Nicci Garner: Play The Night is the one to beat in the richest race on the card at Tuesday’s Turffontein meeting, the R112,000 The Grand Heritage 30 September Progress Plate over 1160m.
The Sean Tarry-trained colt has run only three times and was not beaten far in the Listed Gatecrasher Stakes over 1400m at Greyville last time out after trying to make all the running. He tired late to finish 3.60 lengths behind Trojan Harbour in a race that also included subsequent winners Boyra (1.50 lengths ahead) and Sea King (1.50 lengths behind).
He has not raced since that 10 June outing but won following a similar break second time out and should return fit enough to do himself justice under the guidance of S’manga Khumalo
He looks a banker for BiPots, Place Accumulators and Quartets, with Joey Piper fancied for second.
Nor’West Arch was fancied to win her debut over 1600m at the Vaal in July, but lost her jockey, Lyle Hewitson, at the start. She has been given time to get over that fright and tries again in Race 5 over 1600m, this time with Piere Strydom in the irons. She meets a field that, although small, is fairly strong and could start at a “value” price.
Diva Faustina hails from the David Nieuwenhuizen yard that scored a double last Saturday and should enjoy this distance, which she tries for the first time.
Kings Creek looks likely to start favourite and is overdue her first career win, but she is making her 26th attempt at winning a Maiden Plate and has limitations.
The form of Boudica’s last race is fairly strong and she must be considered, also trying further for the first time.
Trainer Paul Peter has cautioned punters about using Alssakhra as a banker in Race 4.
The Seventh Rock colt, whose name means “The Rock”, has most promising form with two good seconds from as many starts over 1600m. Those runs seem far better than any of his rivals have to their name and Alssakhra did look banker material, despite a 107-day rest.
However, Peter said yesterday: “He has the whole season to campaign and, anyway, because of all the racing, I haven’t been able to put any of our horses on the grass. So he’s not 100% fit. But he’s a very nice horse and his class could pull him through.
“I’d be happy if he runs in the first three,” said the trainer.
His second-best runner at the meeting, he says, is Joey Piper in Race 2. “He’s having a preparatory run for the World Sport Betting Grand Heritage – has to run under at least once under the conditions of the race. He’s not far off his best and if he can win he must. He’s a top horse and has class.”
Peter is the most successful trainer on the Turffontein Standside track so far this month with four of his eight runners finding the winner’s enclosure. Anyone who had taken a R1 TAB Win bet on his runners would have so far made a tidy profit of R20.
In light of Peter’s comments, King’s County must be considered in Race 4 as he tries 1600m for the first time.
The Mike de Kock-trained gelding needed the run over 1160m last time out and looks sure to make a lot of improvement.
Dancing Rebel and Tapenzee could also finish in the frame.