Nicci Garner: Punters can end Thursday’s Vaal Inside meeting with a winner if they go with Premier Show in Race 9, a MR 72 Handicap over 1200m.
This Clinton Binda-trained three-year-old has a huge weight, 60.5kg, and is drawn at No 12 of the 17 runners on a track where low-numbered draws seem better, but he is running full of confidence at the moment with three wins from his last four starts.
The first was on the Vaal Outside track in November when he beat Afdeek and Lunar Dancer (both second in their next starts, with the third-placed runner subsequently winning) over 1200m. He was coughing 12 days later when never a factor over that course and distance in yielding going.
He then won his next two starts, both over 1160m at Turffontein. In the first he took the measure of re-opposing stablemate Lauren Of Rochelle, who is 3kg better off which is enough to turn around the 0.80-length deficit.
Then last time out he beat Well Connected by 0.60 lengths, despite a three-point penalty.
He still has scope and could well bring up his hat trick.
Lauren Of Rochelle looks second best. The four-year-old gelding won his penultimate start, beating Dorman by 1.50 lengths. He is 2kg worse off, which should not be enough for the runner-up to turn the tables over this distance.
Another horse punters might be tempted to banker is Ouro in Race 8, a FM 68 Handicap over 1200m. This Paul Peter-trained three-year-old placed second twice before posting a decisive maiden win over Ancient Spirit over 1000m on the Outside track here in November. She should fight out the finish, but goes beyond the minimum distance for the first time and Sean Tarry’s charge Colour Of Light makes more appeal.
This Seventh Rock filly showed resolution to beat Tia by a short head over 1160m at Turffontein last month and although those horses immediately behind her who have run since have not excelled, there was a lot to like about that win.
An Air Of Success and Ultimate Shamrock could be the ones for Trifectas and Quartets.
Neuf De Pape, who represents the Azzie stable, loves this extended straight course and could be the right one in Race 7, a MR 66 Handicap over 1400m. However, Binda-trained Witch King must rate a strong chance with Callan Murray back in the irons.
Races 5 and 6 are open, but Rendezvous and Gottalottaluv look the main runners in Race 4, a Maiden Plate over 1800m.
Gottalottaluv gets the nod to improve on her two second placings to date. The first was over 1400m and the next over 1600m and, although she is not well drawn at No 13, she will have master jockey Piere Strydom in the irons to help her overcome that disadvantage. She rates a Place Accumulator and BiPot banker.