles Laird-trained Crown Of Power has won four of his seven career starts, including a race at this track. He has reeled off three wins in a row on the turf in recent months and could follow up in Race 4 over 1600m. If he fails, any one of six other horses could take advantage, but Woodruff’s Major Champion and Sean Tarry’s Mystic could be the principal contenders.</div> <div>&#160;</div>

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