Jack Milner: With just two weeks to go to the cut-off for entrants in the World Sports Betting Grand Heritage to prove their fitness for the handicappers, horses aiming at that R750,000 race over 1475m at the Vaal on Saturday 30 September are out in full force.
Four of them will be in action in Race 7 at Turffontein on Tuesday, a MR 80 Handicap over 1400m, and topping the list is Yankee Captain from the Sean Tarry yard.
The five-year-old son of Captain Al loves this 1400m on the Standside track and in five runs over the course and distance has won three and placed second and fourth on the other two occasions.
There is no doubt about his fitness as he won his last start on 6 August. He looks tailor-made for the Grand Heritage and is likely to be a force with a bit of luck in what looks sure to be a 28-horse field.
Geoff Woodruff sends out Starrett City, another runner tilting at the Grand Heritage. As his last run was in June, he has something to prove to the team that selects the final field. His form is pretty decent, but he looks to be better over further. He has raced twice over this distance but those were in his first two starts at Kenilworth, when he finished eighth and third respectively.
Callan Murray takes the ride.
Dan The Lad is an interesting runner as I believe his last two starts have been over distances too far for him. Two runs back Paul Matchett’s charge went past Pilou in a race over 1600m on the Inside track but then faded over the last 100m to finish third, beaten 3.75 lengths.
He was ridden with a lot more restraint over 1700m at the Vaal last time and when he moved up it looked as if he would cruise to an easy win. But he came under pressure and could not outrun Silver Peg in the latter stages.
However, this 1400m should be right up his alley and the four-year-old gelding looks a live prospect in this field.